Among equals

I forced myself to finish Keith A. Owens’ "The truth shall make us ill" (MT, Aug 9-15). It was not easy reading, but it was necessary.

When I saw Todd Kindred’s letter responding to the article ("One of those things," MT, Aug 23-29), I was floored. Kindred seems unaware that such events are still taking place. Worse, he seems to feel it necessary to put Owens down in order to fortify his own denial.

Contrary to Kindred’s belief, what I like best about Owens’ work is precisely that he does not participate in race baiting. In his "Whitey in the bar" column in the same issue as Kindred’s letter, Owens impresses me as being able to discuss the most difficult issues with an even hand.

We don’t need less of such writing; we need more of it. Seldom do we humans let our guards down long enough to let others — or even ourselves — see our underlying feelings. I thank Owens for showing us the "family portraits."

If I could choose a single word to express my thoughts of Owens’ writing, it would be "equal." He writes as an equal; in doing so, he treats us as equals. —John Kavanaugh, Detroit


Last week’s story about jazz singer Shahida Nurullah ("Shahida’s second set," MT, Aug. 30-Sept. 5) failed to mention that an open letter of thanks from Nurullah to her many friends and supporters can be read at

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