Logo
    Search

    The Sunday Read: ‘The Kidnapped Child Who Became a Poet’

    enSeptember 24, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • The Power of Determination and Hard Work in the Face of Adversity: Shane McCrae's Journey to Becoming a PoetDespite a challenging childhood, poet Shane McCrae's dedication to reading and writing led him to become a prolific and accomplished artist. His story highlights the importance of hard work and determination in overcoming adversity and achieving greatness.

      Learning from Wyatt Mason's article about poet Shane McCrae is the power of determination and hard work in the face of adversity. Despite a harrowing childhood marked by kidnapping and racial identity confusion, McCrae's dedication to reading and writing led him to become a prolific and accomplished poet. Mason's reporting process for the article involved fact-checking and speaking with McCrae's parents to reconcile differing accounts of the past. The result is a complex and moving memoir that not only explores McCrae's biography but also showcases his unique artistic journey. Ultimately, McCrae's story underscores the idea that great art doesn't come easily, and that artists must be willing to work tirelessly to achieve their goals.

    • A Memoir of Childhood Abduction and ManipulationShane McCrae's memoir explores the profound impact of childhood abduction and manipulation on identity, using a nonlinear narrative style to reflect the uncertainty and fluidity of memory.

      Shane McCrae's memoir, "Pulling the Chariot of the Sun," is a poignant and complex exploration of a childhood marked by abduction and manipulation. McCrae, now a poet and professor, grew up believing his father had abandoned him before birth, unaware that he had been kidnapped by his white grandmother at the age of three. This truth was kept from him by his grandparents, who instilled in him a deep-seated belief in the inferiority of black people and even encouraged him to idolize Hitler. It wasn't until his early forties that McCrae came to terms with the reality of his past and the profound impact it had on his identity. His memoir, which is being released on August 1st, is an attempt to understand and process this truth, using a nonlinear narrative style that reflects the uncertainty and fluidity of memory. The result is a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant work that challenges readers to grapple with the complexities of identity and the past.

    • A young black man's journey to poetry amidst adversityDespite a traumatic childhood, McCrae found solace in skateboarding and poetry, leading him to the Iowa Writers Workshop, showcasing the power of literature and human resilience.

      McCrae's memoir, "Pulling the Chariot of the Sun," defies the notion that difficulty in literature is incompatible with intense emotion. Despite a childhood marked by trauma, loneliness, and low self-esteem, McCrae's narrative is a coming-of-age story, a "Bildungsroman," of a young black man finding his path to poetry. Growing up in a harsh environment, McCrae faced physical and emotional abuse, multiple school changes, and a sense of intellectual inferiority. Yet, amidst this sadness and hopelessness, he discovered a love for skateboarding and an ambition to write poetry. McCrae's determination to become a poet, fueled by his strict reading regimen and unwavering dedication, eventually led him to the Iowa Writers Workshop. His journey illustrates the transformative power of literature and the resilience of the human spirit.

    • Personal experiences shaping unique poetic formsPoet Yusef Komunyakaa's personal experiences influenced his use of unconventional poetic forms, resulting in 13 published books of poetry exploring themes of identity, racism, and love.

      Poet Yusef Komunyakaa's personal experiences and deep understanding of poetic form have shaped his notable and durable body of work. During a pivotal moment in their conversation, Komunyakaa shared a deeply personal grief with his professor, which led to the creation of poems with unconventional forms that correlated to his emotions. Since then, he has published 13 books of poetry, exploring themes of marriage, fatherhood, racism, sin, and transcendence from a Christian perspective. While themes are common among poets, Komunyakaa's unique use of poetic forms sets his work apart. His sonnets, for instance, may appear ruptured and unconventional on the page, but their rigorous meter and iambic pentameter create a powerful emotional impact. Komunyakaa believes that poems are smarter than their creators and readers, and a successful poem is one that resists complete possession, offering new discoveries with each reading. Throughout his career, Komunyakaa has addressed the pain in his biography, using poetic forms to explore themes of identity, racism, and love. His poems, including those dealing with his own experiences of being taken or kidnapped, offer a complex and powerful commentary on the human condition.

