Yesterday morning when I learned about the Open Letter to Attorney General Sessions: Join Us In Selma On the Right Side of History, I paused Joy Reid’s interview with William Barber II in order to search for the petition site. The letter’s authors invited the Attorney General to join them in Selma to commemorate the 52nd anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” when peaceful marchers demanding the right to vote were attacked with billy clubs and tear gas. The Letter also asks the Attorney General, who was born in Selma, to join them in a non-partisan commitment to ensure the right to vote for all Americans. The letter calls upon the Justice Department to restore the protections against voter suppression enshrined in the Voting Rights Act.
I was pleased to sign the Open Letter because I have been thinking about how those who came together in the Women’s March and other marches can channel their energy into registering voters, helping them get the identification required by “voter suppression laws” enacted with the purpose of disenfranchising voters of color and elderly voters in nearly half of all US states. I believe it is imperative to focus a part of our energy on helping people to get the necessary ID’s while at the same time working to throw out every single rascal who voted for these laws. We must take back the state legislatures that have the power to enact voting laws. And we must do what we can to make sure that everyone who wants to vote is able to vote.
While I was adding my name to the petition, I was asked to check if I am a faith leader. Continue reading “It’s a Small Thing in Relation to Everything Else: Or Is It? by Carol P. Christ”
“I stood in the authenticity of my being: Black, preacher, Baptist, woman. For the same God who made me a preacher made me a woman, and I am convinced that God was not confused on either account.”
– Reverend Dr. Prathia Hall
These words came across my Facebook feed on Sunday in celebration of International Women’s Day. Reconciling Ministries Network put the statement on its Facebook page, along with a picture of Prathia Hall preaching from the pulpit, in remembrance and honor of women leaders who contributed to the US Civil Rights Movement. This past Sunday, March 8, when the quote was displayed, marked the 50th anniversary of Selma’s Bloody Sunday. Prathia Hall was a leader in the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and one of the activists on the Edmund Pettus Bridge who were attacked as they began to march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Later in her life, she became an ordained minister, professor, and womanist theologian.
For me, this past weekend was about remembrance through many forms. While there were many events commemorating Selma and the important events that unfolded there 50 years ago, my family and I were focused on a more intimate form of remembrance. On Saturday, we held a dinner and informal memorial service for my godfather who passed away last month. I got the news of his death on a day when I’d been doing some deep soul-searching and reflecting about the image I present to the world and its correspondence with who I am and desire to be. Just a few days prior, I’d spoken to my godfather about his health and subsequently, I had been questioning how I might be more connected to him. We lived several states apart, and I wondered how I could be a good goddaughter to him despite the distance. Those questions are left unanswered in the wake of his death. Continue reading “Role Play: In Search of the Authenticity of My Being by Elise Edwards”
I have been struck in this new year by the reactions to the recently released movie Selma. There has been a palpable recognition by those of who have seen it, that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Many have wondered if they are watching about events some 50 years ago, or events some five months ago in Ferguson. The question is why do we remain trapped in this same cycle of sin, where we are alienated from the god who is freedom and thus alienated from our own humanity.
While the answer to this question is complex, one of the reasons we remain trapped in this cycle of sin is because of the way we deny the past and dismiss the future. I have no doubt that until we hold ourselves morally accountable to our past and dare to take prophetic responsibility for our future, then our present realities will continue to be defined by the worst of who we are and not the best of who god calls us to be. Continue reading “Moral Accountability, Prophetic Responsibility, and Selma by Kelly Brown Douglas”