Author: Justin Fantroy

In This Sandwich, a Lesson.

Read Time: 3 min.

Children are to be seen, and not to be heard. It’s the phrase that defined the parenting philosophies of multiple generations of mothers and fathers. Simply put, children were expected to be as close to invisible as humanly possible. It didn’t mean that children were expected to simply be quiet; we were expected to be undemanding, passive, and malleable. We were the property of our parents, and in...Read More

Nobody “just likes stuff.”

Read Time: 3 min.

Consumerism: I’m the problem. When I told my wife that I was working on a piece about consumerism, I was met with laughter. Not a chuckle. Not a giggle. But the full-on rumbling roar that accompanies a genuine belly laugh. I wanted to feign pearl-clutching shock, but the only thing I could do is laugh right alongside her. See, I’ve known my wife since we were both barely teenagers and my unquencha...Read More

Thanks, Lexapro!

Read Time: 3 min.

If I had a list of all of the things my anxiety caused me to avoid over the course of my life, I’d be the owner of one incredibly long list. It’d probably be more of a scroll, really. I’m talking about enough paper to wallpaper a house, or wrap a million Christmas presents. Enough paper to craft a flock of paper mache birds large enough to block out the sun. Enough paper to make a fleet of paper a...Read More

Birth of an Activist

Read Time: 3 min.

I’m willing to bet that at least a few of you have yelled nasty words at me while wagging your clinched fists, and damning me to hell for making you late for work. No? Don’t remember me? I can’t say that I blame you. At the moment where we locked eyes, I was probably just another link in a human chain or another hastily drawn sign held high above a crowd of surly rabble-rousers. Yup, that’s me. I’...Read More

Spoiler Alert: Cancer Isn’t Just a Tragedy

Read Time: 3 min.

You know that special kind of radar that turns on when you buy a new car? That 6th sense that draws your attention to every other dandelion-yellow Kia Sorento on the road? Yeah, that. That thing that won’t let you ignore that fact that the vehicle you just purchased, whatever it is, is most certainly the most popular vehicle in the entire world. Cancer survivors develop a similar sense, only inste...Read More

Grown-Up Racism

Read Time: 3 min.

I’m sure that every black American can tell you about the first time they encountered real, grown-up racism. Grown-up racism is different than the run-of-the-mill n-word enthusiastically yelled from the window of a passing car, or being followed through a store by the occasional overzealous security guard determined to catch you in the act of theft. Grown-up racism is the kind of racism that you e...Read More

“Paging Dr. Noah”—My Cancer and My 3-Year-Old

Read Time: 3 min.

In November 2015, I was diagnosed with stage 4b non-Hodgkins lymphoma. If you’ve never been through something similar, I’ll let you in on a little secret: when you find out that you have cancer, you think you’re going to die the next day. In that moment, all I could think about was how much I didn’t want to leave my son alone. How much of this would he even be able to understand? He had turned thr...Read More

Here’s a Wall I’m Okay With

Read Time: 2 min.

Borrowed from Baptist theologian Roger Williams, the phrase “a hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world” has become a well-recognized description of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Officially adopted on December 15, 1791, the First Amendment prevents the government from passing any legislation that respects an e...Read More