Happy New Year and Thank You

1 Jan

Anchor Symbol of Hope

it’s lil’ Rhody’s (my home state of RI) symbol of hope.

Happy New Year, WJSS Readers!

I am going to try to keep this brief because I am still recovering from recent surgery (middle-age woman stuff, and yes, thanks, I am doing fine) which for me is a feat since my last post, a “summary” of the 2014 National Center for Race Amity Conference turned into a 3,000 word article.

Like any year, and like life itself, there are great big shiny moments, and wondrously small magnificent moments, and there are small petty pain-in-the butt moments and great big horrific moments.  This year is no exception, and I, and I know many of you, can’t help but go to the remembrance of the recent heartbreaking horrific moments: of the non-indictments of the officers involved in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases,  I have witnessed friends’ and strangers’, locally and globally–their sadness, frustration, and anger, over the inequity of the justice system, and couldn’t help but notice the divisiveness across color lines these cases provoked.

Yet, I now keep saying to friends that aside from these feelings of despair, I have hope.  I have hope that things were so out of whack that the people of Ferguson, Missouri, and people all over the United States, and all over the world, have said, “Enough!”  That people are making their voices heard through protest, live and on social media, and through one-on-one dialogue that things have to change for the better.  That we need a more equitable justice system.  That we need to take a closer look at dismantling the seemingly invisible, to many white people especially, systems of privilege, unconscious bias, and structural racism that make black people feel that their lives don’t matter.

Wendy Jane’s Soul Shake was never intended to be a blog about racism.  It is supposed to be about where people intersect across color lines and what happens there.  For things to change for the better, I feel white people have to let go of their fears of engaging in honest, open dialogues about racism and the invisible to us systems that our white privilege affords us.  We have to listen, and validate what black people are saying are their experiences.  And, then we have to figure out a way to make things fair and equitable for everyone, with everyone–black, white, and brown, having a say in how that happens–not just one person’s story, not just one race’s perspective on how to shape things.  It is our responsibility to do that, and not just sit silently because we have the luxury of turning off discussions about race whenever we feel like it.

You, my readers have always told me you appreciate that I am not soapboxy here on WJSS, but I’m afraid over the past two years in some of my posts I have been.  I can’t help myself because I feel the only way we can move forward is if we see the problems of racism and the solutions of eradicating racism as everyone’s responsibility.

It is a new year.  We can do something every day to make connections across color lines, to understand one another’s perspectives, and to bridge the barriers to mixing it up that most of us socially exist within.  I know that this is on my slate for every day for the rest of my life now.

I want to thank all of you so very much for subscribing to and/or reading Wendy Jane’s Soul Shake in 2014.  I thank you for your comments here, on Facebook, and on twitter, and for what you share with me publicly and privately about how certain posts have made you think or feel.  You have rewarded me with your feedback, questions and insights, which gives me new inspiration to dig deeper.

Here’s to digging deeper.  Here’s to hope that the events in 2014 will make things better in 2015.  Here’s to highlighting here the positive interactions and work that does happen across colorlines every day, and of course, here’s to a few MJ stories sprinkled in throughout the year for good measure.

Thank you.





6 Responses to “Happy New Year and Thank You”

  1. Sherry Gordon January 1, 2015 at 6:25 pm #

    Dear Wendy Jane,

    Hi, there, Wendy Jane!!!!!! I pray, wish, and hope for you a Very Happy Blessed Special New Year 2015 and for always, my dearest and precious white and Jewish sisterfriend who you are so, so very much!!!!!! I am praying and thinking of you as well, sister, as you recover from your recent surgery, and I am so, so very glad and relieved that you are recuperating so, so very well!!!!!! Wow, I had an absolutely remarkable 2014 that went beyond my wildest dreams and that went beyond my positive and optimistic expectations of what my year would be, sister!!!!!! I grew as a person, as a woman, as a lesbian, as a black person and a black woman, and I grew in such a great and a spiritual way!!!!!! Wendy Jane, I thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for always so, so very profusely for being my white sisterfriend and for being my white anti-racist ally in your great allyship and activism in solidarity for you, the very gift and blessing of you and your magnificent and empowering blog post website and responding to your very fine and excellent blog post articles have played a huge role in why I had such a fantabulous 2014 and how I grew so much as a person and in every other way!!!!!! Sister, you have been so, so very incredibly kind and open to me sharing so openly and honestly about my very ardent love for white persons, especially for white women, as the lesbian black woman who I am-and you have been just the greatest and the best as I have shared so, so very openly about how I all of my life have yearned so to reach out to white persons in my racial justice work with white persons toward racial reconciliation and healing, and how I so, so very much love and cherish white women as the lesbian black woman who I am!!!!!! Wendy Jane, because of you and your absolutely the greatest and the best blog I have found my voice and even more courage in order for me to be even more honest and brave in sharing even more openly and honestly about all of the very thoughts, feelings, and issues which are of such prime importance to me, sisterfriend!!!!!! And each and every one of your other very grateful and appreciative readers are just so, so very incredibly blessed, uplifted, and empowered by you I know, Wendy Jane!!!!!!! In my 2014 through you, sister, and your very fine and excellent blog post website, I became even more honest and brave, and even more open than I had been previously, sisterfriend, and I thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for always for you and and for all of this, and for being my dearest and precious, and very special sisterfriend, Wendy Jane!!!!!!

    May you, Leni, Darla, and the rest of your very precious and beloved family have a Very Happy Blessed 2015 New Year, and may all of your days be so, so very especially blessed, sister!!!!!!! Please have a very Happy Thursday as well, Wendy Jane!!!!!! I am so, so very eternally blessed to have you as my white and Jewish sisterfriend as the amazingly and incredibly wonderful white woman who you are so, so very much, Wendy Jane!!!!!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always, my sister, and Blessings and Even More Blessings To You For Always, Wendy Jane, my sisterfriend,

    Your lesbian black sisterfriend in solidarity For Always, Sherry Gordon

    • Wendy Jane January 4, 2015 at 11:43 am #

      Hello Sherry,

      Thank you so, so much for sharing how you have grown over this past year–I’m flattered and honored that you consider our connection, and the blog as playing a role in your growth and bravery. I feel the same way–that you’ve been there for me with every post, cheering me on, helping me to be brave in my own growth, and journey to connect across color lines. I wish you and yours all the best for 2015. Here’s to us–continuing to grow through our connection to one another.

      Best, best wishes to you, Sherry!

      Wendy Jane

  2. Vickie January 1, 2015 at 6:44 pm #

    Wendy I hope your recuperation is going quickly. Love this post!
    Please have a Happy New Year. I hope that all you expressed here comes to fruition.

    • Wendy Jane January 4, 2015 at 11:40 am #


      Thank you so much. I truly appreciate your steady support. And, I hope so, too–It can if we all work on it together.

      Wishing you all the best with your new year, and your blogging!

      Wendy Jane

  3. karen kidd January 5, 2015 at 1:22 am #

    Wonderful, well written article, as usual, Wendy. Brief?? Ha! Thank you for sharing your wonderful works with us all. I really enjoy your blog. I hope that you recover soon. Much love, my friend. Xo.

    • Wendy Jane January 5, 2015 at 11:08 am #

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks so much–and, yeah, I don’t even think I’ll make it a New Year’s resolution to keep my posts brief. Me and concise don’t seem to mix:) Thanks for your kind words, and thanks so, so much for being such and avid reader and supporter of WJSS. Much love to you and your beautiful family in this New Year.

      Wendy Jane

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