Girls Rock

pink-slips-liveby Jessica Place
Staff Writer

To what should I compare the kingdom of God?

It is like Girls Rock NC Festival.

On Saturday I attended this amazing event in Carrboro, which benefitted Girls Rock NC, an organization that empowers girls ages 7-16 to express themselves through music. The festival featured a showcase concert by the girls who participate in the program, who write and perform their own songs. After that, an earth-shattering group of local and national women-fronted bands played amazing sets, including Mount Moriah, Ex Hex, and The Julie Ruin. If that wasn’t enough, the concert portion was followed by a dance party that lasted late into the night. Continue reading

Black Gospel and Its Role in the World

mahalia-jackson-7by Eddie Sanders
Staff Writer

Black gospel music is the fuel of the world. From the spirituals sang by African American slaves to the intertwining of hip-hop beats with inspirational lyrics, black gospel has been at the backdrop of all things significant. Our nation’s favorite rock and roll artist, Elvis Presley, was greatly influenced by black gospel. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech was not complete until Mahaila Jackson belted the words to the popular hymnal, “How I Got Over.” With all of the influence black gospel music has had throughout the world, it is almost inaccurate to refer to it as “black gospel;” instead it should be coined, “World Gospel.” This can be supported as we take an in-depth view at the influence of black gospel in pop culture and politics. Continue reading

How to Be a Straight White Man

zackby Brandon Hubbard-Heitz

It does not take a lot of effort to be a straight white man in the United States. In the midst of continued political efforts to deny members of the GLBTQ community the right to marry, disenfranchise minority voters, and restrict women’s access to necessary healthcare, straight white men continue to enjoy enormous benefits in America. In light of the disproportionate advantages they enjoy, I, as a member of this demographic, offer three simple rules for straight white men interested in doing their part to extricate themselves from this system and institute a more liberating reality. Continue reading

Real Talk about Race: Blackness in America

mcharj13by Richard Mchau
Guest Contributor

An African American boss with an Ethiopian girlfriend once asked me me, “Richard, why is it, that people from Africa do not attend traditionally black churches?” I was perplexed, but I knew that his question was genuine and based on years of his serious observations. Bearing in mind that I had invited him to hear me preach at my church, I cleared my throat and said, “I cannot speak for all the African people you know, but the place I go to church is a spiritual thing.” Then he asked, “What do you mean?” “Well, it is not a “black and white” or “Black or White” thing; it is a kindred spirit issue. Where I go to church now, I would still go there if I were in Africa or any other location in the world; this has nothing to do with denominationalism or color of the people on the pew,” I responded. Continue reading

Stealing Joy

132363676518162354_H4EYDkOi_fby Anna Fleig
Staff Writer

A little over a month into my first year at divinity school, I find myself overwhelmed with emotion and wondering just what I’ve gotten myself into. Nearly every day I am asked what I am doing here. If someone else doesn’t ask me, I wonder it to myself. Like many of us, I am beginning to feel that what I have actually embarked on is a project of blindly hacking my way through rough terrain rather than the slightly less arduous task of hiking on established, albeit rocky, trails. I was unclear about where this path would lead before I began; now I wonder if there is any path at all. Continue reading

Segregated Sundays

churchesby Brian Hayes
Staff Writer

Martin Luther King, Jr. once stated, “Sunday morning is the most segregated hour of Christian America.” Since that declaration 50 years ago, ecclesial segregation largely persists. However, Sunday segregation not only occurs along racial divides. It also extends to age, socio-economic class, educational level, political affiliation, and theological beliefs. Worship tends to be a rather homogeneous experience for most Americans. Many suggest that this is not necessarily a bad thing and that it’s simply natural for people to connect with God among people who are like them. To the contrary, I assert that the uniformity present in most Sunday morning services causes Christians to miss out on the true power of church and the fullness of God’s character. Continue reading

The Day Homelessness Got a Face

homeless (1)by Pia Diggs
Staff Writer

There are numerous things, people and traditions that we so easily characterize to fit in a box. It could be race, sex, sexuality, socioeconomic class, etc. Homelessness was one of those things for me. I remember being a child and thinking that homeless people were very poor. I couldn’t quite understand exactly why people couldn’t and/or wouldn’t help them. I had a tremendous amount compassion for the people I knew existed but never seemed to see. Continue reading

Inside the Window

handsby Jonathan Gamble
Staff Writer

The town fit inside her window: the library, the commons, the whitewashed steeple, and a reflection of her speaking on the phone. Trees covered the mountains and a palette of orange, yellow, and red colored the trees. Her breath thawed the autumn frost that clung to the corners of her pane. She could see where the weathered country pavement first wove through the Appalachian notches toward my home. She remembered walks through the hay pastures by the river rapids under the moon. Continue reading