Beauty, even in Death

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A person I loved died on Monday. The burial was yesterday in Uganda where she was from. She’d battled cancer for over a year, and just when it seemed she had overcome it, the doctors treating her exhausted the options to save her life. Though she’d lived in London for over 25 years, she chose to spend her final weeks …

Pamela Brown-PetersideBeauty, even in Death

Letting Go

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Twenty years ago today, I received a Ph.D in sociomedical sciences, a branch of public health. It was my greatest accomplishment to date and something I’d dreamed of achieving for years, a desire that began while I was still an undergraduate. It was also the hardest goal I’d ever set for myself — by far. It took 7 long, painful, …

Pamela Brown-PetersideLetting Go

Finishing Well: The Obamas Showed Us How

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Anticipating the transfer of power about to occur in the US, I tuned into events there these last 10 days or so more than I usually do, now that I live in London. While I, like many, was grieving the loss of the Obamas before they even left the White House, one thing that really struck me was the myriad …

Pamela Brown-PetersideFinishing Well: The Obamas Showed Us How

Epiphanies Awaited

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Today, Jan 6, is the Feast of Epiphany. In our household growing up, it marked the day when my mother thought it time to take down the Christmas decorations. It felt like an appropriate day. Christmas, after all, had occurred almost two weeks before. It had long come and gone, or so it seemed. Besides, the initial excitement of putting …

Pamela Brown-PetersideEpiphanies Awaited

Waiting…

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I don’t particularly like waiting. Especially when I have a clear sense of what I want to see happen and how (and when) I want it to unfold. And yet, so much of life involves waiting, whether we like it or not. Waiting to conceive a child. Waiting for a child to be born. Waiting for a spouse. Waiting for …

Pamela Brown-PetersideWaiting…

So Long New York…

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I flew into JFK 26 years ago this month from London with 2 suitcases. Tonight I fly out of JFK and back to London. I take another 2 suitcases (+ 22 boxes that are on a ship somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic). I leave behind a varied and rich tapestry of friends and neighbors. Incredibly, some of these …

Pamela Brown-PetersideSo Long New York…

Maria Sharapova’s Tennis Lessons

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Wimbledon, the third grand slam tennis event of the year, started today. But at least one recent former champion won’t be playing there this year. And perhaps not next year either. The International Tennis Federation has banned Maria Sharapova from competing on the professional tennis circuit for two years though she’s likely to succeed in getting this reduced. The ITF …

Pamela Brown-PetersideMaria Sharapova’s Tennis Lessons

Sacred Selma

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This past weekend, I had the privilege of visiting Selma. I’d seen the film and mulled over some of its history but wasn’t sure quite what to expect. My friend Linda and I traveled there by Greyhound from Montgomery in a white shuttle bus. Besides the female driver, there were only two other passengers (also women) with us. Apparently the …

Pamela Brown-PetersideSacred Selma

A Long View

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(First posted to my blog on April 7, 2016.) On Tuesday night, I had the honor of attending the annual benefit in New York for the Equal Justice Initiative, EJI.orgĀ  with friends from work. Based in Montgomery, AL with offices that occupy a former warehouse for slaves, EJI exists to fight for people wrongly accused and serving life sentences (including …

Pamela Brown-PetersideA Long View

Remembering…

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(First posted to my blog on April 4, 2016.) The first week of April… On this day (4/4) in 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, shot on the balcony of a hotel in Memphis. (On this day in 1959, my parents, Gally Brown-Peterside & Elizabeth James were married in a registry office in South London.) On April 7, …

Pamela Brown-PetersideRemembering…

The Great Educator

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(First posted on my blog on March 19, 2016.) Dr. Thomas Winston Cole, Sr. changed the course of my father’s life. In the early 1950’s, he took a chance by offering a Nigerian high school graduate of King’s College, Lagos, a scholarship to Wiley College in Marshall, TX, where Dr. Cole was the registrar. Wiley was a relatively small African-American …

Pamela Brown-PetersideThe Great Educator

Most Reluctant Convert

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(First posted to my blog on March 9, 2016.) I first encountered Clive Staples Lewis at the age of 9. In 4th grade at the American missionary school I attended in Nigeria, our teacher, Miss P (all single women were really called Miss in those days) who was from New Zealand, began reading The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe …

Pamela Brown-PetersideMost Reluctant Convert

Familiar, Funny & Fantastic

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(First posted on my blog on March 4, 2016.) It may be the first time that 10 black female actors are appearing on Broadway (Eclipsed @ the Golden Theatre on 45th) or off-Broadway (Familiar @ Playwrights Horizons on 42nd) at the same time in the space of 3 blocks. We have the award-winning Zimbabwean American actor (The Walking Dead) and …

Pamela Brown-PetersideFamiliar, Funny & Fantastic

Twelve Angry Men

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(First posted on my blog on Feb 23, 2016.) I came across a chilling piece of data last night while reading last week’s Sunday NY Times (2/14/16) in an article by the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Isabel Wilkerson: according to FBI statistics, an African-American is killed by a white police officer roughly every 3 1/2 days. Not shot, but actually killed. …

Pamela Brown-PetersideTwelve Angry Men

My Funny Valentine

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(First posted on my blog on Feb 15, 2016.) Yesterday, I took my friend Cherie to lunch at the local diner. I first met Cherie 3 or 4 years ago when she began to appear on the benches in the mezzanine level of my subway station. One morning I sat down beside her and instead of dropping a dollar into …

Pamela Brown-PetersideMy Funny Valentine