Lydia Koltai is a mother, an herbalist and a civil rights activist in Oxford Mississippi. She is active in a local movement to remove a Confederate statue from the lawn of the local courthouse. “I’m a pretty loving person. I really want to love everybody and understand where people are coming from. What is upsetting is when it feels like people can’t give that back … Continue reading Lydia Koltai
It was a quiet drive from Oxford to Sumner, Mississippi. Karen was busy and I drove the 70 miles by myself. I don’t think I said more than a few words all day. Mostly, I read signs. And I’m going to let the signs do most of the talking today. A sign in front of the Tallahatchie County Courthouse says: “Emmett Till Murder Trial. In … Continue reading Signs of the times
It stopped me in my tracks. On Sunday, we visited the Peace and Justice Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama. It pays tribute to the 4,000 plus Black people who were lynched in America during a campaign of racial violence that has changed over time, but never really ended. Above your head as you walk through the memorial, large steel beams are suspended, engraved with the names … Continue reading Justice
My heart is heavy. It’s the news. It’s the trial in our home town for the death of George Floyd. It’s Daunte Wright. It’s Atlanta. Kenosha. Indianapolis. It’s gathering stories under the shadow of a Confederate statue. It’s visiting lynching sites. But it’s more than that. It’s how quickly each event is spun and re-spun, then spun again. It’s how animosity instantly takes root in … Continue reading Grief
A Peace of My Mind visited Oxford, Mississippi’s country courthouse, where a contested Confederate statue stands at the center of the town square. We asked people, “What does this statue mean to you?” Over two afternoons, 36 people chose to participate and these are the stories they shared. Continue reading Oxford, Mississippi
It was more awkward than I had imagined—as a white guy—to stand in the middle of a busy intersection to take a photograph of the Confederate statue. It was the reason we had come to town, to have conversations about monuments and race. But somehow, the moment I raised my camera, I felt conspicuous. It’s the same feeling I had when I pulled over in … Continue reading Statues
How can we help? It’s a question people have asked for years about A Peace of My Mind and I never had a good answer. Until now.
Continue reading How can we help?
I suppose there is a line to be drawn from the Easter story to Dr King’s assassination in Memphis in 1968 to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis a year ago. Perhaps a learned theologian could articulate conclusions more clearly than me. Maybe a great philosopher could connect the dots in a way that would help everyone see the light. I’m still working on … Continue reading Truth
Peyton Scott Russell is a Minneapolis graffiti artist and street artist who painted a 12′ x 12′ black and white spray paint portrait of George Floyd during the curfew and installed it at the bus stop at the intersection of 38th and Chicago, where Floyd was killed by police on May 25, 2020. “It’s your choice, but we talk about risk. We talk about choice … Continue reading Peyton Scott Russell