    • Exploring the Continuous Impact of Past TraumaMcCrae's memoir highlights the importance of acknowledging the ongoing effects of past traumas on emotional life, even if they aren't defined by a single dramatic moment.

      McCrae's decision to approach his past through narrative in his memoir was driven by a newfound understanding that being kidnapped isn't a single dramatic moment, but a continuous experience that shapes one's emotional life. McCrae also shared his struggle with feeling disconnected from his family history and the absence of emotions towards significant events. During the research process, McCrae's high school teacher revealed a surprising detail - McCrae's name was Baker in his yearbook photos. This led McCrae to discover that his mother had been married multiple times, including to a man named Maury Baker, whom she described as abusive. McCrae's mother, Denise, shared her experiences of being married to Maury, including physical and emotional abuse, and how she ran away and was emancipated from her parents. The reason McCrae was born as Baker instead of McCray was due to Maury's inability to have children. These revelations helped McCrae understand the complexities of his family history and the impact it had on his emotional life.

    • Ex-girlfriend takes son without consentMisunderstandings and hidden intentions in child custody matters can lead to heartbreak and powerlessness for one parent.

      The breakdown of a relationship and the actions of others can lead to the loss of custody and the heartache of being separated from a child. In this story, Stanley was shocked when his ex-girlfriend, Denise, allowed their son, Shane, to be taken away by her parents without his knowledge or consent. Despite his efforts to find Shane, he was left in the dark about their whereabouts. It's unclear why Denise made this decision, but it's clear that she believed her parents could provide a better life for Shane. The sadness and horror of the situation lie in the fact that Denise didn't communicate her plans with Stanley, leaving him feeling powerless and heartbroken. This story serves as a reminder of the importance of open communication and the potential consequences of misunderstandings and hidden intentions in matters of child custody.

    • Stanley McCray's story of hope and faith during loss and betrayalIn the face of loss and betrayal, faith and hope can provide strength and guide us through the toughest of times.

      Even in the face of unimaginable loss and betrayal, some people hold onto hope and faith. Stanley McCray, a black man in Salem, Oregon during the 1980s, when the population was predominantly white and under 2%, shared his story of losing his young son, Shane, in an abduction. Despite his mistrust of the police and feeling abandoned, Stanley's unwavering faith and belief in the goodness in people led him to pray for his son's safe return. Eight years later, Shane found his way back to his father, and Stanley's optimism and unwavering belief in the good helped him through the darkest moments of his life. The story serves as a reminder that even in the most challenging circumstances, faith and hope can provide strength and guide us through the toughest of times.

    • A poet and lawyer's complex relationship with faith and artPoet and lawyer Derrick Brown, also known as Rasheed Jamal McCrae, explores his faith journey and its impact on his art through themes of purgatory, heaven, and hell, reflecting his belief in the complexity of both the world and faith, despite societal pressures and personal guilt.

      Poet and lawyer, Derrick Brown, also known as Rasheed Jamal McCrae, has had a complex relationship with his faith and its impact on his art. Growing up, he felt insecure about his Christian beliefs due to societal pressures. He experimented with other religions but eventually returned to Christianity. McCrae's work reflects this journey, with themes of purgatory, heaven, and hell. He believes that God's universe allows for suffering, and he feels deeply about the pain of others. McCrae's past, including a family conflict, has left him with feelings of guilt and a desire to help change the outcome. His poetry, which blends humor and depth, is a reflection of his belief in the complexity of both the world and faith.

    • A father's absence from a son's birth certificate leads to a lifelong quest for recognitionRecognition from one's parents, even if delayed, can have profound emotional consequences and fuel a lifelong journey for validation

      The lack of acknowledgement and official documentation of one's parentage can have profound emotional consequences. In the discussed story, Stanley, a father, was unknowingly left off his son McCrae's birth certificate. This omission led McCrae to feel a strong desire to rectify the situation decades later, even though he had already taken his father's last name. Stanley, recognizing the significance of this act, made a long journey to personally submit the forms to correct the birth certificate. This situation mirrors the Greek myth of Phaethon, where a son's quest for recognition from his godly father results in a life-altering journey. In both cases, the pursuit of acknowledgement leads to a deep sense of fulfillment and validation.

