This year, the 4th of July feels aspirational to me. I still believe that all people are created equal. I still believe in e pluribus unum…out of many, one. I still believe that one day we will judge a person not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I still believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of justice. … Continue reading Happy Birthday
It takes a long time, this pursuit of justice. Sometimes it feels like things move slowly. Sometimes it feels like nothing changes at all. When I interviewed Rev. DeMett Jenkins in Charleston last year, she spoke about her grandfather, Esau Jenkins and the civil rights work he did back in the day. DeMett said, “We’re dealing with the exact same type of stuff that my … Continue reading Faith and Justice
A Peace of My Mind set up our studio for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Program at the University of Minnesota and asked, “How is Dr. King’s legacy crucial and relevant today?” Continue reading MLK Center
I suppose there is a line to be drawn from the Easter story to Dr King’s assassination in Memphis in 1968 to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis a year ago. Perhaps a learned theologian could articulate conclusions more clearly than me. Maybe a great philosopher could connect the dots in a way that would help everyone see the light. I’m still working on … Continue reading Truth
We passed through Birmingham, Alabama on our drive toward home. It was just a quick overnight while traveling, but we’ll return later in the spring for a longer stay and to explore more of the history of the town. It was a cool evening in the trailer, and we were confident our battery wouldn’t last through the night, but before retiring under a stack of … Continue reading Birmingham
It was time to be bold. I brought one of my books along yesterday when I attended a panel discussion on ending civil wars at the US Institute of Peace. I didn’t know who I wanted to give it to, but I imagined I might run across someone worth connecting with. One of the panelists was Nancy Lindborg, the President of the Institute, and as … Continue reading Your odds are greatly improved…
Yesterday we walked the grounds of Mount Vernon, outside Washington, DC. It was home to George Washington, leader of the revolution, founding father, first president, hero… But, of course, not everybody saw him that way. He was an American hero, but the British crown was not so fond of him and his colleagues. The view of the Revolution from across the sea was very different. … Continue reading The Troublemakers
Joanne Bland was 11 years old when she marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Heading from Selma toward Montgomery, the activists were committed to securing voting rights for all Americans, but on March 7, 1965, they were violently attacked by law enforcement officers. It became known as Bloody Sunday. I interviewed Joanne at her home in Selma in August 2015, just 12 days … Continue reading Joanne Bland
There is a typo on a statue of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, Alabama. It’s in front of Brown Chapel, where the famed march from Selma to Montgomery began in support of voting rights. I was there a couple years ago to interview Joanne Bland who was on that march with Dr. King when she was 11 years old. The statue says, “I … Continue reading What is your dream?
Asma Jama was hit in the face with a glass beer mug for not speaking English in an Applebee’s. She needed 17 stitches in her lip. In a press interview after the attack, Asma encouraged people to talk to others who seem different than them, to get to know them better as a way to overcome prejudice. She said, “I was attacked by a white … Continue reading Are you listening?