I have posted this before, but it merits another posting seeing the contentious fear of outsiders seeking to be insiders. Yet, outsiders must be invited and, often and as sad as this image denote, must confirm to those who are the insiders. If we are thinking about true diversity…insiders must allow outsiders to be themselves. Thus, code switching to meet what insiders deem as dominant values must be reconsider. If mot you have diverse faces conforming to the reality of those who decide who can enter the door.
It was exciting being a participant at the Clark Atlanta University symposium. I was thankful that the university was able to award me funding. Joined by friends and colleagues, I was able to engage and learn from a number of top scholars in the field of history, sociology, religion, and African-American Studies. I was excited by how well my paper was received by the audience. And, I was able to get some feedback on my research as I further develop my arguments.
As seen above, I am discussing my paper that reflects a more traditional W.E.B. Du Bois. I will not comment much on my work here, but it was exciting sharing space with other academics seeking to advance their understanding of the past, and how reflecting on the past can bring about some resolutions to the problems of the 21st century.
On the final day of the symposium, Phil (pictured here to the left and Sho to the right) and I arranged to have coffee with artist Sho Baraka, who authored his lyrical album Talented Tenth—after that of W.E.B. Du Bois. This brotha is gifted. I am a fan. Better yet, I am in hopes of bringing him to Brooks campus to speak and perform. We were also recruiting him to write for a peer-reviewed journal we are editing.
During the week of 2/19 – 2/23, the online forum Black Perspectives is publishing a roundtable of essays from academics and thought leaders addressing the 150th anniversary of W.E.B. Du Bois. My essay addresses a Communist Du Bois and sympathetic King to socialism. It is titled “Race, Religion, & Radicalism: Martin Luther King Jr. and W.E.B. Du Bois.” I explore their juxtaposition of a radical Christian message to their radical walk, as they and Christ despised capitalism and its greed. This is a public forum opened to those who may know little about our academic work and topics. Read more about the forum and the authors here.
I am thrilled to be speaking to an audience as we celebrate what February means — and the challenges that continue to face this country. My talk is brutally honest, reflective, and inspirational. But it is also a call to action. Black, Brown, and white must gather as a collective to dismantle white supremacy.
I was reading the New Testament book of Matthew yesterday on the birth of Jesus Christ. Many Christians proclaim a desire to live a life of Christ. In reading Matthew, here in the Christmas season, it is clear that Jesus was seeking refuge from King Herod, in regions that made him an undocumented person. I just read a study on the number of evangelical Christians who favor Trump because he will keep folks out and deport others. Ephesians 2:14, ” For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has torn down the dividing wall of hostility”. Would you deport Jesus? Preachers — be radical this Christmas and take your church to the next level and aim to bring radicals to the pew. Be like Christ here. The 21st century church must disavow its complacency and promulgate equality through radical preachers with radical members who love people more than capitalism and party idolatry, and who will subscribe to what Psalm 82: 3-4 notes: “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
In the Gospel according to Mary Brown and her child Joshua, who represents one of W.E.B. Du Bois’s Black biblical characters, he found comfort among those who were societal outcasts. He, who was [the Black] Jesus Christ, marched with the poor, with sinners, and communists; however, whites did not embrace this Christ. Better yet, the white South lynched this Christ because they could not accept a Christ that accepted all people. Because of this, the very people who awaited him – the Christian South, killed Joshua.
Teaching students what history is forces one to ponder a new trajectory in the classroom. Take a look here.
At the young age of 82, W.E.B. Du Bois, founder of the NAACP, Pan-Africanism, professor, and member of the Communist Party USA, offered this Thanksgiving prayer:
“Give us thankful hearts, O God, in this the season of Thy Thanksgiving. May we be thankful for health and strength, for sun and rain and peace. Let us seize the day and the opportunity and strive for that greatness of spirit that measures life not by its disappointments but by its possibilities, and let us ever remember that true gratitude and appreciation shows itself neither in independence nor satisfaction but passes the gift joyfully on in larger and better form. Such gratitude grant us, O Lord. Amen.”–Psalm 100