We can’t breathe

It’s been my privilege for the past couple of weeks to be a student once again. I’m auditing a course at nearby Houghton College and thanks to this pandemic and social distancing we are using Zoom. Race and American Christianity is the title of the course and our professor is Julian Armand Cook. i love the course and following last Thursday’s lecture I took Dr. Cook’s invitation to visit his church. I couldn’t make it in person but again thanks to the miracle of YouTube I listened to the service for this Sunday. I decided to look around on the church’s YouTube channel and found Julian’s sermon for May 31, 2020 which followed the death of George Floyd. His preaching is powerful and I wanted to share it and invite us all prayer. We are at a pivotal point in time. Thanks Julian for your invitation and your passion. I invite you to listen to the sermon beginning at 40:25 minutes of this video.


America’s Original Sin

I’ve been reading James Cone’s, The Cross and the Lynching Tree.” It’s a powerful book and one that everyone in the United States ought to read. I thought I knew how much black folks had suffered but I really had a very shallow understanding of the depth and the length of their oppression. I’m not really late to the game. I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and as I’ve written previously my father was deeply prejudiced and that colored my view of the world. However I was a fan of Dr. Martin Luther King and I followed his work with interest.

One of the stories in this book that was left out of my worldview then was the story of a young boy who was murdered when I was not quite three years old. The story and my ignorance of it are clear examples of white privilege. I never heard anything of Emmett Till in my schooling.

Because he had whistled at a white woman and reportedly said “bye baby” as he departed from a store on August 24, 1955, Emmett Till was picked up four days later around 2: 00 a.m., beaten beyond recognition, shot in the head, and thrown in the Tallahatchie River, “weighted down with a heavy gin fan.”[ 2]”

— The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone

Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this book. It’s well written and extremely well documented.