Follow by Email

Monday, December 24, 2012

Language Learning

In recent years, I have begun to learn a little more about people by listening to how they use language. Equally as important, I have begun to learn more about how I use language by listening to how other people use it.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Yebisu Taste Test

Last month I visited the humble Yebisu Beer Museum in Ebisu, Tokyo, Japan. Naturally, I had to engage in a little taste testing and documented my taste test of the Crescent Moon beer cocktail on my iPad with 2camshoot. The maiden voyage went quite smoothly, if I do say so myself (which I do).

For more information about 2camshoot and to download it, visit

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Be in the Moment, Be Honest

Just a bit over a week ago, HUGE Theater celebrated the second anniversary of its soft opening with the Second Annual Improvisor of the Year Awards. I attended last year's awards, had a blast, and was warmed through and through by the talent and community that filled the room. I was frustrated that I couldn't attend this year because of work, so I asked about sending in a video, which was an idea that took off. Everyone who had moved away in the past year or who was out of town was encouraged to send in a video. This would be stellar!

I immediately concerned myself with what to film and how to film it. I began to concern myself with being funny, which is doom. The more someone in improv starts focusing on being funny, the increased likelihood there is of missing good moments and flailing on stage. Looking desperate or like you're trying too hard is not as funny. No matter how much some spectators and some improvisors like to think improv is all about being funny, at its core it really isn't at all.

The worry led to procrastination. Eventually, I lost the chance to include video of the circus tent or the giraffe and just filmed outside of my childhood home in West Des Moines, Iowa where my Dad still lives. In the end, I decided that I would just say what's in my heart, live in the moment, and work from a place of honesty.

It's not a funny video at all, and I'm sure that the videos other associates of mine submitted were far more entertaining. I'm just happy I whipped out a video greeting full of words and sentiment that I hope resonated with people as much as they resonated with me.

There was a space in my brain right behind my eyes where I was crying.

(It's important to note that the Splendid Things and Gay/Straight Alliance sets I mention in the video happened at Improv-A-Go-Go – a HUGE Theater production – shortly before it moved to the HUGE theater space. It's still a HUGE thing.)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Saitama Rundown

2-show days: 32 = 64 shows
3-show days: 20 = 60 shows
4-show days:   3 = 12 shows

total days:       55
total shows:            132 shows

bonus count – crapping elephant shows: 45
                       shows without elephants: 4
                       shows with new 'phants : 11
                       new 'phant crapping shows: 0

Monday, November 12, 2012

Missing Minnesota: Babes

There used to be this band in Minneapolis that were not only favorites of the Twin Cities music scene in the 90s, but also still serve as a memory anchor to my early Twin Cities experience.

I first heard Babes in Toyland's "Sweet 69" on "120 Minutes" on MTV back when it used to show music videos. The song was so heavy and gritty and catchy that it still gets stuck in my head on even the worst of days. I first saw them live at Lollapalooza 1993 and was blown away. I would be blown away again once I moved to Minneapolis and started working at First Avenue.

Before the band called it quits and the women went their separate ways they still played a few shows after I had moved up there. What blew me away the second time was not their music, but their actions when they were off stage. Kat, Lori, and Maureen would come down to First Avenue or the 7th Street Entry to see a band they liked and/or to support other friends' bands, or in quite a few cases as it is in the Twin Cities: a friend's other band. They were never self-important and were always gracious customers, utterly respectful to employees and other club-goers alike. They tipped well and always said "Thank you." Their heads and attitudes were never big.

They weren't rock stars; they were Twin Citizens who just happened to have rocking as their career. They were one of the things that remind me of something that is pure Twin Cities.

Friday, November 2, 2012

WAMA: Defending George Lucas

WAMA: Who Asked Me Anyway?

Nobody, that's who. But after a couple of comments I've recently made on friends' Facebook status threads, I thought this could spark a good little thing to add to my blogging efforts, especially when I am admittedly a bit proud of what I wrote. And so when such a situation arises, I shall cut and paste the text I typed and include it in these pages.

I just began two sentences with prepositions – is that driving you nuts?

