“The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, by Heather McGhee, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

I initially came across this book after listening to several interviews with the author and realized that her focus on how racism affects all Americans was consistent with what we’ve learned about the consequences of the COVID pandemic, where the majority of developing countries are unable to access the vaccine, despite none of us being safe until everyone is vaccinated.  And the consequences of ignoring the plight of so many Central Americans forced to flee their homes to head north in search of safety and a decent quality of life. The author embarks on a deeply personal journey across the […]

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Million Mile Walker Dispatch, Spring Edition, Reckoning with Mass Incarceration, April, 2021

   Reckoning with Mass Incarceration Friends and Colleagues from Around the World, Spring has sprung and the desert is blooming in the Valley of the Sun! And with it – allergies, but it is a fair trade off. Now that the Minneapolis police officer has been charged with killing George Floyd in a historic case, it’s an appropriate time to analyze the impact our justice system has on the rest of society as part of Culture Watch. My Writing & Book Reviews will include several books and a movie.  We’ll look to Voices of the Day, for inspiration as well as What Others Are Saying. Culture […]

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Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the After life of Mass Incarceration by Reuben Jonathan Miller, Reviewed by Mark D. Walker

  One of the stories often hidden from public view with tremendous consequences is the astonishing size of our country’s incarcerated population at 2.3 million while another 20 million live with a felony record. That does not include the 555,000 locked up in the U.S. who have not been convicted of a crime. I heard an interview of the author and decided this book would be a good place to dig into this grave reality. Reuben Miller knows the issues from first-hand experience. He was a chaplain at the Cook County Jail in Chicago and is now a sociologist studying […]

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The Best of Million Mile Walker: Reflections on 2020! December

Dear Friends and Colleagues from Around the World, 2020 has been a challenging year in so many ways. For the first time in 47 years, our family did not celebrate Thanksgiving together, nor did our children and grandchildren celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas at my oldest daughter’s place.  We had to settle on a series of Zoom calls emptying Christmas stockings on Christmas Eve and singing carols on another video call on Christmas. Here are some of the highlights of Million Mile Walker for the year. Culture Watch At over 335,000 deaths, the U.S. has the worst record, with 25% […]

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The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

  As part of my ongoing education on “Black Lives Matter,” revisiting the tenth-anniversary edition of this iconic best seller, which the Chronicle of Higher Education deemed “one of the most influential books of the past 20 years” seemed timely. I recently learned that Blacks comprise 47% of people in prison in Florida, and yet make up only 17% of the population, and also that Florida was one of four remaining states where felons are banned for life from voting. That changed when 65% of the population voted to restore ballot access to people with prior felony convictions, so what […]

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