A LGBTQ Conversation

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Brooks GSA gathered the other night to discuss recent religious liberty bill actions and LGBTQ matters in states like North Carolina. Rebecca Binder and I focused on Constitional matters related to past issues of race and current matters of identity and the power struggle between states, individuals, and the federal government. We had a great showing of students. Binder was the real star. Her legal training and interest in LGBTQ rights made for an interesting night. It is safe to say we learned a great deal. I was pushing students out of my house at 9:00.

#SayHerName

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A must read here about Sandra Bland — a victim of racism and police brutality. My friend, colleague, and fellow social activist — Professor Phillip Sinitiere did a nice job as an ally in the work for social justice. I am joined with Sinitiere behind the Duke University chapel reminding folks that Sandy still needs us. Sinitiere’s work in bringing a voice to fight a wrong has been fantastic. Let us help him and others.

Sandy

Is God Dead?

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Above: My presentation slide

As one of the editors for The Christian Century Magazine Then & Now, I am excited to share an essay we edited and published. Neil Young’s piece here reminds us that this month is the 50 anniversary of the Time Magazine cover, Is God Dead?, and that the faith-based movie God Is Not Dead 2 just released reflects the culture war of religion and society. The magazine cover is something I teach and one I will share in my presentation regarding American Jesus and the tension over religion in American society.

A Sunday Read

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I am meditating and studying a bit today since Janette and I have no community obligations — though there is always work that needs to be done. Hence, part of my many weaknesses is allowing for comfort, while others do not have such a choice. In my study and looking back at Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s recent work on race and America…I have concluded that she supports my working argument of Black elite comfort that perpetuates the failure of the civil rights movement and drives class division of black people and the structural nature of intra-racism among Black folk. Solidarity is a myth, as many have acclaimed a status that separates those of wealth from those of cyclical Jim Crow configuration. Again — Black elites have more debt and less wealth than whites, but so many have ignored the race.

Presentation to Students and Parents

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Brooks mailed acceptance and rejection letters to students. Those accepted also applied to other schools. Thus, we are hosting a second revisit day for accepted students as part of the admission office program in attracting them to enroll. I will give a presentation to students and parents as part of the day’s program. I just finished my presentation and it is pretty darn good.

Brother West

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I have discussed Cornel West a number of times. In many ways — I am a fan; I first read his popular work, Race Matterduring my junior year of high school. To give you a greater since of his impact and that of this book, I recently reread it. Professor West has also been in my dog house on matters related to Obama and a convoluted message regarding 21st century matters of race and identity. I can say, however, that I think he is a great person. In many ways, he has had a profound impact on my work as a social activist and being engaged in the streets as a person who advocates for social justice. Besides Janette, he has influenced how I spend my free time. I work six days per week. And on my one day off…I spend it with Janette at a soup kitchen. It is moral. It is right. It is what good people should be doing with their time.

I have heard him speak three times since 2002. But, it was my work at Princeton University back in 2007 that brought West to my attention. I was staying at the Nassau Inn across from the university, when I ran into West. He is a popular person. Yet — he took 15 minutes of his time to speak to me about my work at Princeton, Obama, and me being from the South. I greatly enjoyed our encounter. I have also reached out to him in hopes that he would write for my editorial colleagues at The Christian Century Magazine; I have not heard back. Give this 60 Minutes series of interviews a listen. It is worth the time.