Monday, January 30, 2012


Gifts of Life Ministries
The Urban Oasis
Upcoming Events
· Saturday February 4th @ 2:00pm-Living Wage Rally
· Sunday February 5th @ 2:00pm-Pastor Johnson’s Book Signing
· Sunday February 5th @ 3:00pm-Super Bowl Party
· Sunday February 12th @ 3:00pm-Bessie Christian preaches her First Sermon
· Sunday February 19th @ 11:00am-Black History Worship Service @ Liberation Community Church
· Sunday February 26th @ 4:00pm-Black History Musical

Gifts of Life Ministries
(Peace Lutheran Church Building)
1542 Jackson Avenue
For more information please call 901-272-7337

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Eulogy for the G’Life Repast of Sister Jamesetta Hawkins BKA Etta James

Here at G'Life, when someone of Etta James' statue passes away, we offer a little "repast" (or repass) for the individual. We gather at the church, with food fun and fellowship and reflect on the life and legacy of the person. I typically offer a "eulogy" of sorts and especially with a musician, I tie the titles of their songs into the eulogy itself. Here is what we did for Etta James.

           We gather here today to reflect, remember, remind, and to rehash the life, legacy and ultimate liberation of one sister Jamesetta Hawkins better known to her millions….and millions of fans as Mrs. Etta James. She may have started her life as a Wallflower, with only a Spoonful at times to eat or to drink, but she persevered through her BreakingPoint to be one of the world’s most respected and loved entertainers. Only Time (Will) Would Tell how great this W-O-M-A-N would be. Her songs became therapy—good philosophical treaties as she told us to Tighten Up Your Own Thing and the proverbial, There are Two Sides to Every Story.

She also became our love therapist as she reminded us that we men must be Good Rocking Daddies, because the Good Lookin', Sunshine of Love could turn into a Tough LoverShe also had a word for the women as well. She reminded women not to be a Pushover, because if you are not coming correct, You Can Leave your Hat On because though I Prefer You, Don’t Lose your Good Thing.

But she is probably most remembered as a lover who loved hard. You could not hear an Etta James song and not feel the emotion, the happiness and joy, and yes the sorrow, grief, and pain. My Dearest Darling, she sang, All I Could Do Was to Cry, Fool that I Am, Would it Make Any Difference to You, because Loving You More Every Day, makes me realize that Something’s Got a Hold on Me. This is where she said that I Rather Go Blind, saying Baby What You Want Me to Do, because the Sound of Love has taken a Piece of my Heart and all I want to do is to Tell Mama.

But on that faithful day, I hear God saying Jamesetta, do you Trust in Me. I then hear Etta saying Yes, God, You are The Rock. On that day, Etta told her fans, I Saw the Light and I am ready to Fly Away. At Last, she said, I found my Sunday Kind of Love. 

And with that, she went on home to Glory. Blessed be the name of our Lord!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gingrich’s Racist Appeals Spark Revival


Newt Gingrich’s attacks on “the establishment” and “elites” obscure a deeper truth: the popularity of his racist appeals. Gingrich’s resurgence began when he attacked Barack Obama as the “food stamp president” and went into high gear when he forcefully rebutted charges of racial insensitivity. He got extra points for the latter, as it enabled him to “stand up” to Juan Williams, an African-American reporter. Racism has always played well in the South, and the traditional media has facilitated it. The media looked the other way when Ronald Reagan chose Philadelphia, Mississippi for his post-convention 1980 campaign kickoff, a city primarily associated with the murder of three civil rights activists in the 1960’s. Gingrich’s attacks on the “liberal elite” or the “elite media” are almost identical to the racial coding used by former Alabama Governor George Wallace in his presidential runs. Racist appeals against African-Americans and Latinos now dominate Republican politics from Arizona to Alabama and points in between, with the 1% that controls the corporate media content to look the other way.

