Letter from the Editor:
The Equal People Poetry Series Wrap-Up

💛 Last Thursday, we kicked off the 2021 season of our Equal People Poetry Series. Fourteen poets from around the country and around the world, inspired by Amanda Gorman’s poem “The Hill We Climb,” shared their thoughts on the state of optimism, doubt, despair, and hope in a world emerging from a year like none other.

Several subscribers have communicated how much they’ve enjoyed the series because of the mental images conjured, the thoughts prompted, and the emotions stirred. That’s the magic D Abboh, Erika Burkhalter, Ré Harris, Jack Herlocker, Melanie Johnson, Tasneem Kagalwalla, Jef Littlejohn, Tremaine L. Loadholt, Indira Reddy, Estacious, Jen Whitney, Jesse Wilson, Sylvia Wohlfarth—wield, folks. And I couldn’t close out the series without acknowledging the insight and lyric know-how of Sherry Kappel, OHF Weekly Special Projects Editor and resident poetry guru.

Below you’ll find the lion’s share of this year’s offerings. To access the entire collection, go to the Tags page, click Equal People in the list, OR click Equal People at the bottom of any poem page.

In This Issue

New This Week

If you’re anything like me, a poem is a well that I find myself revisiting time and time again for deeper insights and meaning. Okay . . . truth be told, I do it mostly because I enjoy the poem and the way it “puts me in my feels.” And we hope you’ll do the same.

If you’re inclined, leave a message for our poets in the Comments section of your favorite poem(s) or start a discussion about it. (Comment registration for this publication is always complimentary.) I know they’d welcome the opportunity to interact with you.

“The Hill We Climb” Was such a moment in time Stunning us with love & light Singing from a Moment so bright
If We Ever Surrender Our Dreams
Our forefathers’ dreams may have failed, but we cannot cast them aside
Growing Hope
Hope is a delicate seed that must be nourished by the entire community to flourish; but what happens when it is not? And can we afford to let it keep withering across America?
Who am I? Why do you only see outlines—why can’t you see more of me? You get to pick and choose what little you wish to see, but the pain and misperceptions hurt all of me
Shine the Light
We may be oppressed, but we have power to improve the world
Trepidation Asks, “Walk with Me”
“Where can we find light in this never-ending shade?” –Amanda Gorman
Only When
What will it take to make white people see all the injustices in our “justice” system? Must a person experience something to understand how wrong it is? Will that ever happen?
Daring to Hope
Holding on from here to there; between light and dark days…is hope enough or should we even sing that hymn when our days are too often exhausting, broken and breathless?
A Nation Bruised
All too often, our country leaves us black and blue. But no matter the injury, we have to keep fighting and love can deliver a knockout punch if we simply give it the chance.
When Hope and History Rhyme
For too long, America has traveled a dark path—but Amanda Gorman shone a beacon on the proverbial path less taken. Her words are opening our eyes and minds to a better way to be
Amorphous are the lines of humanity, the core remains constant. Although the past was mired in ignorance, we now have access to the knowledge that offers us a shared humanity and its joys.

In Case You Missed It

OHF Weekly writer William Spivey’s article on the inability of white folks to recognize that “the system” is rigged and that their leaders, past and present, are the ones who rigged it.

When You’ve Been White Too Long
White too long is the inability to recognize that the system is rigged and their leaders, past and present, are the ones who rigged it

A Fond Farewell to a Member of Our Human Family

Photo by Jess Vide from Pexels

With a sad heart, I announce that Stephen Matlock, OHF Weekly Senior Editor, will be leaving us for an extended and well-deserved period of restoration. Over the past two years, Steve has been an integral member of the OHF Editorial Team. A talented writer in his own right and one-in-a-million editor with over twenty years of experience and extensive knowledge of the Chicago Manual of Style, Steve has consistently given our online articles and print publications a professional sheen while keeping our social media queues loaded.

Steve’s dedicated service to Our Human Family can best be expressed as that of a mentor, trusted friend, and—to borrow from the vernacular of HBO’s Game of Thrones—“the hand of the king.”

Please join me in wishing him continued success in everything he sets his hand to. His contributions will be missed.

Thanks for everything, Steve. 💛

For Your Upcoming Week . . .


I saw this, and it made me laugh hard. I hope you have a similar reaction and an fabulous weekend and upcoming week!

Love one another.

Clay Rivers
Our Human Family, Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Top photo by Nicholas Beel on Unsplash

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