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Do Better Mr. President

On September 1, 2022, President Biden delivered a speech in defense of democracy from Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His remarks denounced “MAGA Republicans,” distinguishing this sect from “mainstream Republicans.” MAGA, Make America Great Again, is a scarcely veiled call to reinforce White supremacist tenets and social practices. And yet it was not until the…

And Still We Rise

I celebrate Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to become the first Black woman United States Supreme Court Justice. I can’t wait to say: “Justice Jackson” in a few months! Her ascendance to this position is well-earned and I look forward to how her vision of justice will shape the court. In the midst of commemorating this…

Celebration Continues! Black Americans Made Us Who We Are

African Americans have been the sin qua non democratizing force in American history. There is no America we take for granted today, one where we assert that all “men (and women) are created equal,” without Black Americans insisting upon it, full stop. Black people’s intellectual, political, and creative energy expanded our Constitution’s capacity to realize…

Great Resources for Black History Month

This list from the Gathering will no doubt include works that have not yet made it to your bookshelf. Here you’ll discover film, non-fiction and fiction (even sci-fi) gems to enjoy far beyond February! When Affirmative Action was White, by Ira Katznelson – “For Black History Month, I’m recommending a classic: No other book on…

A Mess of Pottage: the side effects of communal temptation

Everyone knows the Bible’s ultimate story of sibling rivalry: Jacob and Esau were twins. Esau, first out of the birth canal, was the one that secured the birthright. Esau was a man’s man, spending his days outdoors hunting for game, while Jacob preferred staying close to home. One day, when Esau arrived home famished, Jacob…

Let’s Get Our Facts Straight

Black History Month is a nearly century-long intervention in the American historical record and myths about how this country evolved. The forerunner to this February’s Black History Month celebration is Negro History Week, which was first celebrated in 1926 under the leadership of Historian Carter G. Woodson. Dr. Woodson sought to use the second week…

Miscellaneous Briefs

January 2022 (#2) Amanda Gorman revisits her history-making Inauguration Day poem with a gorgeous piece on state of mind and the place of terror. “I look at fear not as cowardice but as a call forward, a summons to fight for what we hold dear.” Don’t miss this from our national treasure. Robert P. Jones…

What is MLK to the (White) Christian?

Here we are in yet another year commemorating the birth (and life) of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We all know who Dr. King is, at least the broad strokes: a leader of the Civil Rights movement, reverend and orator who advocated for social change through peaceful protest. When you think about Dr. King, do…

The Fierce Urgency of Now

Statement on Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday, 2022 On this Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, we return to places of hallowed ground—from the 16th Street Baptist Church, to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, to the Lorraine Motel—to honor those whose lives are the foundation of our contemporary liberation struggle. We remember King, and all…

Miscellaneous Briefs – January 2022

A group of pastors, writers, scholars and spiritual leaders you might know, offer suggested “reSOULutions” for 2022. (So worth skimming until you see one or two that resonate with your own soul…) Compiled by Tish Harrison Warren. A truly helpful visual and interactive guide to the concept of GDP and the state of the global…

America: Culture of Life?

Huddled in our COVID cocoons, some of us celebrated Christmas, bade goodbye to 2021, and welcomed 2022 with prudent ambivalence. Wearily clinging to Zoom and FaceTime, we checked in with loved ones scattered across the globe. Some of us, resentful of lives grown small and circumscribed by fear, booked vacations and family reunions in a…

From G.O.A.T. to Goat: Will 2022 bring a tipping point for teachers?

In the first half-year of Covid, teachers were among the Greatest – the G.O.A.T.’s who would keep us sane, learning and growing because, “that’s what they do.” It was common to hear about our “heroes of the classroom”, keeping the world safe and robust for education no matter where they had to practice. (Healthcare workers…

The Colors of Your Light

“…you are a unique expression of an idea of God meant to lead others into more of God’s goodness.” –Marshawn Evans Daniels, 100 Days of Believing Bigger Devotional Journal, Day 80 During an “artivism” (activism using art) workshop this week, I was asked: “What is your cause?” “What is your protest?” “What mediums do you…

Do the Right Thing

I agree with Spike Lee that among life’s most challenging questions is “what is the right thing to do now?” Furthermore, whether you’re in Brooklyn, Berlin, or Bermuda there’s a difference between doing right and being right. Spiritual and emotional maturity turn on understanding and living out this distinction. Scripture tells me, “speak the truth…

Don’t Forget What You Look Like 

On a hot, sunny day in late June, 2021 we headed from Memphis down into Tunica County, Mississippi, where we crossed the Mississippi River and drove into Helena, Arkansas, the Phillips County Seat. Our GPS pointed us to the Courthouse, standing just shy of the levee. But on the courthouse square just steps from this…

What’s in Your Closet?

Wardrobe words intrigue me – designer labels of the human psyche. I put on “politically correct” shoes because they fit better than the alternative. I treasure the few worn out “woke” t-shirts I’ve been given, but never buy them for myself. They feel nice in the morning but seem ill-fitting as the day goes on.…

The Devils We Know (want to kill us)

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an…

Love and Light

In the beginning were love and light Darkness dared dart in Love and light remain steadfast, even as we unsteady Love is sacrifice amidst brokenness, tender touch, touching words touching our soul, our spirit Light is the Lord’s truth, abundance overflowing, peace and passion purposely in pursuit—Speak Life! Power indwelling, gentle, undaunted, seeking ever higher…

In It Together

“For he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45 (KJV) This past weekend, on May 23rd, Christians celebrated Pentecost Sunday, noting the time God sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in and among us shortly after Jesus’s death…

Do Not Be Weary in Well Doing

“And you can always hear this long sob story: ‘You know it takes time.’ For three hundred years, we’ve given them time. And I’ve been tired so long, now I am sick and tired of being sick and tired, and we want a change. We want a change in this society in America because, you…

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