The topic of this exhibit: George Lucas selling Lucasfilm to Disney for $4 billion. As another individual somewhere on the internet (maybe a friend of a friend – I don't remember) put it, this is not Michael Eisner's Disney. This is a Disney that owns Pixar, but not its heart and soul. This is a Disney that bought Marvel, but under which Marvel's cinematic offerings have been consistently excellent.

Someone commented on a friend's status post about George Lucas "selling out" to Disney, and that started my fingers rolling:

"I don't think "sold out" is correctly applied here. He had already been turning over Lucasfilm to Kathleen Kennedy after _Redtails_ came out, Disney World has been doing Star Wars Days for a few years, not to mention the man had the foresight to retain licensing right to the intellectual property since toy deals from the first movie.

In recent interviews he has repeatedly said that he wouldn't be making any more Star Wars movies, due in part to fans giving him such grief over the results of his recent work. Furthermore, it's perfectly in line with his intent to back out of the major studio/blockbuster system and produce work closer to his personal sensibilities.

To sum up: the man was done and to hold on to the whole kit and kaboodle would make him unhappy. Or he could hand it off at a time when he was more than financially secure and thereby secure even more money to finance his future endeavors while most likely striking a deal that would let Lucasfilm hold a good deal of control much in the way Pixar did and Marvel so far seems to have done. So if he's in a position to pursue his dream on his terms with security and fewer strings attached, how exactly is that selling out? Or are we going along with the idea that success must be coupled with misery and dead weight?"

If George Fricking Lucas gets treated as cavalierly and dismissively as Spike Fricking Lee – another man thankfully able to make movies on his own terms – by Hollywood movers and shakers because he wants to make a movie about Black People, starring Black People, without some Great White Hope/Help magnanimously Making It Possible for Justice to be Done, then you know the system is as screwy as a lot of people say it is. Add that to decades of dealing with the grousing of grown men and women who just can't get the hell over Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks like adults, and I don't blame the man for taking his toys and his money and handing the car keys to someone else.

But who asked me anyway?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

On A T-Shirt

• zeal spirit
• motorcycle brothers
• The Mad Function/ everything whatevs thing
• last night we slept in the open air
• charmy natural party
• Everything you say goes around in circles
• chick you
• the mingle deeply

Meet the Roomies!

Here's my video introducing the current group of roommates. Fortunately they earn their keep.

I'm thinking I should clean their spaces every once in a while, just because they leave their trash hanging around.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Great Grocery Hunter

I took a trip to the grocery store yesterday, picked up some discount deli items, and decided I would take the opportunity to shoot a bit of footage describing this phenomenon. Some have heard me talk about it, but now at last I have video proof complete with unscripted rambling.

I don't always pick up something from the deli, as I make a grocery trip two or three times a week; sometimes I just like to treat myself. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

On A T-Shirt

• Deliciously sedated in luxurious [okay, so it was on a hat]
• stoked avocation hum playout livelihood
• cutie love
• smiley girl
• Pop art is for everyone [Andy Warhol banana picture]
• to the there ahead
• beauty lover girl
• special lucky
• Hello, my name is alpaca [picture of an alpaca]
• An . . . exhausted, this is serious
• mischievous blue rabbit skunk
• This is my wave baby, don't cut me

Monday, October 8, 2012

Container Tour

Ladies and gentlemen,

After many references, stills, and teases, I finally give you a video of my container room:

I like it. It's about 90% finished at the moment, maybe 85% at the very least. It is my pad, my base of operations, my sanctum sanctorum and it's larger than anything I ever had on Ringling Brothers. Not to say that I don't miss train life, but I definitely like having the extra room.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sapporo Rundown

2 show days: 30 =   60 shows
3 show days: 26 =   78 shows
4 show days:   5 =   20 shows
Total days:     61
Total shows:          158 shows

Friday, September 28, 2012

On A T-Shirt

• An enjoy no thinking valuable for yours
• goosy
• The Rocky Bloc Show [picture of Rocky Horror lips]
• space forming base
• grace of the sun and ocean
• brown honey
• admiration vast ground
• can't wait for next month's issue?
• we are so happy forever
• infinite space exploration
• New Standard Family
• jolie sucre fille

Saturday, September 15, 2012

On A T-Shirt

[Note: This is the "slowly catching up from moving cities and not having internet" post. One of them, at least. You should see how backlogged I am on pictures!]

