Not​ ​Your​ ​Typical​ ​Independence​ ​Day​ ​Playlist


Happy Independence Day! As you’re enjoying brats, hot dogs, beer, and fireworks, why not include a few songs in your playlist to inspire advocacy? Because of the strength of protests songs in America, this post cannot detail all songs that have changed America’s trajectory and have relevance in today’s political climate, so I have chosen to focus on a few of note.

Our Divided Country


Our Divided Country

         "If he is not with me but against me,
          if his presence and his breath are poison to me,
          then, if he comes near me
          down with him."          —D.H. Lawrence

Learning the Alphabet with PBS

Today’s piece is brought to you by the letters P, B, S, and viewers like you. I enjoyed growing up on the street (Sesame Street, that is!), hanging out in the [neighbor]hood with Mister Rogers, learning that “having fun isn’t hard if you’ve got a library card” with Arthur, and taking a look in a book with Reading Rainbow.

Allegiance: A One-Way Street

America has insurmountable blemishes, including Franklin Roosevelt’s decision to intern 120,000 Japanese Americans following the attack on Pearl Harbor. FDR and the nation fed into the fear that those who look like the enemy must be the enemy and, consequently, decided to lock up loyal Americans without reason other than a shared heritage.

Constructing Monsters

“Give it back! It’s mine!” screams the child, tears streaming down his face because his sister is playing with a ball he previously had. His response to the stolen item is visceral, emotional, quick. Maybe he pinches or rips the ball out of the other child’s hand. Jealousy? Or does he just not grasp the concept of sharing yet?

Let Me Strip It Down for You

I finally managed to have a discussion with my mother that I’d long been dreading. Somehow, I talked to her about getting on stage and taking my clothes off in front of a room full of strangers. The talk went much better than expected. By the end of it, she was even enthusiastic.

So what was this stripped down endeavor that I was so anxious for my mom to see? Darling, it’s burlesque!

Live Your Passion

Marcus Aurelius wrote, “Luck is the good fortune you determine for yourself.” I completely agree with that idea—I don’t believe in luck. Oh sure, I occasionally get the parking spot right outside the mall on a frigid day, or win an amazing raffle prize, but when things turn out really well for me, it’s almost always the result of hard work.

Everything's Coming Up Rosie

Geraldine Doyle, who died in 2011 at 86, believed she was the face of a movement, noting that her fame was very unexpected. In 1942, Doyle was working in a factory when a photographer snapped her photo. Unbeknownst to her, an artist, J. Howard Miller, used the photograph as the basis for the “We Can Do It!” poster. The artist added in the inspirational pumped arm and clenched fist.

Stewards of the Earth

We have but only one earth, one home.  When we die, the earth remains.  We are only visitors in a place.  We have been entrusted to keep this world by God until we leave.  Let us not fail Him.

And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:10b)

Hello World

Hello, World! Samantha Traci and I started Progress and Tea with one very simple mission: to share human stories during a time when adversity is high and empathy is low. The world is polarized, and unfortunately, many are terrified of what's to come.