Baltimore—from Frederick Douglass to Freddie Gray—informs his whole journey.
“The historical truth is that no single person—no matter how gifted—has led complex social change on her own.”
Anyone can see the rippling effects of God's kingdom in buildings, movements, and practices. I couldn't comprehend it all without Diana Butler Bass.
Most white Christians, and many middle class racial minority communities, have cut themselves off from any intimate life together with poor black communities that struggle every day with a multiplicity of oppressive obstacles. But a movement is happening all around us.
First church members reclaimed the corner as a peaceful space. Then, as it got colder, they began talking about expanding their ministry.
Every win in our organization's history has come when a diverse group of Baltimoreans got out of their lanes and worked together.
"Co-creating is a lot of fun," says Jenn DiFrancesco. She and her Slate Project colleagues don’t show the same sort of weariness church planters often display a couple years in.
In “God of the Oppressed,” James Cone recounts how Christian responses to the 1967 Detroit riot revealed not only an insensitivity to black suffering but a larger theological bankruptcy on the part of white theologians. As he saw it, they were not genuinely concerned about all cases of violence. Worried about the threat of black revolutionaries, they did not see the structure of violence embedded in U.S. law and carried out by the police. Cone asks: “Why didn’t we hear from the so-called nonviolent Christians when black people were violently enslaved, violently lynched, and violently ghettoized in the name of freedom and democracy?”
By the time of Freddie Gray's arrest, his part of town was already awash in legitimate grievances against the police.
My hometown and my grandfather’s were the site of riots connected to race and law enforcement.