• Believe a thing called love
• balmy days shuffle tape
• Soul Sister, Brown Sugar
• Faker is same as you
• Make my happy
• Light after madness
• No more fish in the sea?
• I'm fun
• Enjoy yourself – it's later than you think.
• Sausage union – rebel forces gain the fame
• It always shines full stars
• Positive idea and wish fulfilled
• I will never be like your kind of the girls – The Villey of the Dolls
• Clover: four leaves of happiness
• Don't think. Feel!!
• I think I am cheated
• Big fun on a bicycle
• In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Baby's First Onsen

Yesterday I completed a walk across a few peaks of the Daisetsuzan National Park's mountain ranges, including and finishing with Asahidake, the largest peak in Hokkaido.

The hostel on the Asahdake side had a hot spring on-site, which meant that I would have my very first onsen experience. Since I am obviously not a "water baby" as was pointed out by my travel companion and clown partner (I think I hold more Earthbender potential), my appreciation of the hot spring was in doubt. It needn't have been.

For Japanese onsen, one of the main things is that one washes before entering the hot spring, which makes a load of sense; you don't want other people's dirt and crud floating around in a pool of hot water making some Jonathan Swift's Nightmare soup. I felt that it made the aftermath feel even more relaxing and therapeutic: you're already clean, you soaked in a hot pool, and now your pores are open, sweating a cleansing sweat.

I had the marvelous experience of being the only one in the men's onsen at the time. This particular onsen was open-air, so as I looked up, I could see more stars than I am usually able to see at night; I saw an amount of stars closer to the amount I am comfortable seeing.

And I sang. I sang "Transatlanticism." I sang "The Scientist." I sang "The Beautiful Ones."

I sat on my heels, body weight not being an issue with my knees in a hot spring pool. I breathed and meditated before I sang and between songs. I massaged my calves and feet. I spent a half hour in the hot spring and then I left to dry off and head back to my room to prepare for an early turn-in at 10pm.

Onsen? I like.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

On A T-Shirt

• Sorry I am doing fine
• Life in the slow lane
• Salt Lake City – Messenger from Lover
• Carefully about teamwork goes to a high place
• Expose chicanery
• New Jersey out of the world
• I cannot afford to waste my time making money
• All we need is you
• WHAT ENERGY! I depart with my full bag of time all the things time has taught me
• Strange and unprepared
• Have a game of play

Thursday, August 30, 2012

On A T-Shirt

• World's Heavyweight Fighter
• Love tights
• #3: Never Trust Nobody
• People 68 hundred million
• Bitter adventure life
• embarrassed
• Peace love heart
• It's harder in Detroit
• Surf before I go to town
• shutter choice [with a picture of a camera]
• believe possibility have hope
• sun lucky
• Just like [Mtv Logo]
• No goodness talk of anything
• you have eyes to find out
• assimilate knowledge
• My sneaker mo' flyer than yous
• Decisive actions most excite

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Circus Room: Sneak Preview

While I'm procrastinating taping a video blog entry, here is a still of one view of my room. It is one half of a converted shipping container and I love it!

It is still a work in progress, but it is progressing.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Music to Befuddle By

The interesting Japan thing that I experienced the other day was not the Japanese guy whose hair looked very similar to the flight control chief from the Curiosity mission. Oh no. It was music.

There has seemed to me to be this thing that Japanese stores have for their version of Muzak to consist a lot of American standards. These standards are usually interpreted in a lighter way, sometimes bordering on jazz, at other times firmly planted in adult contemporary. Still other times, it is just completely weird.

While grocery shopping, with a package of the day's fresh salmon and my favorite two-liter carton of plum wine in my hand basket, I recognized the tune playing. I was simultaneously horribly confused and rabidly curious. Surely this could not be the tune I thought it was. My feet slowed down as my ears and brain scrambled over each other, vying to be the first to name that tune.

It was "Take On Me" by A-Ha, performed by a Japanese ensemble that sounded like a group that kind of wanted to be like The Bird and The Bee or First Aid Kit and couldn't decide. But that didn't stop them from recording that song – no sir!

