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Front Page » Authors » Bio for Julie Hartmans » Archives for Julie Hartmans

By Julie Hartmans on January 18, 2009

A friend shared this letter from the noted African American author Alice Walker. I find it moving and profound. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as I have.

Dear Brother Obama,

You have no idea, really, of how profound this moment is for us. Us being the black people of the Southern United States. You think you know, because you are thoughtful, and you have studied our history. But seeing you deliver the torch so many others before you carried, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, only to be struck down before igniting the flame of justice and of law, is almost more than the heart can bear. And yet, this observation is not intended to burden you, for you are of a different time, and, indeed, because of all the relay runners before you, North America is a different place. It is really only to say: Well done. We knew, through all the generations, that you were with us, in us, the best of the spirit of Africa and of the Americas. Knowing this, that you would actually appear, someday, was part of our strength. Seeing you take your rightful place, based solely on your wisdom, stamina and character, is a balm for the weary warriors of hope, previously only sung about.

Read more of this post here ...

By Julie Hartmans on November 10, 2008

I teach English to corporate students that are in the US either temporarily or permanently. It has been enlightening discussing this election with them. One of my students looked at me in shock last week, saying she'd heard that only 65% of the population had voted on November 4th, and yet that was something we hadn't seen in 100 years. So then I had to introduce a new word to her: cynicism.

The day after the election, I received this in an email from a friend: Maybe we really can change for the better. I’m trying to get used to the unfamiliar feeling of hopefulness which might take the place of those little jagged kernels of cynicism that have been eating away at my heart.

I, like my friend, am a child of the 60s, when we were filled with wild, boundless hope. Then came the 70s, when that hope was dissipated by drugs and alcohol. Worse, in the 80s, the new generation of young people enthusiastically embraced Reaganomics with its focus on materialism and consumption. It seemed those dreams of peace and equality, social justice and civil rights for all, had never been.

Cynicism is insidious and difficult to combat. It seems that nearly our whole generation fell prey to it during those long years. I kept on voting every four years, but many of my friends did not. Even Clinton's election in the 90s could not completely eradicate it from our hearts. After all, he won the electoral college but not the popular vote. When W was elected, then re-elected, cynicism reigned supreme. Were our citizens really this uninformed, this (dare I say it?) stupid!?

Read more of this post here ...

By Julie Hartmans on November 1, 2008

By Julie Hartmans on September 5, 2008

I live ten minutes from downtown St Paul. Just to be right up front, I am not super involved politically. I don't watch speeches (even Democrats!), I don't watch TV news at all. My main news source is NPR and the public radio station here in Minnesota is one of the best I've encountered around the nation. That said, I want to share my take on the recent Republic National Convention here.

My son Harley is 17 and told me last week he wanted to go to some peace demonstrations during the convention. I said, "Of course, just don't get arrested!" I think he truly had no idea of what he was getting into. The good news is that he did not get arrested, though he was ten feet away from someone who did. He said some cops on bicycles rode up, one got off and pushed a young man to the ground, cuffed him and took him over to a police car. Harley said he didn't see that this person was doing anything wrong and was so shocked by the cops' actions that he didn't even join in with the other protesters when they started shouting at them. I heard him tell a Texas friend on the phone that tears came to his eyes. He was appalled and outraged.

Read more of this post here ...

More blog posts by Julie Hartmans:

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This is an archive for Julie Hartmans. To learn more about this author, you can also read a Biography for Julie Hartmans here.

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Archives: Julie Hartmans

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