    Recent Episodes from The Daily

    72 Hours Inside Biden’s Campaign to Save His Candidacy

    72 Hours Inside Biden’s Campaign to Save His Candidacy

    For the past three days, President Biden has fought to save his re-election campaign, as panicked congressional Democrats returned to Washington and openly debated whether to call on him to step aside.

    In this episode, Times reporters in Washington go inside the 72 hours that could make or break Mr. Biden’s nomination.

    Guest: 

    • Representative Adam Smith, of the 9th Congressional District in Washington

    Background reading: 

    For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

    The Daily
    enJuly 11, 2024

    Why Britain Just Ended 14 Years of Conservative Rule

    Why Britain Just Ended 14 Years of Conservative Rule

    For more than a decade, Britain has been governed by the Conservative Party, which pushed its politics to the right, embracing smaller government and Brexit. Last week, that era officially came to an end.

    Mark Landler, the London bureau chief for The Times, explains why British voters rejected the Conservatives and what their defeat means in a world where populism is on the rise.

    Guest: Mark Landler, the London bureau chief for The New York Times.

    Background reading: 

    For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

    The Daily
    enJuly 10, 2024

    The Era of Killer Robots Is Here

    The Era of Killer Robots Is Here

    Outmanned and outgunned in what has become a war of attrition against Russia, Ukraine has looked for any way to overcome its vulnerabilities on the battlefield. That search has led to the emergence of killer robots.

    Paul Mozur, the global technology correspondent for The Times, explains how Ukraine has become a Silicon Valley for autonomous weapons and how artificial intelligence is reshaping warfare.

    Guest: Paul Mozur, the global technology correspondent for The New York Times.

    Background reading:

    For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

    The Daily
    enJuly 09, 2024

    The Supreme Court Is Not Done Remaking America

    The Supreme Court Is Not Done Remaking America

    When the Supreme Court wrapped up its term last week, much of the focus was one the ruling that gave former President Donald J. Trump sweeping immunity from criminal prosecution. But another set of rulings that generated less attention could have just as big an impact on American government and society.

    Adam Liptak, who covers the Supreme Court for The Times, looks back at the Supreme Court term.

    Guest: Adam Liptak, , who covers the Supreme Court for The New York Times and writes Sidebar, a column on legal developments.

    Background reading: 

    For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

    The Daily
    enJuly 08, 2024

    'Animal,' Episode 6: Bats

    'Animal,' Episode 6: Bats

    On the final episode of “Animal,” Sam Anderson travels to Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula to meet with a creature he's long been afraid of: bats.

    For photos and videos of Sam's journey to the Yucatán, and to listen to the full series, visit nytimes.com/animal. You can search for “Animal” wherever you get your podcasts. 

    The Daily
    enJuly 07, 2024

    How Bad Is Drinking for You, Really?

    How Bad Is Drinking for You, Really?

    Midway through one of the booziest holiday weekends of the year, we re-examine our love-hate relationship with alcohol.

    Susan Dominus, a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, gets to the bottom of the conflicting guidance on the benefits and risks of drinking.

    Guest: Susan Dominus, a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine.

    Background reading: 

    For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday

    The Daily
    enJuly 05, 2024

    Biden’s Slipping Support

    Biden’s Slipping Support

    A major Times poll has found that voters’ doubts about President Biden deepened after his poor performance in the first debate, with Donald J. Trump taking by far his biggest lead of the campaign.

    Shane Goldmacher, a national political correspondent for The Times, explains what those results could mean for Mr. Biden’s future.

    Guest: Shane Goldmacher, a national political correspondent for The New York Times.

    Background reading: 

    For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

    The Daily
    enJuly 04, 2024

    The American Journalist on Trial in Russia

    The American Journalist on Trial in Russia

    Evan Gershkovich, an American journalist for The Wall Street Journal, was detained in Russia more than a year ago. He has been locked up in a high-security prison and accused of spying for the U.S. government.

    His trial, held in secret, is now underway.

    Anton Troianovski, the Moscow bureau chief for The New York Times, discusses the complicated geopolitics behind Mr. Gershkovich’s detention and the efforts to get him home.

    Guest: Anton Troianovski, the Moscow bureau chief for The New York Times.

