If Martin Luther King Were Living

Three days ago, on April 4th, we marked fifty-one years since Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. That awful act changed the course of America’s history. It’s impossible to know exactly how our country would have grown if he had lived. This year, he would be ninety years old. Imagine if Dr. KingContinue reading “If Martin Luther King Were Living”

Stop Honoring Slaveowners

If freedom lives at the heart of the American idea, then denying people freedom is profoundly un-American. This shouldn’t be a shocking idea. Keeping people from living their lives in freedom contradicts everything America means. Thus, it is time to stop honoring slaveowners. All of them. Even, and especially, those who were presidents, those weContinue reading “Stop Honoring Slaveowners”

Orlando Pinder’s “RETOLD”

Orlando Pinder is a young film maker I’ve known since he was a small child. He has grown into a man of conscience and talent. His most recent work, a five-minute film titled “RETOLD,” shows the people of Chicago’s South Side Bronzeville neighborhood in ways they are not often shown. A neighborhood more broadly knownContinue reading “Orlando Pinder’s “RETOLD””

My Summer Reading: African Literature – Part 1

Many summers ago, I spent two months at the University of California, Berkeley, reading and studying African Literature. I had just finished a particularly difficult seminary year. I had also just completed graduate school at Notre Dame. ┬áThe seminary staff said I could take the summer for retreat and reading. I lived in a largeContinue reading “My Summer Reading: African Literature – Part 1”

When Your Doctor Says “Cancer” Part Three

When I was first diagnosed with low-grade prostate cancer, eight months ago, I noted that I would occasionally forget my diagnosis. Perhaps it was the immersive nature of teaching, the normal turns of a busy life. But I would remember, every few days, and it surprised me. Perhaps the mind only lets us hold newContinue reading “When Your Doctor Says “Cancer” Part Three”

MLK 50 Years: Dr. King’s Final Sunday Sermon at Washington National Cathedral

“Remaining Awake Through A Great Revolution” was the title of Dr. King’s last Sunday sermon. He, of course, did not know it would be his last. But on March 31, 1968, in Washington to advance his new Poor Peoples’ Campaign, he walked up the steps of the Cathedral’s Canterbury Pulpit, to preach this powerful andContinue reading “MLK 50 Years: Dr. King’s Final Sunday Sermon at Washington National Cathedral”