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Dear Friend,

How are you?  I hope you and your loved ones are coming through the COVID storms safe, well, and vaccinated. 
 
A few weeks ago, I began the month, as always, thinking of what to write for the coming month’s newsletter—and, I was having a seriously difficult time of it.  What, after all, is there to say about this land of my birth—yours too, likely—that is turning back time to, once again, make “negotiable” human and political rights? 
 
“Dear Janus,” came a note.  “I'm reaching out to invite you to take part in an upcoming piece for Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper's July 4th issue.  We are corralling sentiments from various public figures, creatives, journalists, and others asking them to offer a few sentences that start with: ‘Dear America, my wish for you on your birthday is...’  Would you be open to taking part?”
 
At first I was reluctant—especially in this climate of renewed racism, violence, and voter suppression against African Americans and other people historically forced to "not matter." Two hundred forty-five years since its founding, my country has one more year to go before it has lived as long as the 246 years Black men, women, and children were forced to live enslaved.  What is there to say? 

My grandfather spoke to me, as he does from time to time. Write it, he said. With that, I remembered the Statue of Liberty; the broken chain on her foot designed to commemorate the end of that reign of terror known as American slavery, and its significance to my family.
 
“Dear America,” I began, “my wish for you on your birthday is that you will find peace within yourself; that you will face your past with honesty and humility; that you will find joy and grace.  I wish, too, that you could have known my grandfather who shared these values with those he loved—especially his children and grandchildren...”

You can read the full article in Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper here.
Enjoy a gallery of family photos and listen to my reading of this story of family, love, history and hope here.

COMMENT?
EVENTS
Serious thanks and hugs to those of you who joined me for the SISTER DAYS MOTHER/DAUGHTER* BOOK CLUB.  I loved every moment of our six weekly “mental feasts.” Thanks for sharing how much our time together meant to you as well. 

Those who missed it, you can still purchase your autographed first edition hardcover of Sister Days: 365 Inspired Moments in African American Women’s History here.  Would you like to join the Club this Fall, drop me a note here.
BUY THE BOOK
ON THE SHOW & PODCAST
Clint Smith: How the Word is Passed
Backed by his exquisitely written and painstakingly researched exploration of our history and contemporary state of mind, CLINT SMITH, author of the New York Times bestseller, HOW THE WORD IS PASSED: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America, takes us to our marrow as a nation: who we are, where we’ve been, what we’ve done, what must change, why, and—for those brave enough to take the journey—how.
Link to site | podcast

Dawn Porter: Rise Again
Filmmaker DAWN PORTER—writer and director of last year’s milestone documentary, Good Trouble: John Lewis—returns to the show with her new film, Rise Again: Tulsa and The Red Summer.  As we mark the Tulsa Massacre of 1921 (when White mobs backed by government intervention destroyed a thriving community renowned as “Black Wall Street” and covering up the deed in mass graves) Dawn Porter captures the context, the scope of that extended “Red Summer of 1919”—and the determination of its descendants to Rise Again!
This show airs Saturday, July 10, 2021.

The Janus Adams Show airs and streams live Saturdays at 12:00 noon ET on WJFF Radio Catskill.  For more information about the shows and our guests, visit JanusAdams.com/show. Subscribe to the podcast on Apple, Stitcher, SoundCloud, and Spotify,. 

For updates on this month's programming, follow me on social media.
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BOOK ME
AND ONE MORE THING ...

"Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that held its ground."

~ Rosa Parks

I love master mystery novelist Louise Penny’s books.  More whydunnit than whodunnit, her seventeen-title “Gamache” series explores life’s mysteries with insights we might not notice otherwise.  Quoting Rosa Parks in her newsletter this month and true to her truth, Penny extends our “American experience” north of the border into Canada, her home. I so appreciate her perspective and  thought you would, too.  Here’s a link.


SPEAKING OF CONTEXT ...

I wish I knew more about this land—especially as witnessed through the lives of First Nations’ peoples—don’t you? 

Dr. S. Neyooxet Greymorning, PhD—Arapaho Nation Elder and Professor of Anthropology and Native American Studies at the University of Montana—is hosting a virtual conference this September 2021: “Raising Indigenous Voices in Academia.”  He’s calling for papers from “Indigenous scholars and speakers whose cultures help shape American linguistics, archaeology and cultural anthropology.”  The conference is open to the public.

Download the notice here.

Learn more here.

And, you can listen to my interview with Neyooxet Greymorning, “Roar and Soar!” here.

Harambee!*
Janus
*Harambee!—a Ki-Swahili term that powered Kenya’s overthrow of British colonial rule—means “Let’s all pull together!”

Emmy Award-winning journalist, author, historian, keynote speaker, 
Dr. Janus Adams is publisher of BackPaxKids.com and host of public radio’s
“The Janus Adams Show” and podcast.
www.JanusAdams.com

www.BackPaxKids.com

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