The March Goes On…

Two years ago, life was very different. I was in the midst of a cross-country move and a big job change and at the same time I was so impressed with all of the social justice/art/expression blogs that I came across on a daily basis. My life grew more hectic, with less time for blogging, and I became convinced that the small corner of the internet that was Parading Around wasn’t really needed. There were other voices addressing the issues I brought up. Was I really contributing to anything? I let my blog go, and chose instead to focus on my career in the education nonprofit sector, a few other side projects, and political actions.

Fast forward to November 8, 2016. We all know how that went. To me, that night watching the numbers roll in…it felt like hate won. It still does. We have seen a frightening rise in discriminatory language and actions across the country and the past month has been one of uncertainty and fear for minority groups. The oppressive actions taken by the president towards Muslims, refugees, and transgender youth, to name a few, is unacceptable and un-American. The approval of cabinet members with no prior experience, and a few who would like to see the end of the very departments they are now leading, is despicable. In a little over a month, America has transformed back into a country of exclusion and discrimination that is likely to continue for the next fours years to come.

But we have also seen resistance.

Four years is a long time. In deciding to reactivate this blog, I asked myself one thing–would I really be contributing to anything? Well, at this point, every voice matters. YOURS and mine included. The more we hear from each other, the more we can bridge understandings to cultivate much-needed compassion.

Make no mistake–the marches we have seen in the past month are their own parades of solidarity, identity, and patriotism. Upcoming posts will highlight stories of unity and resistance in Greater Boston and showcase forms of art dedicated to uplifting and embracing the multitudes of human identity.

Would you like to submit a feature? Email darby@paradingaround.org

10 Quotes from Female Authors to Celebrate International Women’s Day

When I look back on the authors that changed my life, I can honestly say that most of them have been women.

Mary Shelley. Jane Austen. Virginia Woolf. Emily Dickinson. Zora Neale Hurston. Anne Frank. Margaret Atwood. The list goes on.

There are so many women whose words I have held close to my heart. From thoughts about compassion and empathy to encouragements of strength and action against injustice, the following quotes are just a few gems that I continue to return to for inspiration and hope.IMG_1366 - Version 2

1. “Wear your heart on your skin in this life.” Sylvia Plath

2. “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt

3. “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” Maya Angelou

4. “Why shall I wait for someone else? Why shall I be looking to the government, to the army, that they would help us … for them to help me. Why don’t I raise my voice? Why don’t we speak up for our rights?” Malala Yousafzai

shadow5. “I am a person who believes in asking questions, in not conforming for the sake of conforming. I am deeply dissatisfied – about so many things, about injustice, about the way the world works – and in some ways, my dissatisfaction drives my storytelling.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

6. “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Toni Morrison

7. “Let me listen to me and not to them.” Gertrude Stein

8. “Where we come from in America no longer signifies. It’s where we go, and what we do when we get there, that tells us who we are.” Joyce Carol Oates

9. “What keeps you going isn’t some fine destination but just the road you’re on, and the fact that you know how to drive.” Barbara Kingsolver

10. “We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.” J.K. Rowling

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Have another quote from a female author that you find meaningful? Share the love in the comments!