    Background reading: 

    For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

    The Daily
    enJuly 03, 2024

    Trump Wins Broad Immunity

    Trump Wins Broad Immunity

    On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that former President Donald J. Trump is entitled to broad immunity from criminal prosecution for actions that he took while in office.

    Adam Liptak, who covers the Supreme Court for The New York Times, explains how that ruling will weaken the federal case against Mr. Trump for trying to overturn the last U.S. presidential election, and will drastically expand the power of the presidency itself.

    Guest: Adam Liptak, a Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times.

    Background reading: 

    For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

    The Daily
    enJuly 02, 2024

    Will Biden Withdraw?

    Will Biden Withdraw?

    President Biden’s disastrous debate performance last week set off a furious discussion among Democratic officials, donors and strategists about whether and how to replace him as the party’s nominee.

    Peter Baker, who is the chief White House correspondent for The Times, takes us inside those discussions and Biden’s effort to shut them down.

    Guest: Peter Baker, the chief White House correspondent for The New York Times.

    Background reading: 

    For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday.

    The Daily
    enJuly 01, 2024

    Related Episodes

    Saeed Jones, Poet and Author

    Saeed Jones, Poet and Author

    Saeed Jones is the author of Prelude to Bruise, winner of the 2015 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry and the 2015 Stonewall Book Award/Barbara Gittings Literature Award. The poetry collection was also a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as awards from Lambda Literary and the Publishing Triangle in 2015. Jones is a former co-host of BuzzFeed’s morning show, AM to DM, and previously served as BuzzFeed’s LGBT editor and Culture editor. In his debut memoir, How We Fight For Our Lives, Jones tells his story of growing up a young, black, gay man from the South and fighting to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears. Jones was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and grew up in Lewisville, Texas. He earned a BA at Western Kentucky University and an MFA at Rutgers University-Newark. He lives in Columbus, OH.

     

    The power and healing of writing your story with ODEL ELGARAT

    The power and healing of writing your story with ODEL ELGARAT

    Join me for a captivating chat with Odel, an author and writing guide with a powerful narrative to share. Odel walks us through her personal journey of writing and publishing a memoir that traces her path from childhood dreams in Paris to coming to terms with her adoption. Listen in as she reveals the healing that writing brought into her life, transforming her from a victim of her circumstances to an empowered individual, and how using a third-person perspective in her memoir allowed her to approach her experiences with newfound objectivity. Odel's dedication to guiding others in telling their own stories is not just inspiring but a testament to the belief that everyone has a unique story worth telling.

    In this heartwarming conversation, we uncover the importance of self-forgiveness and the strength it brings to personal growth and relationships. Odel and I discuss the immense power of storytelling in understanding our identities and forging stronger connections with the people in our lives, particularly the complex relationship with our mothers. Her daughters now have a profound legacy through her book, written in both Hebrew and English, ensuring they understand their mother's full identity. We hope this episode inspires you to harness the power of writing as a tool for empowerment and self-discovery.


    Connect with Odel: www.odeliaelgarat.com

     

    Psychologist Shows You How to Reset Your Personality and Redefine Yourself | Benjamin Hardy on Impact Theory

