From Joanna Shenk, the author of the newly released The Movement Makes Us Human and the co-curator of Jesus Radicals:
In a time when the inhumanity of racism and greed are publicly normalized by the powerful, Jesus Radicals want to share stories of resistance, love, and transformation. The Movement Makes Us Human, the title of a newly released book on the life and thought of social movement veteran Dr. Vincent Harding authored by co-organizer Joanna Shenk, is also the theme of the first issue of the Jesus Radicals’ online journal, Rock! Paper! Scissors! Tools for anarchist + Christian thought .
We believe that involvement in movements for justice — like #metoo and Black Lives Matter and the resistance at Camp Makwa — invites us to embody our deepest humanity. This way of being human connects us across lines of difference and normalizes solidarity in the face of alienation and hate.
We are seeking articles, poems, photography, prose and other media that reflect how movement work has fostered wholeness and liberation in individuals and communities. With his life Dr. Harding embodied this way of being and now cheers us on from among the cloud of witnesses.
In The Movement Makes Us Human: An Interview with Dr. Vincent Harding on Mennonites, Vietnam and MLK , Harding reflects on his work with Dr. King during the Southern Freedom Movement. He writes that “Martin shaped the movement and was also shaped by the movement. The movement teaches us what it means to be human.”
Submission guidelines: Word length is flexible (500-2000 words). Conversational writing style is preferred. We seek intersectional, liberative, and self-reflective pieces. Please fact-check and proofread your work. Writers retain full copyright control of their work. Pitches are requested by Feb. 28. Content is due by March 31 to submissions [dot] jesusradicals [at] gmail [dot] com. Visit our website for more information.
The book is available for purchase online through Wipf & Stock. Much of the book can also be previewed for free on Wipf & Stock’s website . There you can also request a free “review copy.”
About Dr. Vincent Harding
Harding was an historian instrumental in the creation of the field of Black Studies (through founding the Institute of the Black World in the late 1960s). He was the first director of the King Memorial Center in Atlanta and the primary writer of the prophetic “Beyond Vietnam” speech that Dr. King delivered one year to the day before his assassination. He was the author of the first comprehensive narrative of black resistance to enslavement “There is a River: The Black Struggle for Freedom in America,” which begins on the shores of the African continent. He was a lifelong activist and movement elder in his later years, mentoring many young people in their work for justice.
Dr. Harding often prompted people to reflect on what kind of education was required to create a multi-racial, democratic society. What kinds of education have you received through or in social movements that has been transformative? When and how have you learned through the failures of social movements, either historically or in your own life? In the book Harding asks many provocative questions, including “what are the gifts of whiteness?” How are you dismantling white supremacy in your life/work and what specifically is the responsibility of white people in this regard? Reflect on the contrast of humanity/inhumanity in Christian history and the church today. What does it mean to repent of inhumanity as Christians and undo Christian hegemony in its many forms? Harding learned from many different spiritual communities throughout his life and reflected about how this was a deepening and broadening of, rather than a departure from, earlier beliefs and practices. Which spiritual communities and practices sustain you in movement work and call forth a deeper humanity? At the end of his life Dr. Harding was working on a memoir which he planned to title “Loved Into Life.” Who has loved you into life and how do you cultivate self-love in your organizing?