All posts by Terry Howard

© Terry Howard is an award-winning writer and storyteller. He is also a contributing writer with the Chattanooga News Chronicle, The American Diversity Report, The Atlanta Business Journal, The Shenandoah Valley Hit, BlackMarket.com, The Echo World, the Appreciate You Magazine, The Valley Trail and co-founder of the “26 Tiny Paint Brushes” writers’ guild, and recipient of the 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Leadership Award.

“Let’s Go High” with Bayard Rustin – by Terry Howard

Growing up in Virginia, my momma used to say to me that I sometimes “run around like a chicken with its head off.” That’s as perfect a depiction of any of my chaotic life as the month of June slips away. Duly noted.

You see, amid traveling, speaking engagements, fawning over a newborn grandson, greeting guests in my wife’s restaurant (and sometimes, yes, getting on her last nerve) and yard work, I failed to write something pertaining to Gay Pride Month. I really wanted to but never got around to it.

So while being confronted with the dual realities of the month coming to an end and the unrelated surge in hate mongering spilling into violence against LGBTQQI people, I decided to “go high.”

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My letter to Payton the gunman – by Terry Howard

Dear Payton “Gunman” Gendron:

Okay, you don’t know me and until a week ago, I didn’t know you. 

But since you disrupted my life when you snuffed out the lives of 10 African American people in Buffalo, I decided to write you a letter.  I included pictures of your victims in my first draft but removed them because they were too painful to look at. Why the pictures? Well because I wanted you to see them in your worst nightmares during your years behind bars. 

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 Are Men Necessary?  – by Terry Howard

On my way out of a local fitness center, I happened across a used book dispenser and, like I always do, peered inside. The cover of one of those books, “Are Men Necessary?” by Maureen Dowd was indeed an attention getter if ever there was one. Although I was amused by it, some may find the book’s title off putting. Yes, I get that. 

Which brings us to the issue of men these days – more to the point, arguments for and against the “necessity” of men as Dowd put it. 

Let’s start by applying the (non-procreation) “necessity” test to a partial list of “men” as we think about the behaviors of some (note that I didn’t say “all”) men these days.

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Political Commentary #1: Vernon Jones – by Terry Howard

“Black Donald Trump!”
C’mon Vernon, really? 

Terry Howard
ADR Advisor Terry Howard

Vernon Jones and I are both African American. The only other thing we have in common that I’m aware of is that we are both graduates of HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) colleges 80 miles apart in North Carolina. But it is on those two facts that our similarities end. Period, I must add!

The truth is that I’ve observed Jones over the past few years more out of curiosity turned mild amusement, turned comedic relief, than anything else. As with many politicians, when it comes to party affiliation and loyalty it is often political opportunism more than anything that explains their behavior. “Political chameleons” is one way to define them. So, it comes as no surprise to me that Jones, once a democrat is now a republican. Blind ambition can do that to a person.

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African American History Month: what else don’t we know? – by Terry Howard

Terry Howard
ADR Advisor Terry Howard

This piece explores another African American bit of history. It is about John Lewis and James Zwerg.

Like many, I would love to have been a proverbial “fly on the wall,” listening intently to candid conversations between those two men. Of course, we –well, most of us anyway – know about the late congressman John Lewis. But James Zwerg?

Continue reading African American History Month: what else don’t we know? – by Terry Howard

Hey, I’m Alive! – by Terry Howard

Terry Howard
ADR Advisor Terry Howard

Believe me, it wasn’t easy but I took a deep breath and returned to an eerie intersection, the scene of a nearby church and scene of my auto accident four years ago.

Like back then, a motor cyclist pulled out in front of me, this time from a nearby gas station and thankfully with an entirely different result. He sped off and I, shaken by the coincidence, pulled into that church parking lot to catch my breath and reflect on what just happened, what could have happened and what happened back then.
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Alas, poor Mitch – by Terry Howard

Hold up! Did Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell say what I thought he said?” rhetorically asked columnist Jonathan Capehart.

Well, yes, Jonathan, your ears didn’t lie. You heard what you heard. And if you are any person of color, neither did it come as a surprise.
Now as much as I’d like to cut McConnell some slack because of his “caught with his pants down” moment, I couldn’t resist the opportunity. In case you missed it, here is what he said when asked about concerns about voter participation by African Americans:

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Voices of Asian American Women – by Terry Howard

Reports are that there are over 23 million Asian Americans living in the United States. Other reports are that over the past year, there are at least 4000 reports of various forms of harassment, including assaults, directed against Asian Americans in the United States. And tragically, during recent shootings in Georgia, eight lives were snuffed out, among them six Asian women. These are the facts.

So I begin this by introducing you to incredible Asian American women – Wei Wei Jeang and Lisa Ong – long-time friends of mine during the years I lived in Texas. Not only did I want to check in on the well-being of Wei Wei and Lisa, both outspoken and strong advocates of equality and fairness, I wanted to get their thoughts on what’s been happening to Asian Americans over recent years. I’ll begin with a little bit about their backgrounds.
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Bystanders and the Sergeant Schultz Syndrome – by Terry Howard

Why, in many instances of social unrest, do we look the other way; that we do nothing? But before we offer some possible answers, last week’s rampage in Washington gives us some context, a starting point.

Like millions, I watched in disbelief thousands of “protesters” (or whatever you choose to call them) converge on the Capital building. The images of them scaling walls, overwhelming police and breaking windows while lawmakers cowered in hiding or were rushed out for their safety will be etched into my memory forever.

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Becoming a better (No Bullies) nation – by Terry Howard

Organizations gripped in COVID-related fear, uncertainty and job insecurity these days are ones that are most vulnerable for empowering bullies who thrive and exploit those realities.

Keep that thought in mind as you read this recent email.
“Terry, those in our office love your articles and want to know if you have written – or could write – something on bullying; not the overt type, but the subtle kind we’re seeing that’s hard to put your finger on. Got anything?”

When I got that email, two things entered my mind. First, given the havoc COVID is wreaking today, why on earth should we worry about bullying of all things?

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