I can't say that my life is any richer or worse for having heard it. It definitely is a little weirder.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

On A T-Shirt

• The story of my life: no music, no challenge
• When I die, I'm going to heaven because I've served my time on the road.
• A bargain is a bargain
• belief earnest heart
• What should I pray for?
• The keeper of the lighthouse
• big smile for everyone
• glitter lover tender heart

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Personal Japan

I've been back in Japan almost two months now and there have been two things that have stood out to me that are rather personal people-watching experiences: doppelgangers and foreigners.

1) Doppelgangers

The last time I was in Japan I saw a Japanese double of a former girlfriend of mine. A week ago I saw the Japanese double of a former tour mate. The strangest one is my mother. I have noticed that there is no shortage of short, moonfaced old ladies in glasses who in more than a few ways visually remind me of my mother. I'm not certain if I only notice it more since she died or if that was always the case. Whatever it is, I notice that a lot now. It's interesting and even heartwarming more than it is disturbing or depressing.

2) Foreigners

Encountering foreigners on the streets has been an interesting study. Most of the time, I've noticed that foreign residents tend to A) act like you're not there, or B) have a subtle air of dismissive territoriality. No hint of acknowledgement, no smile, no reaction at all. You would think there'd be some bit of recognition for another obvious outsider or some brief, friendly human interactive flash, but no. The only exception was a chipper guy in the immigration office and black people.

Black people in predominately non-black foreign countries seem to tend to acknowledge each other. We're happy to see each other, maybe to encourage each other in this current phase of yet again being The Only One and S/He Who Cannot Blend In. Our eyes glimmer, our heads nod, and sometimes there's even a broad smile and brief conversation that would be mere disposable small talk in any other arena. It is a communion, a Celebration of Otherness, a five-second Juneteenth celebration on alien soil. Otherwise with other foreigners, it's usually a pageant of smug, a monologue of indifference – cold faces and dead eyes.

I don't consider myself a people-watcher in the way that some people consider themselves to be one, but this life/work situation affords me a great opportunity to practice looking outside of myself as well as inside.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

On A T-Shirt

I've been quite remiss in posting since I returned to Japan to work. As usual, I take notes on English that I see on t-shirts and then share them. Enjoy the fruits of my labor!

• Iowa City Spirits Freedom
• Brighten the Light Sunbeam
• never stop drinking
• noon daylight railway
• Cheyenne, Wyoming: the equality state
• cymbal monkey
• get the champ
• pleasure: the important is feeling no complaints
• too much too soon
• highly salted [this was a shirt about surfing]
• the sweet party tonight
• Do you read me?
• cuteness beyond cuteness
• Chicago Beefs "One for da money!" [Chicago Bulls logo with dollar signs for eyes]
• Boss the kid, Franky Bad Boy
• Gorgeous in happiness
• The taste that has him enraptured [picture of a cow showing the various cuts of meat]
• hindsight is better than foresight
• raise one's face
• the brave forward traveling
• King of Heraldry: mankind live up you free again
• I like you for a long time very much
• Never give up creation U C [crossed out] me
• Three Deee
• Important Ideal Kiss Treasure
• notable jabberwocky
• NO WAR . . . but
• Vice Fairy
• Let's look at the sky
• Go on swimmingly
• Jazz is the soul of language

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dorkruary: Dwayne McDuffie 1962-2011

When I wrote my Dorkruary post about Dwayne McDuffie, I had no idea that he had died February 2011. In retrospect, the timing of my post was interesting.

He brought a lot of talented people into the comics and cartoon business. Another creative force gone, but not without having had some impact first.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dorkruary: Inner and Outer Space

Life can sometimes get in the way of – well, life. I worked more hours and was saddled with more responsibility than I bargained for at a job that I have since quit; I finished one show and have been in rehearsals for another; I received and signed a contract to return to Japan in June.

While I'm getting some things out of the way and re-establishing focus, here are two more Dorkruary posts to peruse. The first is a brief testimony to the influence of science fiction on popular culture and personal inspiration. The second is a testimony to innovation. Uhura's influence and the next Dr. Charles Drew. Enjoy!

(Links are courtesy of Cool Chicks From History and The Milwaukee Courier.)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dorkruary: Amendment

I'm going to adjust the terms of my project. I cannot commit to writing daily posts.

