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

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

Mothering as Discipleship

58373625_10109215327077547_3301167968863387648_nRe-shared from Bartimeaus Cooperative’s newsletter.

At Farm Church on Mother’s Day, Charletta Erb talked with Erin H, mother of Gabriel (5 years) and Lucia (4 months),about mothering as discipleship, as part of our occasional “biography as theology” reflections.

Is motherhood a spiritual act for you?

Since Lucia’s birth my space has been physically grounded, happily reclusive, narrow, and defined by the predictable cycle of a baby’s needs. At times I find myself fighting it, or wanting my own space, but then I release (often with the help of nursing) and can relax into it as I remember this is such a short season. Then I just stare in wonder at my children. Mothering is a discipline, like training for a century or iron man, or like sitting in meditation for hours: painful and repetitive, yet so rewarding, with fleeting moments of nirvana or bliss. Continue reading