Half of What You See

By Joyce Green  

As I look out over Charleston, South Carolina I see a magical place girdled by water. I see sunsets in the seductive sky that carry me too deep into thoughts of yesterday.

I see tourists roaming around in the bliss of preserved aesthetics, riding horse drawn carriages, listening to stories that may or may not pass a fact check.

Charleston has more to offer than what immediately meets the eye. Take a look at the issues within the school system and the school board. It’s the same fight year after year, wearing a new hat.

 Yet, it’s the children who suffer most in schools that tourists likely never see.

The new African American Museum on the horizon represents potential for change. A beautifully drawn rendering offering lovely visions of suppressed history primarily for the consumption of tourists.

Building the museum is an economic decision. I’m persuaded that the beautiful building has absolutely nothing to do with the systemic hurdles put in place, just because our ancestors were kidnapped and enslaved. Yet, I look forward to when the building is completed and I can walk the floors knowing that we have an inexplicable strength of perseverance often blinded by the light.

While I’m looking, I see a mayor and his wife so approachable they hardly ever miss a photo op a black person. That’s not too insensitive a narrative either, considering many politicians cannot or will not mask their discomfort when walking with us up close. I see at least one judge who sits high on his bench, his disdain for African Americans oozing out of every pore.

This unjust judge, with roots planted so deeply in diabolical omnipotence he’s blind to the sunrise of change and the sound of nature crying,”enough”, is totally oblivious to his looming fall.


  Somehow, these eyes of mine still see politics. I suspect this is a good time to lean on scripture, “man looks on the outside, God looks at the heart.” I see the Charleston Police Department wearing the garment of change. Young, wide eyed, optimistic new hires excited and filled with hope.

  What a marvelous thing. Diversity has a rich aroma. I also see some old hires went out the backdoor. It seems old guard toxicity was not worth the badge. Change is, more often than not, a slow dance without rhythm or melodic beat, yet inevitable. Didn’t they know?   


There is, or perhaps there should be, a place and time in our life when our eyes, wisdom and purpose for our journey meet.

When that time arrives, I do hope we can hear in the distance that old school song, “believe none of what you hear and half of what you see,” as we look closer and closer.


  1. Connie Murry Gaston on October 25, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Wow, what insight to pass, present and future of the State of America! I wish Americans would stand for the right things to do, like do unto others as you would have them do unto to you! If we could just respect that one commandment, it would be a better America for us all! Great article!

  2. Beverly David on October 27, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    Profound yet sad. Optimistic somehow. Keep hope alive and continue to write. I will continue to pray.

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