I Speak from the Deep Throated Voice of a Survivor

RubyBiography as Theology from the Front Porch of Mother Ruby Sales (posted to Facebook August 28, 2019).

My story which is both a Black story and an American one. It is a story shaped by more than fifty years of watching and wading in the ebb and flow of White supremacy in America. It is the story of both a survivor and freedom fighter who has experienced the best and worst of America.

Our story

“They are bringing drugs and sending their criminals.”

“Go back to where you come from.”

“Go back to your crime ridden neighborhoods.” Continue reading

Relationship is not the Answer to Racism

Chanequa Walker BarnesFrom the blog of Chanequa Walker-Barnes, author of the upcoming release I Bring the Voices of My People: A Womanist Vision for Racial ReconciliationWalker-Barnes is a theologian and psychologist whose mission is to serve as a catalyst for healing, justice, and reconciliation in the Christian church and beyond.

People often ask me how long it takes me to write a book. That’s a hard question to answer. With both of my books now, I spend years living the book before I sit down to write the book. I spent 10 years immersed in the Christian racial reconciliation movement, from 2006-2016. From the beginning, I was plagued by “Yes, but” moments, but that didn’t stop me from being all in. I loved being in spaces where diverse Christians had honest convo about race and racism. I had only experienced that previously in Black church spaces. Continue reading

relinquishing the patriarchy

3599EC8E-44F3-4B67-8C7A-4B49B90EA906-924x1024By adrienne maree brown, re-posted from her website.

dear men.

this is mostly a note to straight, cis men; but also includes trans men, queer men, and all who participate in masculinity – if you see yourself in these words, this is a love note to you.

patriarchy (the system of society/government in which men hold the power and women are excluded from it) is collapsing, and it’s time for you, too, to give it up, to get yourself out.

it won’t be easy.

i don’t believe total revolution or liberation happens in one generation, but i know from my own life and many lives i have witnessed and accompanied, that it is absolutely possible in your lifetime, in a generation, to personally relinquish an unjust ideology, to begin to practice a more evolved way of being.
Continue reading

What We Learn in the Kitchen: An Introspection on the Black Queer Daughter

By Kendall Waterman, Re-shared from Geez magazine.

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Amanda Greavette, “With Woman,”

“My mother connects me to a past I would have no other way of knowing. And in this sea of whiteness, of friends, enemies and strangers, I look at her and know who I am.”
– Michèle Pearson Clarke, Transition

Two minutes into a phone call with my mother and she has launched into a full review of her church’s leadership transition, recounting details of a recent board meeting in which she was obliged to provide her unique clarity.

“Visionaries need me, they can’t explain what they want but I can see it. If you shut up and leave me alone, I can make it happen.”

We go on to chat about a young family friend who just broke up with her first girlfriend.

“It’s a big mess. This is why God never designed women to be romantically involved with other women. Too many emotions.” Continue reading

Pastoral Letter

8699828939_8a53b785ab_bBy Laurel Dykstra

in those days before the flood
they were eating and drinking,
marrying and giving in marriage

My scarred and raging
weary-eyed beloveds

ordinary defiant
with your teaching-outfit selfies
purple hair
fancy waistcoats
songs in a new range
carpentry projects
surfboards
magic card tricks
raspberry canes

You are magnificent Continue reading

The Only Version of Heaven my God Has Given Me

DungyAn excerpt from The Sun Magazine‘s 2018 interview with poet and professor Camille Dungy.

I am a Christian who is sad that it is often difficult for me to say that I am a Christian. I believe in what I understand to be the fundamental teachings of Jesus Christ: Love one another, and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Justice and care and dangerous, radical kindness — I believe in all that. But I don’t believe that there is just one “right” Church. And I don’t believe in waiting to go to heaven to get my due…I’m going to fight for my due here and now, and for my daughter’s due. This is the only version of heaven that my God has given me, so this is where I am going to do my work. Continue reading

Mothering Behind Bars: A Conversation with Siwatu-Salama Ra

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Siwatu-Salama Ra and family, freesiwatu.org.

Re-share from Geez magazine.

Siwatu-Salama Ra is an environmental justice activist in Detroit, Michigan. Two years ago, she was arrested for pulling out a gun when someone violently threatened her two-year-old daughter. She was a licensed gun owner and never fired a shot. She was found guilty of felony firearm and given a two-year mandatory minimum sentence. She gave birth to her son while in prison. After serving eight months, she has been released on bond as she awaits her appeal. Her case raises many questions about self-defense, racial disparities in the justice system, and the treatment of incarcerated women. Her story also highlights the power of organizing and community. Lydia Wylie-Kellermann interviewed Siwatu while she was out on bond awaiting her appeal.

Geez: Could you start by introducing yourself and saying a little bit about who you are and what you do?

Siwatu-Salama Ra: My name is Siwatu-Salama Ra. I’m a daughter of a long-time community organizer and activist, Rhonda Anderson. I was raised by a single mother who raised all four of her children and grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren. I followed a lot of what my mom did, and I started environmental justice work at about 14.

Recently, people have given me another title – a difficult title – of being a political prisoner. I was released from prison almost five months ago. I came home to a baby who was turning six-months-old, who I had given birth to in prison. And a three-year-old who is close to being four now. I left when she was two. Continue reading