I am so thankful to the wonderful Quail Bell Magazine for publishing this essay on the recent “Gypsy child-stealing” hysteria. My grandmother is a “blond angel” too, and the rhetoric surrounding her experiences in WWII and Maria’s in Greece rang eerily similar. I’m grateful for a place to tell her story and to take a close look at the politics and complication of Romani identity. In the essay, I link to a lot of excellent Romani writers like Hancock, Marafioti, Pipopotamus, and others, as well as non-Roma writers, who have a lot of intelligent things to say about the politics and complexity of the Maria case and the Romani human rights crisis– if you want to read the essay, I encourage you to read their perspectives too.
And a big thank you to my fantastic students who consistently have thoughtful, intelligent,and perceptive things to say about the human rights crisis, Romani representation, as well as Romani poetry and fiction. Their willingness to think critically about complicated issues reminds me that their generation has enormous potential for world-wide change for the better. I learn from them each class, too.