In the Shadow of the Confederate Flag

By Karen Petree

The Confederate Flag is an undeniable part of my heritage. It’s one of the six flags that have flown over my home state of Texas, where I sit to write this. It waves over theme parks I visited as a child, and the more well-known battle flag peppers old cemeteries where fallen soldiers rest. Under the shadow of this flag is a part of my heritage I once ignored or overlooked. Under the shadow of this flag I’ve locked my doors at red lights or moved to the other side of the street. Under the shadow of this flag, I’ve averted my eyes and feigned an uncomfortable obliviousness to racial euphemisms. Under the shadow of this flag, I’ve avoided close relationships with African-Americans, discomforted by the glare of privilege their observable experience mirrored back at my whiteness.

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What Alanis Morissette Taught Me about Life

By Karen Petree

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June 13 marks the twentieth anniversary of the release of Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill, and like many a thirtyish year-old woman, I know I wouldn’t have made it through without the rock star my mother used to say sounded like a yodeling hippie.   But Alanis taught us it was okay to be angry, information that got a lot of us through our teenage angst.

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