Randall Horton
    Grace Ali
    Gregory Orfalea
 
 
 
 

 Grace Ali
Grace Ali
Who is Ethelbert Miller?
 
Ethelbert and I met on a random afternoon in 2004 in Busboys and Poets on U Street. I’ve since moved to New York City. But each time I return to DC, we meet on that same couch in Busboys on U Street. Our friendship is not the most predictable. In fact, I think we both have been surprised by what our meeting of the minds/hearts/souls has evolved into. Our day-to-day lives and responsibilities rarely intersect. I am neither a poet, nor a father, nor a black man negotiating America – identities critical to Ethelbert’s worldview. But in the time that we have known each other, I have come to count on him for understanding, compassion and objectivity. Ethelbert and I talk almost daily. Although we often embark on philosophical and complicated debates about the pain and beauty of this world, there remains an unstated commitment to the simple things. We ‘check in’ with each other: “How was your day? Did you have a good weekend? What’s for dinner tonight? Guess who I ran into today?” And in those more serious moments of vulnerability, fear or tragedy, Ethelbert is the kind of friend who will sit with you, silently, hand in hand, until the moment passes. He understands that just the simple act of being present, even if it’s a silent presence, can be the most loving act of friendship. This is my Ethelbert.
—Grace Ali, Founder and Director Of Note
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