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“Breathing” by Karen Folger Jacobs ’63

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The following is a submission from Karen Folger Jacobs ’63. 


We breathe.

We inhale. We exhale.


Minneapolis saw.

The world heard.


On Memorial Day

A horizontal lynching.


Stopping breathing

causes death.


Blacks die at twice the rate of whites

in this pandemic.


After inhaling virus breathing becomes

more difficult until it stops.


We kneel at church, to propose

marriage and to kill.


George Floyd says,

“You took my breath away.”


Karen Folger Jacobs, Berkeley, June 2020.


Karen Folger Jacobs ’63


Over zoomed and sheltering-in-place, Karen Folger Jacobs thrives in her socially engaged multi-cultural town, Berkeley. Karen serves on the board of SAHA, Satellite Affordable Housing Associates and enjoys the monthly meetings of our San Francisco Bay Area Antioch Alumni Leadership Group.

After her 1963 Antioch philosophy degree, Karen did a masters in counseling at BU and a Ph.D. in education at UC Berkeley. Like many Antiochians, her career has not been linear – a writer, filmmaker, consultant, therapist and teacher.

In 2020 she focused on understanding how our quadruple crises (pandemic, recession, climate changes and inequalities) impact people, society and our nation. For 2021 she looks forward to (pandemic permitting) lecturing in Tuscany for UC Berkeley and the third edition of a book she co-authored with photographer Mary Ellen Mark, Ward 81.