They Cannot Take the Sky

By Joyce Hollyday

sunset 3

Many years ago, when South Africa was in the stranglehold grip of the system of racial hatred and separation known as apartheid, I visited that country to learn about and report on the freedom struggle there. On one of my last evenings, a young man named Jabulani was showing me around the black township of Khayelitsha outside Cape Town, just as the sun was beginning to set. Domestics and laborers, weary from a long day’s work in the city, were making their way home in the last glimmers of daylight. A stream of women, water jugs balanced on their heads, some with swaddled babies on their backs, moved slowly out from the central spigot of the township’s rutted roads in the encroaching cool of the evening. Paraffin lamps came to life, one by one, up and down the rows of small and fragile homes constructed of plywood, cardboard, and corrugated metal. Continue reading

We Still Have a Race to Run

RubyFrom the front porch of Mother Ruby Sales. This is the sequel to yesterday’s clarion call to young people. This was originally posted to social media on February 2, 2020.

As remnants and elders we still
have a race to run and a role to play.
Heed the call.

Earlier this week I wrote a post to my younger friends reminding them of their responsibility as new generations of leaders. I reminded them that it is now up to them to use the fluency of their bodies and minds to push us beyond where previous generations took us. Now they are the ones under the light of historical scrutiny. I hope that they realize that the glare can both blind and clarify at the same time. Continue reading

The Ball is in Your Court

RubyA two-part post from the front porch of Mother Ruby Sales. This is part I, originally posted to social media on January 31, 2020.

My young friends you have often stated that my generation should pass the baton of leadership. Well the ball is in your court as the Republicans take this nation down further into an abyss that chokes democracy to death.

I am listening to the roll call in the Senate, and it is clear that Republicans believe that Trump is above the law & they think that they are above your rebuke. Continue reading

Even Deeper Than What We Can See Right Now

MLP

PC: Valerie Jean (Detroit, MI)

From Monica Lewis-Patrick (right), executive director of We The People of Detroit, leaders in the struggle for clean and affordable water in Detroit and beyond. 

We didn’t call ourselves into this fight. We tell folks that we didn’t choose water. Water chose us. In the divinity of water, water was before everything else was. We see ourselves as called into this great layer of warrior women that are fighting for water all around the globe, from Cochabamba to the Arab Spring, from Ireland to the Navajo Nation, from all over these Great Lakes where we have what I call “bad revolutionary sisters” who have decided that not only will they drink, but that their children’s children’s children will drink. Our vision is even deeper than what we can see right now. It’s a transformative way of thinking.

Sermon: Saying Yes

Wrau-sea-of-galilee

Fishing in the Sea of Galilee. Image from the Library of Congress.

By Kateri Boucher, Homily at Day House Catholic Worker 1/26

Matthew 4: 18-22

As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.

As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.

When taken at face value, this reading doesn’t seem to have much bearing on my life. I haven’t gone fishing in years. I’ve never been approached by a random man asking me to follow him and “catch other people.” And I’ve certainly never made a split-second decision to leave my daily life and family behind.

Continue reading

Mourning the Loss of George MacLeod: Most Assuredly & Absolutely No “Brady Bunch Dad”

GeorgeBy Oz Cole-Arnal, former professor emeritus at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary

George and Julie MacLeod have now both crossed the Jordan to rest and enjoy full and complete embrace with the God they served so faithfully and courageously this side of glory. And this very God so embodied in Yeshua bar Miriam/Joseph sided outrageously and gloriously with those discarded by our society—people of color, indigenous folk, immigrants, Hispanics, women, LGBTQ+, street folk, the homeless–indeed all the poor. But today I remember with tears the impact they had on my life. They were absolutely key in transforming me and wife “Bunny” (and ultimately our two guys by dint of attachment to us) from well-intentioned liberals, who believed naively that reasonable and calm discussion over time could solve all problems, into radicals determined to follow Christ through “thick and thin.” Continue reading

It’s a Specific Position That Stands Actively–Not Passively

Bree NFrom a recent Black Perspectives interview that Ajamu Amiri Dillahunt did with Bree Newsome Bass, an artist who drew national attention in 2015 when she climbed the flagpole in front of the South Carolina Capitol building and lowered the confederate battle flag.

I often get the question, “how do I become an activist.” The simple answer is that an activist is one who acts, who takes action in furtherance of a cause. I was an activist before I consciously identified as such. I never had ambitions of being an activist, only an ambition to change things for the better. The labels only serve to describe what it is I do. It’s become very hip to identify as an activist–not necessarily a bad thing–but it’s important to not let this word become devoid of meaning. Many of the struggles and movements of the past have been Disney-fied and watered down to focus merely on the tactic of nonviolent protest and to portray the tactic as being the goal itself. That is, the reason for the protests, racial and economic oppression, are erased and glossed over to make it seem like the extent of being an activist is participating in a nonviolent protest. The white power structure continues to find new ways to dilute or subvert the central issue of racism in America. One of its most recent tactics is introducing the notion of “bothsideism” to activism. Every cause qualifies as “activism” and everyone is an “activist” with little time or examination given to what cause folks are actually being an activist for. Continue reading