From Our Blog

On the Death of My Mother


This article first appeared on The Progressive. It was April 7 when my mother died. One moment we were out to dinner, laughing and planning the summer, when she suddenly started breathing hard. She’d suffered chronic respiratory problems—COPD—for the last five years. She collapsed. I wrapped my arms around her, as her body convulsed. Paramedics Read More >>

Preserving the People’s Lakes


This article originally appeared in Prairie Homeboy Companion. I hadn’t thought about Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People” in quite a while. Yet, I couldn’t help but think about the play as I read about the hatchet to be taken to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Details of the administration’s budget plans propose slashing the Read More >>

How Long Must We Sing This Song?


This article first appeared on Prairie Homeboy Companion. As we walked through St. Louis’ Missouri Historical Museum’s current civil rights exhibit, I was reminded of how change comes from the bottom up. School history is, too often, from the top down: photos of presidents and legislators signing documents with big names, almost always male, with Read More >>

Expecting Civility, Hoping for Love


This article first appeared on Prairie Homeboy Companion. “Civility is one thing you can expect at an Episcopal church,” my uncle said to me two Sunday’s ago as we motored along Interstate-170, a short, sometimes bumpy highway that cuts through St. Louis’s central and northern exurbs. I laughed and nodded, realizing that we were going Read More >>

Potential Deferred


This article first appeared on a Prairie Homeboy Companion. “Gary is a rising sun. Together, we shall beat a way; together, we shall turn darkness into light, despair into hope and promise into progress. For God’s sake, for Gary’s sake — let’s get ourselves together.” — Richard Hatcher’s inauguration, Jan. 1, 1968 “The potential for change in Gary exists, Read More >>

Hiding in plain sight


This article first appeared in Prairie Homeboy Companion. The film Hidden Figures couldn’t have arrived at a better time in American history, as we truly suss out what it means to “Make America Great Again.” History often gives us a reason to move forward. Hidden Figures looks at African American female heroes at NASA in the 1960s. It’s Read More >>

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 >>