    Psychologist Shows You How to Reset Your Personality and Redefine Yourself | Benjamin Hardy on Impact Theory
    On this episode of Impact Theory, Tom Bilyeu is joined by organizational psychologist and author Benjamin Hardy, PhD to discuss such matters and more as they explore why your personality and self-identity is an ever-changing thing that you have the control to reshape and reform. They discuss why most of us are trapped in our personalities, how your personality is always changing, how trauma shapes us, how to move forward in life, why your past never defines your future, the power of reframing your past and future, why pain tolerance is key to growth, how to become cognitively flexible, and how pressure creates traction to move forward in life.  SHOW NOTES: Personality | Benjamin shares why the conversation needs to shift on personalities. [0:12] Trapped | Benjamin reveals why we get trapped in the identities we’ve created. [1:30] Change | Benjamin reveals why your personality will change no matter what in life. [3:33] Trauma | Benjamin discusses how we hold onto and interact with our trauma. [8:09] Healing | Benjamin discusses how he healed from trauma and mended his relationships. [11:23] Moving Forward | Benjamin reveals how we can move beyond our own trauma. [13:22] Giving Up | Benjamin discusses why you shouldn’t give up on your idea of your future. [17:03] Your Past | Benjamin discusses why your past never defines your future. [17:55] Reframe | Benjamin reveals why you must reframe both your past and your future. [22:26] Future | Benjamin discusses how to craft a beautiful vision for your future. [25:28] Next Steps | Benjamin discusses the power of journaling and thinking ahead. [29:07] Self-Expansion | Benjamin discusses how our environment influences our visions. [30:49] Pushing Through | Benjamin reveals why pain tolerance is key to growth. [34:51] Flexibility | Benjamin discusses the power of being cognitively flexible. [38:51] Commitment | Benjamin shares how you should redefine commitment. [39:45] Pressure | Benjamin shares how pressure creates traction to move forward in life. [41:26] Acceptance | Benjamin discusses acceptance and commitment therapy. [44:50] Connect | Benjamin shares how you can connect and continue to follow him. [45:50]  FOLLOW BENJAMIN: Twitter: twitter.com/benjaminphardy Facebook: facebook.com/benjamin.hardy.18 Instagram: instagram.com/benjamin_hardy_phd Check out our Sponsors Teachable: teachable.com/impact Joovv: Get an exclusive discount on your first order at Joovv.com/impact and use code IMPACT Blinkist: Go to https://blinkist.com/impact Try it FREE for 7 days and save 25% off your new subscription. Grammarly: Get 20% off Grammarly Premium when you sign up using your desktop or laptop computer by visiting grammarly.com/TOM Are You Ready for EXTRA Impact? If you’re ready to find true fulfillment, strengthen your focus, and ignite your true potential, the Impact Theory subscription was created just for you. This is not for the faint of heart. This is for those who dare to learn obsessively, every day, day after day. Subscription Benefits: New episodes delivered ad-free Exclusive access to Tom’s AMAs, keynote speeches, and suggestions from his personal reading list You’ll also get access to an 5 additional podcasts with hundreds of archived Impact Theory episodes, meticulously curated into themed playlists covering health, mindset, business, relationships, and more: Legendary Mindset: Mindset & Self-Improvement Money Mindset: Business & Finance Relationship Theory: Relationships Health Theory: Mental & Physical Health Power Ups: Weekly Doses of Short Motivational Quotes  Subscribe on Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3PCvJaz Subscribe on all other platforms (Google Podcasts, Spotify, Castro, Downcast, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Podcast Addict, Podcast Republic, Podkicker, and more) : https://impacttheorynetwork.supercast.com/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Taking Our Childhoods With Us: the Effect of Childhood Trauma

    Taking Our Childhoods With Us: the Effect of Childhood Trauma

    Instead of asking "what's wrong with you?" it may be more helpful to ask "what happened to you?" We take our childhoods with us, and carrying trauma and stress from adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can actually affect our health way down the road into adulthood. What's an ACE test and what might the score mean? What can we do to help soften the blows? This episode affects us all in some way.

    Ep. 11 - Jessi's Story: Her Story of Being Adopted, Coping at the Age of 16 with the Sudden Loss of Her Mom, and Parenting a Nonverbal Autistic Son

    Ep. 11 - Jessi's Story: Her Story of Being Adopted, Coping at the Age of 16 with the Sudden Loss of Her Mom, and Parenting a Nonverbal Autistic Son

    Today, I'm chatting with Jessi Caldwell, my sister-in-law. Jessi wears many hats – she's a devoted wife, a nurturing mother, and a corporate learning executive.

    At just 8 months old, Jessi's life took a profound turn as she found her forever home through adoption. At 16 the sudden loss of her mother reshaped the landscape of her world. But Jessi, being the resilient soul she is, pressed on.

    In the chapters of her life that followed, Jessi tied the knot and welcomed three beautiful children into her life, including a nonverbal autistic son. Her story is a testament to the twists and turns life throws at us.

    Join us as Jessi reflects on her self-identity through the lenses of being adopted, coping as a teenager with the loss of her mother, and the challenges of parenting a nonverbal autistic son. 

     

    LINKS

     

    FOLLOW