I left freelance writing because it had become a rat race. I love writing, but I gain more pleasure right now out of writing when I feel. Deadlines are not solid or significant. I hope someday to re-establish writing as a means to supplement or generate income and on as many of my own terms as possible, but that moment is not now.

One of my greatest frustrations is that I cannot do everything that I set my mind to. The limitation is not ability, but time. I refuse to believe that I must give up my passions to survive in this world, this culture and I shall continue to work from the basis of that belief.

It's all a balancing act, and I suppose that subjecting myself to such situations is my own personal form of defiance against a thing or two as well as wages of my life choice. I'm even having difficulty balancing improv, acting, and clowning prospects; all are things I like to do, all are things at which I wish to excel, all are things in which I feel I don't yet excel enough. I get frustrated with having an embarrassment of riches and having to choose one pursuit over another, but it's preferable to the alternative.

I will always be "black and nerdy" and I believe that I can still write well and eventually for pay once more (and for more than I did the first go). I just have to be okay with letting my writing ambitions take a back seat for the time being and push back the push back to freelancing and beyond.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dorkruary: The Souls of Nerd Folk

There are few realms in which black people are lonelier than that of nerdity (curling and cricket still beat it out). Playing "Only Black Guy In The Room" tends to make for an easy game, and in the moments when black geeks encounter each other there is much joy, relief, and fellowship.

Being a black nerd/geek/dork is one of the many fields in the battle to broaden a limited, stifling, short-sighted idea of what Being Black means. A November 2011 article on features a few individuals who relate experiences of being "not like other black people".

You can read it here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dorkruary: A Jester's Job

"A man may say full sooth in game and play." –Geoffrey Chaucer
"Jesters do oft prove prophets." – William Shakespeare
"Many a truth is told in jest." – common paraphrasing

Clowns, jokers, and jesters have, in part, always had the duty of and freedom to be poking fun at authority figures. As eras progressed to modern times, that realm grew to include celebrities (and our cultural fascination with them), government, media, and other institutions. Humor can be used to put one in one's place, to provoke thought, or simply to entertain and distract from the low moments of the human condition.

It is in that spirit that I present a pointed, socially relevant, metaphoric way to say "I couldn't care less." (or as some people incorrectly say: "I could care less." I doubt one is actually, intentionally saying that they could care less).

"I care about as much as the news cares about a black kidnap victim."

Be offended if you like, but it's true. Hopefully, thought provoked.

Dorkruary: All Philled Up

You've seen him on MadTV, in Pulp Fiction, Step-Brothers, and other movies and tv shows, but you've heard him a whole lot more. Phil LaMarr is everywhere and is one of the workingest voice actors in animation today. Hermes, Kit Fisto, Samurai Jack, Wilt from "Foster's Home . . . ."

"Workingest" shall be regarded as a valid word in this and in future cases. Once you're done with his webpage courtesy of the link above, check out his imdb page. Then you'll understand.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dorkruary: No Black Folks in Iowa

Even now, it's common to hear black people from other, "blacker" environs glibly proclaim that they had no idea that there were even black people in Iowa.

It's important to remember – and irresponsible and ignorant to presume otherwise – that many escaped slaves and freedmen didn't stay close to home as they escaped slavery. The northeastern states were not the only place in the country to go, and Chicago was never the only city in the Midwest worth being, contrary to popular belief. The United States of America has always offered huge expanses of open space as a resource to the adventurous and enterprising.

Today, Iowa lies at the crossroads of two major interstates: I-35 and I-80; it has always been on the way from somewhere to somewhere else. Before it was flyover country, it was "drive through" country and any place with valued resources – rich, arable land with ample rainfall; plenty of open, unclaimed space; shale and coal deposits – would be popular to settlers of any color or creed. Add to that the fact that Iowa shares a border with Missouri – one of the slavery border states – and you have territory that is accessible to and attractive to plenty of escaped slaves and freedmen, not to mention abolitionist John Brown.

The Root features an article mentioning 15 all-black or predominately black settlements in the United States, including Buxton, IA (number 8) and Muchakinock, IA (number 9). More information can be found here, courtesy of the African American Museum of Iowa.

