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In Which Oprah Subverts the Stories She Celebrates.

A couple of nights back, Oprah donned once again her mantle of America's gnostic pope, and addressed the issue of women's equality. No spoilers here, we expected that. She gave a stirring account of both her inspiration as a child in seeing Sidney Poitier's recognition at the Oscars, as well as the little-known story of Recy Taylor. I affirm the validity of these stories. I lean toward believing, rather than doubting, the women who have come forward. I think systemic racism is a real, proven reality in our country. And that is why I found Oprah's appeal ultimately frustrating and discouraging. Let's first think back on the movement that led to Sidney Poitier and Recy Taylor's stories - the C

5 Lessons on Preaching Against Racism

"Who Lynched Willie Earle" is designed to equip preachers to address racism from the pulpit. Written by Duke University's William Willimon, the book is compassionate, well-written and insightful. Here, I've distilled a few key insights I took from the book (I would love to hear from my minority readers on these...the book was written by a white professor, and sometimes it's difficult for me to discern the helpfulness of the suggestions): 1. Racial reconciliation won't come about through condemnation. I have been guilty of this in the past. I've blasted folks with what I saw as blatant racism, only to feel their heels dig in. Willimon points out that Jesus takes a sideways approach to racism.

Scorsese's "Silence" is a Misunderstood Masterpiece

Scorsese's "Silence" was one of those films I was terrified to watch, for good reason. It unearths secret questions I've long buried. It takes a bald, raw look at the most terrifying potentials of human nature. It doesn't give clean answers. The evangelical in me hisses at such a film. Yet there it was, confronting me daily on Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix. So I took the plunge. What I found beneath the surface was a beautiful, gruesome, terrifying, and...highly misunderstood film. Set in 1600's Japan, cataloguing the journey of two Jesuit priests to find their allegedly apostatized mentor, "Silence" is a film about religion, suffering, cultural clashes and the silence of God. Yet even more

The Girl Who Drank the Moon: A Review

I confess I didn't catch the magic of this book. I think what attracts people to Barnhill's work is chiefly her style. She has a rhythmic, poetic way to frame her story. Her word selection is always on-point and beautiful. But while the story had its moments, it seemed to me to be serially undeveloped. First, it suffers from any particular point of view. If there is a clear protagonist, it is the grandmother-figure, which I think for middle grade fiction is the wrong choice. I can see why adults liked this sentimental look at raising a daughter...but I don't see children resonating with it. This is one of my major complaints with the book - it's not for children. It feels like one long, draw

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