Happy Thursday, loyal readers! Because of all your support, this newsletter keeps coming out week after week. Today’s issue did not come easily, but I’m happy that I kept looking for pieces worthy of your time and attention. I’m confident you’ll appreciate the lead article , which offers a different
Happy Thursday, loyal readers! Because of all your support, this newsletter keeps coming out week after week. Today’s issue did not come easily, but I’m happy that I kept looking for pieces worthy of your time and attention. I’m confident you’ll appreciate the lead article, which offers a different and important perspective of the killing of George Floyd. If you’re an educator, you’ll likely want to dive into (or avoid altogether) the second piece. Then after the fold, in typical Highlighter eclectic fashion, you’ll find a thoughtful article on the meaning of the mustache, followed by a stern warning on the danger of the grapefruit. Please enjoy!
+It’s been since June since we met up, so please join me next Thursday, October 22, for Highlighter Happy Hour #15. We’ll meet 5:30 - 6:30 pm PT on Zoom, connect with other thoughtful members of our reading community, and (maybe) talk about the lead article. Bring a beverage of your choice and participate in general merriment. All you need to do is hit reply and say, “I’m in!” Everyone is welcome and encouraged to swing by.
The Store That Called the Cops on George Floyd
On Memorial Day, a police officer killed George Floyd outside the CUP Foods at the corner of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in southern Minneapolis.
This is the story of Malik, the 18-year-old clerk at the convenience store who called the cops that evening, accusing Mr. Floyd of passing a counterfeit bill. This is the story of co-owner Mahmoud Abumayyaleh, who closed the shop after receiving death threats and later commissioned a mural to honor Mr. Floyd. This is the story of English teacher Marcia Howard, the corner’s “community liaison for security,” whose GoPro, walkie-talkie, and eagle-eyed vision protect the store from vandalism and arson. And this is the story of Carmen Means, who believes CUP Foods played “a meaningful role in the lynching of George Floyd” and therefore should never reopen.
In this well-written piece, Aymann Ismail reports on the aftermath of Mr. Floyd’s killing from a variety of viewpoints, exploring the role of the community in reckoning with the tragedy. (27 min)
An Anonymous Teacher Speaks
Being a teacher is not easy. That’s definitely true this year, with distance learning, incessant Zoom calls, students with their cameras off, and no end in sight. What to do? Educator shea martin invited teachers to vent, posting their grievances on a shared Padlet. Emotions run hot. Teachers feel overwhelmed, under-appreciated, not valued and not seen, angry at school leaders and administrators, and frustrated with “toxic positivity.” Example: “If I hear ‘You can do hard things!’ one more time, I’m going to come unglued.” (20 min)
+ What are your thoughts after reading these posts?
My Mustache, My Self
Wesley Morris: “I knew before the summer’s Black Lives Matter protests that my mustache made me look like a bougie race man: a professional, seemingly humorless middle-class Negro. I live a street over from a thoroughfare where the protests happened almost nightly in June and July. One evening, I stood at a corner, moved, as thousands of people passed. Some protesters had their fists raised in a Black-power salute. So I raised mine. Not a gesture I would normally make. The Black-power salute is not a casual gesture. It’s weaponry. And that didn’t feel quite right. It always seemed like more Blackness than I’ve needed, maybe more than I had. I’m not Black-power Black. I’ve always been milder, more apprehensive than that. I was practically born with a mustache.” (26 min)
Grapefruit Is One Of The Weirdest (And Most Dangerous) Fruits On The Planet
Loyal reader Marni reminded me this week that “Mark, it has been way too long since you’ve featured fruit in The Highlighter.” Never fear, the grapefruit is here. Hailing from Barbados (not Asia, like all other citrus), the grapefruit caught popularity in the 1930s after shedding its original name (the “shaddock”) and getting connected with a new fad low-calorie diet. (Yes, that one.) Too bad that ingesting grapefruit can kill us. Its furanocoumarins block our body’s cytochrome P450 enzymes, thereby causing adverse reactions with many drugs, like Xanax, Ritalin, Zoloft, Lipitor, and Tylenol. Next Sunday brunch, be safe out there! (14 min)
Thank you very much for reading yet another issue of The Highlighter. Do you have thoughts or feelings about one of the articles today? Let me know by hitting reply or by clicking on the thumbs below. I’m grateful for your feedback.
Also, let’s welcome our community’s 3 new members, including Matt and Christine. I hope that you find this newsletter a solid addition to your Thursday email inbox.
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