A few days ago I presented a webinar for Wyoming Writers, Inc. For those of you who weren't able to attend, below is the link to it. You might find interesting the part where Scooter Smith talks about his time in the military. When he discusses the flight that went down (not by enemy fire but because of mechanical failure) in which his roomie lost his life, he choked up even after all this time. Of necessity, Scooter's story gives space to interracial relations, since his roomie was a black man; plus, in Texas Scooter was the guitarist in an interracial band. Later, in his business, he worked with a black woman partner and artist.
Before it goes into Scooter's story, the session discusses a short work by a Wyoming poet that I deemed "risky writing" also. The event was initiated by Wyoming Writers, Inc., through Kathy Bjornstad but I selected the literature and invited the authors. Unfortunately, the poet was unable to join us.
My part of the video is distorted. I live in the country, where the reception is not what it should be but Scooter is superb. If I do this again, I'll arrange to use a room at the Wheatland library.
Here is the link and password for the webinar.
I should add that I selected Scooter's story for its interracial content. The past weeks once again raised awareness of the injustices our black and brown fellow Americans have endured and continue to endure. Although a few demonstrations ended in rioting and looting, instances of defusing tense situations abounded. In Wyoming, our Republican governor early on expressed his support for demonstrators’ First Amendment rights; consequently, protests and marches have been peaceful. In Sheridan, a black man on the steps of the county courthouse spoke through a megaphone to share what it’s like being black in Wyoming, and in Casper on June 5, as armed vigilantes watched from sidewalks, the vice president of Pikes Peak Southern Leadership Conference stepped up to an armed civilian and shook his hand, whereupon the man extended a bottle of water that was gratefully accepted. In Laramie, the state’s university town, the marches, begun on June 2nd, are still going on, with officials preparing a series of demands, vowing they will continue “until change enfolds.” The demonstrations continued on June 8 when icy rains pelted the marchers that later turned to snow. WYOFile has compiled an online array of inspiring photos of Wyoming towns in protest.
Elsewhere in some cases, marchers have taken a knee reminiscent of former NFL player Colin Kaepernick who, in 2016, began kneeling during pre-game national anthems to protest racial injustice and police violence against African Americans.
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