I grew up in the Dale-Selby neighborhood of Saint Paul. To be more
exact, we lived in the upstairs of a duplex just off the corner of Dayton
and St. Albans, one block from Dale and one block from Selby.
When I see sweet potatoes, I often think of Deborah Torraine. Deb
was a community organizer in the Twin Cities. She always referred
to herself as a cultural worker; she was a mentor to new and
emerging artists, and the Director of Community Engagement for
the Saint Paul Almanac.
Driving back from the reservation, I cross a small bridge into Saint Paul. I feel the troubled waters. I think of my grandfather’s people,the Dakota. I think of how they lived by the water, how they made fire by the water.
“As long as the children need me, I’ll be there; and unless we mess up their minds and visions of the future as adults, they are our hope for the future.”
—Mabel Cason, Saint Paul African American educator
“We are more casual about qualifying the people we allow to act as advocates in the courtroom than we are about licensing electricians.”
—Warren Burger, Supreme Court justice
“The principle that ownership is stewardship, that the man who possesses superfluous goods must regard himself as a trustee for the needy, is fundamental and all-pervasive in the teaching of Christianity.”
—Father John A. Ryan, University of St. Thomas teacher and writer