A voice that carries

How many blogs are there in the world? Seventy million? 112 million? Even my six-year-old kids have a blog. Let’s just say there are a lot.

It’s a rare blog that can make itself heard against that much background noise. Hyde Park Progress is one. The Empowerment Experiment, written by Maggie Anderson, JD’98, MBA’01, is another. It’s inspiring, crushing, optimistic, pessimistic, angry, funny, dark, and personal, sometimes all in one 400-word entry.

For my University of Chicago Magazine story about the Empowerment Experiment, due out in mid-March, I had room to quote only a line or two. Here are a few more snippets from my favorite entries:

April 7, 2009
"To be or not to be"

Topic: Reggio’s Pizza, a black-owned business

So why is it that I can only find his pizza in the Black Walgreens? Are Black people the only people who like pizza?...

I want to boast, as I chomp on this unbelievably scrumptious pizza, made with that awesome, one-of-a-kind butter crust..., “John Clark is an extraordinary man, with an extraordinary plan, who has the work ethic and quality product required to guarantee success!” Y’all know I want to shout that from the mountain top!


Wait a minute. I just have to finish this slice. Damn, it’s good!

March 29, 2009
"EE does not stand for Embarrassing Entertainment"

Topic: National news programs interview the Andersons

Yeah, they tried to make us out to be some militant, fringe, new-millennium racists on a mission to do something that’s not gonna make a difference anywhere. ... the STORY was ‘Meet the crazy lady driving 18 miles to buy eggs...’

So guess what happened.... We stuck to our positive message. We were not buffoons. We did not embarrass our families or our cause.

So will you still listen? Will they continue to cover EE? As Russell Crowe said in Gladiator, “Are you not entertained?!”...

I'm out.

February 7, 2009
"Windows and corridors"

Topic: Black-owned dollar store that hung photos of the Andersons in the windows

...the tears welled because I saw that Michelle and David, the owners of God First, God Last, God Always Dollar and Up General Store had posted pictures of my family on the windows and doors of their business. They had also printed copies of our Web site to distribute as flyers they were placing in every bag. I did not ask them to do that.

When was the last time you cried after shopping at Family Dollar or Kmart? When was the last time the owners of those stores took the time to get to know your family and talk to you about the issues that matter to you and your community?...

This is just such a thrill, such a revolutionary period in my life. ... It's tough to contain the joy and stay coherent!

Carrie Golus, AB'91, AM'93

February 25, 2010