Photo credit: Craine’sDetroit
In Detroit, the constant flash of green lights says: You are being watched.
BY BILL WYLIE-KELLERMANN
Reposted from Sojourners, MARCH 2020
WE GATHERED THIS fall on the steps of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Summoned by the Detroit chapter of Black Youth Project 100, we were preparing to march a mile-long stretch of gentrified Michigan Avenue, which intersects there. I had served the church for 11 years as pastor, and in the last dozen or so this Catholic Worker neighborhood had been invaded by $400,000 condos, plus destination bars and restaurants. Among others, guests at our Manna Meal soup kitchen and Kelly’s Mission, largely black, are stigmatized and made unwelcome. Continue reading
By Marcia Lee, Detroit, MI
The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.
Time in its measurements of hours, minutes, days, and years is a human construct that we have created to make order in our lives. (Think of how many different calendars there are in different parts of the world and terms we use like people of color time, Asian time, etc.). We want a certain level of structure and having time to measure events allows us to have something outside of ourselves, a ‘science’ if you will, to give purpose and stability to our decisions. This is how people come to say things like, “If only I had the time,’ or ‘there are not enough hours in a day.’ This, I call ‘human time.’ Continue reading
By Lindsay Airey
This piece was developed during the second Bartimaeus Institute Online (BIO) Study Cohort 2016-2017. These pieces will eventually be published in a Women’s Breviary collection. For more information regarding the BIO Study Cohort go here.
Abrihet Queen, given name Valerie, was born on April 11, 1960, into the Core City neighborhood of Detroit, the sixth of nine children. Her parents worked hard and tirelessly to make ends meet. She soaked in beloved community, surrounded by a wealth of grandparents and parents faithfully watching over the neighborhood. At age three, she was rescued after being kidnapped. “I was snatched,” Valerie recounts, “but the community found me, and I’m still here.” Continue reading
On September 12, the brand new $800 million+ Little Caesar’s Arena kicked off with a Kid Rock concert on the southern edge of the Cass Corridor in Detroit. It was the culmination of white billionaire Mike Ilitch’s* fifteen-year “dereliction by design,” scores of properties purchased and left to rot. Land values were intentionally driven lower so Ilitch could buy even more. One week after the grand opening, prompted by this journalistic prose, Lindsay Airey was visited by a nightmare. Her attempt to relay it in poetry:
A sea of black faces.
by violent displacement,
Greed turned sick
of these precious ones’
seeping like poison,
out their murdering pores. Continue reading
By Naim Edwards
(This post is a Bonus Wild Lectionary Reflection from the readings a month ago)
The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. Acts 17:24-25
Clifton and Vanessa named me Naim Kenyatta. We are the descendants of Black West Africans (and an Irishmen or two) taken from their homelands and transplanted to these so-called United States of America. Our lineage has been traced back twelve generations geographically all the way to Maryland and Virginia. Besides that, we understand that forced separation from our indigenous language and region has essentially vanquished all direct ties to Africa. My family has been here since before the U.S. was even the U.S. We are more American than America, yet most Black people continue to be treated like second class citizens. Continue reading
A Sermon by Joyce Hollyday. Given at Circle of Mercy: February 28, 2016
My friend Jeanie Wylie-Kellermann died on New Year’s Eve of 2005 of brain cancer. In the aftermath, her daughter Lydia claimed me as one of her two honorary mothers. One of the ways I’ve taken that beautiful tribute seriously was to be present to help catch her son Isaac when he was born three years ago.
Last month Isaac’s brother, Cedar, came into the world. I wasn’t present for his birth, but I had the delight of meeting him when he was ten days old and staying with him, Isaac, and their mothers for a few days. My main task was entertaining Isaac. I read a lot of books, put together countless puzzles, and played endless rounds of the game “Goodnight Moon.” Continue reading