Author Archives: Doug Cumming

About Doug Cumming

journalism professor at W&L

Privilege. . .or blessings?

White privilege. White fragility. White rage. White guilt. White supremacy. All of these contain a truth too deep for understanding outside a state of grace. When I read these words from “experts” who use their scientific or academic authority to … Continue reading

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Of pacifism and protest marches

News video of protest marches had turned into scenes of burning and late-night mayhem. We avoid most of that and watch movies. The other night, it was Ben-Hur, the 2016 version that takes liberties with the 1959 Charlton Heston version … Continue reading

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Journalism’s values nested deep in a liberal arts culture

[I wrote this in October, 2019, as I began my three-year phased retirement. It might be useful for anyone interested in the position I now leave open for a new hire.] In 2003, I couldn’t believe my good fortune in … Continue reading

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Boxing up antebellum ancestors

We hear every day that Americans must confront “400 years of racism.” But what does that mean? How do we find the access points to this story in its nearly countless and changing contexts? History is not a scoresheet; it … Continue reading

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Accountability, 50 years after Kerner

While the world has change in a lot of ways since the turn of the 21st century, the two big changes of this spring crystalized things with particular force. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed social inequity and the video of … Continue reading

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Saint Walker Percy, M.D.

I won’t ask what books you’d recommend for reading now, in this pandemic lockdown. The director of Washington & Lee’s alumni education office did that, thinking of all those alums sheltering in place. He asked the faculty what book would … Continue reading

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Nuclear family breakdown

Our streets are quiet, houses hiding their sequestered stories. Single joggers, without running mates, claim the middle of the road. There are no real church services or huddlings at the local brew-pub. My classrooms are locked and dark, a packet … Continue reading

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Plague Notes

There’s a new kind of balance now between the local and the not-local. Global news is of dread interest to all, reliable and scary – “cases near 2 million” – but we are just as interested in what’s happening on … Continue reading

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On Atlanta’s northern border

[Published in website “Like the Dew,” October 6, 2019.] Fifty years after my graduation from North Fulton High School, the pages of my 1969 “Hi-Ways” yearbook fill gaps in my mind better than any real memories. I look at my … Continue reading

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The Arrival of Father Tuck

[This is a slightly edited draft of a profile I wrote for our local weekly, The News-Gazette, twice as long as the one I ended up sending to be published on Dec. 4, 2019.] The Rev. Ellis Tucker “Tuck” Bowerfind, … Continue reading

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