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Chimps, so like us: 99 percent of their DNA type is the same as ours.

Sunday, July 20, 2003
Sorry I haven't written in so long. The week in Columbia just flew, and getting back into the grind is always so difficult. I went to the zoo today, and other than the heat, it was really nice. Kansas City really has a spectacular zoo. The grounds are superb. I can't say it was the best animals, but has decent elephants, lions, giraffes, all the African animals. Don't think it was koalas, though.
Ever notice how you always see interracial couples and biracial children at the zoo? What's up with that? Why don't I see more ICs at, say, the mall? I'm glad to see them, of course, but I just wonder what it is about the zoo that seems to be the attraction. I've noticed this at zoos in Detroit, San Diego and elsewhere, too.
Our zoo has a really decent chimp exhibit, and because it was so darn hot today, the chimps (all the animals, really) were down near the exhibit edge, so we really got a good look. But looking at the chimps, who are so much like us (we share the same 99 percent DNA type) it a little disconcerting. It's like looking at people caged or enslaved -- black people. This really does run through my mind when I'm at the zoo. How can we do this when they are so close to us genetically. They are our cousins, for gosh sakes.
Thursday, July 10, 2003
We took a break from story assignments and editing last night and most of the AHANA coaches went to see "Pirates of the Carribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl." VERY entertaining movie. And a pretty diverse supporting cast.
From a little black boy in the beginning of the movie hanging around the wharf, to a multicultural cast of pirate roughnecks, to a pretty and savvy black woman pirate (Zoe Saldana), the movie was inclusive. There was even some implication that pirate captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) had had a dalliance with Saldana's character.
I enjoyed it, and would give it two thumbs up! Some sexual innuendo, lots of violence. But also lots of humor.
Monday, July 7, 2003
I'm away on the University of Missouri campus being Managing Editor to 21 high school students in the AHANA Student Journalism project. It's a project close to my heart, and I've done it every year since 1999. The strange thing is that it always is held the weekend after the Fourth of July, and this year it actually began July 5. So close to the holiday, but not far enough to really do anything special, you know?
The students are doing a range of stories for our newspaper, The Urban Pioneer, but most of the stories are about diversity and inclusion issues. Last year, I posted a poem about interracial relationships written by one of the students, Kamara Jones.

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