Keynote Address at Berkshire Community College

18 January 2021

Thank you for the introduction and thank you all for committing yourselves to a day of service in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I am honored to be part of this day at BCC. When I was invited to speak I thought about this past year. The time since the last day of service through to today. We have experienced a very different world. We have been witnesses to or experienced oppression, hate, violence, and hope, strength, and progress towards racial and social justice. Though let’s not pretend that…


A speech given at an anti-racist rally hosted and organized by local youth

Mos Def, an artist, says in a song “tomorrow may never come, for you and me life is unpromised”. This is a statement that resonated with me for the lack of a life promised for people of color.

There is an acknowledgment to accept hopelessness as part of our daily lives. It may be the loss of life, loss of opportunity, loss of dignity, or type of losses. We, people of color, know this experience is not the same experience of white people. And I acknowledge privilege and oppression act in a variety of ways through different racial communities. …


Images carry more meaning than words. They allow for interpretation that can challenge or reinforce norms of a society and culture. Images also depict and create stories for us to consume. Images can be physical prints, pictures in devices and social media, or manifestations of our imaginations. It does not take much to realize the etymological connection between image and imagination.

A story that captured the imagination of our nation was when Carol Stuart was pregnant and shot in the head. She was traveling through the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston with her husband, Charles, who was also shot. Charles…


Binaries, as options or choices, dictate our lives: zeros and ones, good and bad, healthy and ill, and truths and lies. Binaries are easy models that attract us to them in order to simplify our lives, like roads that fork where you can go left or right. But if we ask ‘where do you want to go?’ there will be more than two choices that can be made and binary reasoning fails. We can make the model a little more complex by adding a third choice. But with each additional variable, the story becomes harder to tell. My father left…


Photo by Markus Spiske

George Floyd died in Minneapolis Minnesota with the knee of a police officer at the back of his neck. “I can’t breathe…I can’t breathe…”. Floyd’s plead became the mantra of several mass protests against police violence and the lynching of People of Color, especially of Black men and women. The words uttered by Floyd moments prior to his death are linked through time and space to Eric Garner. “I can’t breathe” was heard almost 6 years earlier in Staten Island, New York as a police officer held Gardner in a choke hold. These deaths and others are, in turn, connected…

Christopher M. Himes, Ph.D.

Teacher, social thinker, and maker

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