“I’m not being paid to be here”



Not many people would blame Karen Holliman if she stayed home in Durham and enjoyed an unseasonably beautiful Saturday. She didn’t.

“I’m here with stage-four cancer, and it’s in every vertebrae in my back. I just really wanted to be apart of this,” Holliman says, as singing and chanting echoes off of the buildings in downtown Raleigh. “Every day is crazy…. I just really worry about the future of our children, our environment, our schools. All of it.”

Holliman, along with her friend and neighbor Heidi Hannapel, joined an estimated 80,000 others and nearly 200 groups at the 11th annual Forward Together Moral March, led by North Carolina NAACP president Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II. And despite the political circumstances that surrounded the march—chiefly, the new Trump administration and a state legislature that still has two veto-proof Republican majorities—Barber is optimistic about the future. “I think we’re seeing the adolescent growing pains of a third Reconstruction,” he says.

I wrote about the eleventh annual Moral March, the largest yet according to the NAACP, at the Nation. The march itself was incredibly hopeful, I’m a huge fan of the Nation, and I’m happy with how the piece turned out. I have a couple of cool opportunities in the hopper, too.

Considering how down in the dumps I was just a month ago, things ain’t half bad.


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