Huckleberry Finn Good for Starting Positive Conversations about Race

My dad and I came to an impasse again recently.  It happens whenever we get into a conversation about race.  Or more specifically, a conversation about something that happened in the news or real life where people of different races were involved.  As in “they believe this way” from him, and “you can’t call an…

Hopefully You Complained About Obama AFTER Your Own School Speech

Obama’s school visit this week is very reminiscent of a program we have in Chicago, called the Black Star Project–the project is all about black male adults serving as role models for black children.  In fact, that’s Secrectary of Education Arne Duncan in the photo above in 2008 in Chicago, participating in the Million Father…

Intercultural Communications and Mother-in-Laws

 My favorite story about my mother-in-law is this: It had to have been 1989 or ‘90, and Dona Antonia was visiting us in Boston from Brazil.  Because the trip was long, she usually stayed for two or three months once she was there. When Mãe (pronounced ‘my,’ Portuguese for mom) visited, she readily cared for…

Politically Correct Language Does Nothing for Blatant Racism

Comedian Elon James White’s take on Pool Racism In intercultural communications, the emphasis is on cultural understanding and appreciating that sometimes people might unintentially offend because of unconscious bias. Such was not the case with 60 African American children who were kicked out of a pool at a private club in Philadelphia, being told that…

Would you go on a multicultural family ‘play date’?

First off, I have to tell you my husband HATES the word “play date.”  In the olden days (both in the US and Brazil) you just went outside and whoever else was out, that was who you played with.  But in today’s world of single parents, two working parents, carefully orchestrated schedules and a good…

Intercultural Bridges: Explaining the Chinese New Year In English to Lithuanians

 I took Dillon and one of his classmates to the Chinese New Year parade in Chicago’s Chinatown yesterday.  You have to love culture in an urban environment:  there were dragons and lion dancers and colorful floats from various Asian-American Chambers of Commerce, but also the Irish Shamrock Rovers and marching bands and drill teams from…