Monday, September 21, 2009

"Fear of a Black President" - article by Jonathan Walton on Religion Dispatches

If you haven't discovered Religion Dispatches yet, you might want to explore it. It is an online publication with timely, thoughtful, challenging analysis.

One of the current essays at Religion Dispatches is this one, "Fear of a Black President." The author, Jonathan Walton, teaches at the University of California at Riverside.

(Civil) comments welcome here, as always.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Latin@ Theologies and Spiritualities - Bibliographic Resources

Here is a great resource. In its own words:

This is a project and service of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the U.S. (ACHTUS), designed for its members and for scholars and students anywhere who need accurate, complete and frequently updated bibliographical information on and by U.S. Latino/a Catholics and Episcopalians.

Click here to see the bibliographies. Latin@ theology is a rich and lively enterprise!

Not sure where to start? If you have never read anything in Latin@ spirituality or theology, I have a couple of ideas of simple articles or small books. I can bring them to our next RJ&R meeting and will also post references to them here. If you have ideas as well, or questions or comments, please write them in the Comments section below.

African Americans and Latin@s join in immigration initiative

Yesterday, on Juneteenth, the community organization ACORN launched a new initiative involving African Americans and Latin@s together in the movement for comprehensive immigration reform.

Click here to read the full story.

Note: The spelling Latin@ is not a typo. It is a written word some Latinas and Latinos are using in order to avoid using a longer gender-inclusive phrase such as Latina/Latino or Latino/a.

P.S. "Latin@" or "Hispanic"? Is there a difference? Who uses what term? Here's one person's fairly accurate reflection and comparison. Note also that The Journal of Hispanic/Latino Theology (published under the auspices of ACHTUS) uses both names because there is no full consensus on the issue -- though most of the writers for the journal probably use "Latino" or "Latina."

Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy Juneteenth!

Juneteenth, once celebrated only in Texas, has spread all around the country. 31 states currently recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday. It is the oldest known commemoration celebrating the end of slavery in the United States. For more on the history and celebration of Juneteenth, see here. For a historian's perspective that nuances and comments on the way the story of Juneteenth is usually told, see this short essay by Professor Thavolia Glymph of Duke University.

What are your memories and experiences, if any, of Juneteenth celebrations? What is your reaction to Professor Glymph's essay? Feel free to share them in the comments below. Blogs are meant for conversation, not just for one-way reading.

Elizabeth Catlett, "Sharecropper"

Thursday, June 11, 2009

We're back! Updates coming soon - watch for Juneteenth

Sorry for the long gap in communication, friends. We'll be blogging again on a regular basis over the summer. Once we are back, tell your colleagues, friends, family, and congregation-mates. And do participate by leaving comments.

Our next post will probably be on Juneteenth. For those of you who don't know, that's June 19th and there is a story behind this, one that many people commemorate around the U.S. Stay tuned...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Journey of Reconciliation" - the First "Freedom Ride," in 1947! Upcoming commemorations in Chapel Hill

I received this letter a few days ago from the Fellowship of Reconciliation:

Did you know that the first civil rights "freedom ride" took place in 1947, fourteen years before the 1961 riders captured the nation's attention by exposing the brutality of Jim Crow in the South? The Journey of Reconciliation was organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), which was born at FOR, and was led by FOR staff members Bayard Rustin and George Houser.

The interracial group of nine men on the Journey of Reconciliation set out from Washington, D.C. on April 9th, 1947. They met some resistance from passengers and drivers on buses in Virginia and North Carolina. But when they attempted to sit at the front of a bus in Chapel Hill on April 12th, the driver refused, and removed some of the riders by force. They were then attacked by angry cab drivers at the Chapel Hill bus station, and arrested by local police. Their subsequent time serving on a chain gang led Rustin to write about the experience. His serialized journal led to major reforms in the North Carolina prison system.

[Note from Jane R: For a much earlier post on Bayard Rustin, see here on my personal blog, Acts of Hope.]

Next week, a state historic marker will be installed in Chapel Hill to commemorate the Journey of Reconciliation. The event will be an opportunity to remember the horrors of Jim Crow past, and to look forward at the racial justice challenges of our future. I hope you can join me at one or more of these events in Chapel Hill. If not, perhaps you can show your support by making a donation to FOR in honor of the first freedom ride . Click the titles below to learn more and RSVP for these events.

Thursday 2/26, 7 pm: Screening & discussion: "You Don't have to Ride Jim Crow." Watch the documentary and discuss Chapel Hill's civil rights history with filmmaker Robin Washington. Sponsored by FOR and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP.

Friday 2/27, time TBA: Nonviolent direct action organizing, then and now . A discussion of old tactics and new frontiers with Robin Washington. Sponsored by FOR.

Saturday 2/28, noon: Day of Commemoration and Re-dedication . Freedom Riders in Chapel Hill 1947-2009: The Struggle for Racial Justice Continues. Sponsored by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP and the Community Church, with support from the Town of Chapel Hill.

I am helping to organize these events because I believe in the power of nonviolent direct action to bring about justice. I want others to remember this powerful legacy and to be inspired about the change we can continue to make happen today. I hope you will join me in Chapel Hill.


Ruby Sinreich
Communications Co-Director
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Chapel Hill, N.C.

Fellowship of Reconciliation • 521 N. Broadway • Nyack, New York 10960 • 845-358-4601 •

Cross-posted at Acts of Hope.