In Memory of the Emanuel Nine: Looking for the words

I looked at their faces this morning and sighed.  “God, help us.”  One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Lives. They say a cat has nine lives.  But, how many lives does hate have?  Why won’t it die?  How does it continue to live after this?  How can we let it live on […]

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Taking down statues and taking back history: Symbols that segregate

Recently, there has been a push to remove symbols of America’s racial past, specifically those related to American slavery.  In 2015, the Confederate flag came under scrutiny in North Carolina after the murder of nine worshippers at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church by 21 year old Dylann Roof.  Roof wanted to start a race war and the flag seemed […]

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Mister Trayvon Martin

He was seventeen years old. He was murdered five years ago today. He was a child, never to become a man. Leonard Pitts writes a searing op- ed that asks, “Trayvon Martin had to be guilty of something, right?” I cried as I read the article. The answer is no but many Americans needed him […]

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When ‘Satan Goes to a Prayer Meeting’

I love prayer. Despite the popularity of social media, status updates and tweets do not compare to sharing a prayer request with God. There is no better connection. The fact that we can be in direct dialogue with the Divine, a kind of call and response between heaven and earth, amazes me. I delight in […]

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Charleston Syllabus

It is the title of a new book that offers readings on race, racism and racial violence.  Professors Chad Williams, Kidada Williams, and Keisha N. Blain, its authors, offer this collection of writings in hopes of strengthening our conversations about race after the Charleston massacre on June 17, 2015.  On this terrible day, twenty- one […]

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Burning Churches Again

This morning, I learned of a seventh African American- led church set ablaze.  The cause for the burning of Mount Zion AME church in Greeleyville, South Carolina is still under investigation.  But, before the smoke signal of this latest burning reached the news, six others in Florida, Tennessee, North and South Carolina were struck with […]

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After Emanuel AME Church Murders: Sanctuaries as safe places

Where can we go and be safe?  Safe from hatred and prejudice, from oppressive ideologies and violence?  Is the cross of Christ not a white flag, a symbol of ultimate sacrifice and a place of surrender?  Does it not remind us that the war for our souls is over and won, that we have the […]

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