"There aren't any black people in Iowa!"

And you're an idiot.

Dorkruary: More Than Tokens

In the middle of a brief comic–buying and –reading period (before my meager college budget was overtaxed by the swarm of books that grabbed my attention), an interesting thing happened. DC Comics unveiled a Vertigo-like sub-body whose goal it was to produce stories featuring more multicultural characters and through them, more diverse stories or takes on familiar tropes.

 Dwayne McDuffie and his crew of dedicated writers, editors, artists, and support staff drove Milestone Comics beyond any simplistic idea of being a parade of superpowered tokens. Their efforts brought to life many characters of all ethnicities and took them beyond being "Black Wonder", "Megachief", or "Asian Batman". Their spring 1993 launch consisted of four titles: Hardware, Icon, Blood Syndicate, and Static and soon expanded to include other titles. Later, Static enjoyed a slightly longer life as the cartoon "Static Shock".

Though Milestone comics is gone, McDuffie is still heavily involved in writing and animation projects. Milestone's existence brought some new talent into the pool and very likely inspired more talent that has yet to be discovered.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Dorkruary: Living Colour

When you're a black kid growing up and going to school in a predominately white suburb of a predominately white city in a predominately white state ("There aren't any black people in Iowa!") identity is something not to be taken for granted.

Maybe your parents taught you not to speak so much slang. They brought you up speaking operative English and other black kids will say you "talk white" and well-meaning white people will say you "speak so well".

Chances are that other black kids will be used to more black people being around and will stick together. Chances are that they won't listen to much that's not rap, R&B, blues, or soul. Chances are that the only black rocker you knew of was Jimi Hendrix and you didn't hear a whole lot of him. Prince was Prince and somehow he didn't count as rock so much and he got a pass from black people for playing guitar without being in a blues band.

One day you see a video for a song called "Middle Man" and for some reason it doesn't click just then. Months later you see a video for a song called "Cult of Personality" and it blows your shit open.

That's when you learn – or maybe relearn – that black




Your older sister buys you Vivid on cassette for your birthday (along with Public Enemy's It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back). That thoughtful, calculated act further encourages you, telling you that it's okay.

It's okay to have brown or near-black skin and to like guitars

and to listen to rock.

And you are taught once again that music is given significance by only two things: who's playing and who's listening; you're reminded that skin color doesn't mean shit if you can play your ass off and people enjoy it.

And you learn that the other black kids who measure blackness by a scale, litmus test, or checklist are just a new form of slave and you're just a little more free than you were before.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Another spur-of-the-moment idea that will double as a writing challenge to me.

Yes, so it's Black History Month, or as I view it: the one month where more people focus increased attention to something my parents already made into a habit for me and my siblings. As such, I just tend to call it "February".

Each day – beginning today – I will write a blog post about someone black, with the only caveat being that they are somehow tied to media and/or dorketry. The three of you readers out there will probably note that for me, this could include anything, but most likely entertainment or science. It will likely serve most as another peek into what things rattle around in my head when I'm busy procrastinating or doing the time-tested gifted kid activity of paying more attention to things that interest me rather than what is most pertinent.

So prepare yourselves. For these next 29 days, my dorketry shall be a little more tan.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

One Thing That Keeps Me Going

I was sifting through pictures on my Flickr page and I found the following caption on one of my photos:

"When my ego and concerns are quieted or out of the way, a lot of what I do boils down to a couple of simple reasons:

• I don't know what else I'd do
• I feel a responsibility

The first reason is easy. The second is kind of typically me, I suppose. Because I have the talents and proclivities I have, and I am the only person in family that does (or to the degree that I have them) or has; because I know that there are people out there who would if they could; and because I'd like to be there for those who will in the future, I feel it's my responsibility to take care of my body and make sure it can do the things I strive to do to the best of my ability. I feel it's my responsibility to expand the scope of that which I am able to do. I feel that if I do not do these things about which I am passionate that all that I have will be a waste and a gob in the face of the forces and situations that congealed to bring Gregory Parks into a place and state in which he could make decisions and make these things happen.

I am not a trailblazer, but I am one of those possibilities for which trailblazers struggled. To honor that is my greatest responsibility."