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White Christian Fear of Racism

I’ve hit a conundrum I can’t understand. I’ve been Christian since the moment my mother hit her knees and, against every fiber in her being, gave up her motherly control over me to have me baptized as “God’s own forever.” As such, I know sin as separation of God. I also know the good news that repentance leads...

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The Bishop Came to Our House

Yesterday, in church, the Bishop came to our house. She wore her gold hat and white robes. She carried a carved shepherd’s crook, because she is the shepherd of our souls here on earth. At her side stood a tiny woman called the Bishop’s chaplain, as if the Bishop gets to travel with her BFF spiritual friend always. The Bishop was...

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The Devil You Know

I saw the book at Novel Bookstore in Memphis. Its vivid orange and black cover drew me in. I realized the author was Charles Blow, who I had followed on Twitter before I got off Twitter. I always liked what he had to say. In the back of my brain, I seemed to recall he had moved from somewhere in the North to Atlanta. I picked up “The Devil...

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White People’s Fake Fear

One of the major rites of passage in my young life was finally getting old enough to shop with my friends in downtown Jackson. We spent many a Saturday morning planning where we would shop as we walked up and down Capitol Street, the city’s main commercial artery. The plan was to ride the bus from our Belhaven neighborhood to downtown—all...

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Writing Can Bring Us Together

This morning, preparing my space, I spread out my index cards, fanning them onto the folding table. To mix it up, I alternated cards written in red Sharpie with cards written in green or blue or black. On each card, I had written the start of a sentence: I always smile at… Or, If you tickle me… My best friend is… I’ve always...

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Where Do We Go Now?

Where do we go now? The Guns and Roses refrain keeps traveling through my brain. I’m in flux. We’re re-establishing a presence in Memphis, renting an apartment downtown until we can hopefully find a condo. I’m so place oriented, y’all. This splitting back into three parts—New Orleans, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and Memphis—has...

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What We’ve Made of Christianity

The Easter service was lovely, it really was. My favorite person was in church, and she tootled her fingers at us during the passing of the peace. And yet it wears me out, what we’ve made of Christianity. Today, the Gospel reading on the most momentous day of our religious year began with Mary Magdalene. Early in the morning, Mary Magdalene...

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