My Family Integrated Marquette Park

The Chicago Lawn community on the city’s southwest side was racially segregated when I was growing up. Comprised of white ethnics – the community was home to Lithuanians, Germans, Polish and Irish residents. The Marquette Park neighborhood lies within this community and is home to one of the largest and most beautiful of the city’s... Read more »

So American, It Hurts

Recently I read Real American, the new memoir written by Julie Lythcott-Haims about her life growing up as the child of an African American father and a white mother. Her book demonstrates that even in the midst of a socioeconomically privileged childhood that she still was not sheltered from the scourge of racism. Her book... Read more »

Marriage is a Critical Condition

Recently a favorite nephew of mine confided that his marriage was in critical condition. Married for nearly 15 years to a woman with whom he had enjoyed a brief whirlwind courtship, he has since had plenty of time to reflect on their relationship. He is quick to acknowledge that he is the primary cause of... Read more »
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Happy 2nd Birthday to My Husband

September 6th marks the second birthdate for my husband, Hecky. It is the day six years ago that he was the recipient of a living donor liver transplant. Receiving a new liver gave him a second chance at life – an opportunity denied to many people who are on organ transplant lists. In celebration of... Read more »

The Gift of Donald Trump's Presidency

A few months ago, my church challenged its members to think about the ‘gift’ of Donald Trump’s presidency. Many members were upset and angry that Donald Trump might try to undue all of the racial progress which has been so painstakingly achieved by the efforts of good people from all of America’s racial/ethnic groups. I... Read more »

The State Won a Raise; Still No Living Wage

Usually I don’t blog on Illinois political issues, but this topic is too important to pass on. The state of Illinois was without an approved operating budget for over two years. Living through some of the most rancorous partisan politics over the past two years resulted in economic hardship on many levels from the reduction... Read more »

Childhood Scars That Heal in Adulthood

Recently, my husband and I had dinner with friends living in downtown Chicago. Phil and LaJule are newly retired and enjoying a fairly carefree lifestyle after having spent years working in very successful careers. Recognizing that they had traveled extensively, I asked them about some of the places they had visited. They were worldwide travelers,... Read more »

You May Not Be As White As You Think You Are

Over the past few years, testing to determine one’s ethnic ancestry has become very popular. The websites,, and 23 and Me, have made testing one’s DNA fairly affordable and two television shows, Finding Your Roots and Who Do You Think You Are have helped fuel interest in the subject. I took one of the... Read more »

A Covert Example of Racial Harmony

Growing up on Chicago’s South Side, no summer vacation was complete without a family trip to Michigan. Usually those trips were to one of the small towns which dot Michigan’s western shore. In the southwestern part of Michigan is a small town with an interesting history. As early as the 1860s, this frontier town had... Read more »

Black Lives Matter, TOO !

In neighborhoods across Evanston, on the front lawns of many homes are signs which read: Hate Has No Home Here; Here We Believe (followed by a list of statements which the residents support), or a stark black and white sign with capital letters which reads, Black Lives Matter. There are even large Black Lives Matter... Read more »