From Our Blog

Welcome to A Prairie Homeboy Companion


Welcome to A Prairie Homeboy Companion, a weekly blog exploring progressive activism in the Midwest, as well as an occasional platform for my own thoughts on pop culture, politics, and sports. Updates are scheduled for Thursday mornings. I’ll try to mix the storytelling between essays and reported stories, as well as Q&As and multimedia presentations. Read More >>

Sources of Flint’s Water Disaster Run Deep


Congress’s Flint nightmare ended last Friday, when the U.S. House Oversights and Government Reform committee closed its yearlong investigation into the city’s contaminated drinking water disaster. The committee’s assessment: the federal Environmental Protection Agency is to blame more than Michigan’s own leaders. I’m quite sure Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is breathing a sigh of relief. Read More >>

Report: Increasing Minimum Wage Saves Lives


Tuesday’s “Day of Disruption” walkout by thousands of low-income workers underscores that the Fight for $15 movement is undeterred by the change of administration. Earlier this month, voters approved minimum-wage raises for Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Washington. What began as a long shot to even liberal labor leaders, the resurgent low-income fight is now bolstered Read More >>

How Do We Soothe Our Panicked Children When They Know We’ve Elected A Bully For President


On Wednesday morning, I started reading Facebook posts and messages from friends whose children woke up panicked. A friend’s daughter is distraught that her best buddy, a Latina, is going to be sent back to Mexico. Her Latino friend’s family have been American citizens for a several generations. The child of another friend had to Read More >>

Black Lives Matter Less Even in Drug Addiction


Originally published on the Huffington Post.  A heroin needle. Photo credits to Wheeler Cowperthwaite via Flickr Creative Commons. Even when it comes to drug addiction, black lives matter less. Consider the current opiate epidemic, where the overprescribing of Vicodin and Oxycontin has corrupted minds, crippled bodies and shook politicians to reconsider long-held beliefs about substance Read More >>

My Multiracial Son Embraces His Black Identity


Originally published by the Indianapolis Star.  The wispy-haired 4-month-old Mark is held timeless in a frame in front of me. The 12-year-old, shaggy-haired Mark is fast asleep in the room right above my makeshift office. I used to read Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “Little Brown Baby” to him, as my mother read to my brothers and Read More >>

Lack of Black Children’s Books Are Still a Problem


Photo credits to Pettifoggist.  Originally published on The Undefeated. My mother and my father remember chatting with friends at a nondescript table at the 1989 American Library Association (ALA) annual conference. Sitting with them were Walter Dean Myers, Jim Haskins, Virginia Hamilton and her husband Arnold Adoff — all award-winning writers of fiction and nonfiction Read More >>

Out of Homelessness, A Mom Turns Advocate


Originally published on Rooflines, a Shelterforce blog. Jenean F. and her husband worked hard to achieve the increasingly elusive American Dream. She was a stay at home mom and he worked as a salesman in the auto industry, affording them a measure of middle class stability in the heart of the Midwest. They rented their Read More >>