It is 2012, nearly fifty years after the passage of the key federal civil rights laws, and it is clear from the Republican primaries and events sweeping the nation that millions of Americans would love to turn the clock back to earlier days.

Newt Gingrich knows that he can be attacked for his divorces, ethics violations, and contract with Freddie Mac, but that he can use racist appeals without fear of losing votes.

Read more here

Pentecostalism's Neglected Black History


In her groundbreaking new book, Black Fire, theologian Estrelda Y. Alexander shines a light on the African American roots of Pentecostalism. Here, she speaks to UrbanFaith News & Religion editor Christine A. Scheller about the miracles and scandals of Black Pentecostal faith.

Dr. Estrelda Y. Alexander grew up in the Pentecostal movement, but didn't know much about the Black roots of that movement until she was a seminary student. In her groundbreaking new book, Black Fire: 100 Years of African American Pentecostalism, the Regent University visiting professor traces those roots back to the Azusa Street Revival and beyond. Alexander was so influenced by what she learned that she's spearheading the launch of William Seymour College in Washington, D.C., to continue the progressive Pentecostal legacy of one of the movement's most important founders.

Read more here

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tea Party Groups In Tennessee Demand Textbooks Overlook U.S. Founder's Slave-Owning History

A little more than a year after the conservative-led state board of education in Texas approved massive changes to its school textbooks to put slavery in a more positive light, a group of Tea Party activists in Tennessee has renewed its push to whitewash school textbooks. The group is seeking to remove references to slavery and mentions of the country's founders being slave owners.

According to reports, Hal Rounds, the Fayette County attorney and spokesman for the group, said during a recent news conference that there has been "an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another."

"The thing we need to focus on about the founders is that, given the social structure of their time, they were revolutionaries who brought liberty into a world where it hadn't existed, to everybody -- not all equally instantly -- and it was their progress that we need to look at," Rounds said, according to The Commercial Appeal.

Read more here

Apolitical King not a party to endorsing

Another Republican claims that Martin Luther King Jr. was part of the GOP

"Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican."
Charlotte Bergmann on Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 in a campaign billboard along I-240.

Anyone driving the Interstate 240 beltway around Memphis will now see the new billboard at Getwell Road that proclaims "Martin Luther King Jr. Was A Republican. So Is Charlotte Bergmann. Charlotte Bergmann for Congress."

Bergmann is a Republican candidate in the Democrat-rich 9th Congressional District now represented by Steve Cohen. She got a quarter of the vote in 2010 in the general election and, by all accounts, is doing more campaigning this year than two years ago.

We’re going to take her at her word that she is a Republican.

But Martin Luther King Jr., who marched with Memphis sanitation workers, who was planning a Poor People’s March on Washington at the time of his death, who advocated a guaranteed annual income to end poverty -- a Republican?

Read more here

Monday, January 23, 2012

VaShawn Mitchell: The Stellar Award winning gospel worship man

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tony Cummings reports on the latest singer/songwriter to join gospel music's hierarchy, VASHAWN MITCHELL

VaShawn Mitchell
The stunning success of gospel singer, songwriter and worship leader VaShawn Mitchell at this year's Stellar Awards is the latest achievement for the Atlanta-based artist. The fact that he walked off with awards for Artist Of The Year, Male Vocalist Of The Year, Contemporary Male Vocalist Of The Year, Urban/Inspirational Single/Performance Of The Year and Short Form Music Video Of The Year indicates that VaShawn is now up there with the Kirk Franklins and Mary Marys in terms of his African American church popularity.

VaShawn was born in one of gospel music's great cities, Chicago, Illinois and was very much a church kid. He told, "I was born in Chicago but I grew up in Harvey. I grew up near an alley so on the other side was the church. I was one of those kids that loved music and every time I heard something I would run over to the church and hang with the musicians. The music inspired me to become a musician."

Read more here



**Announcements must be submitted to Min. Bernestine Sanders no later than Wednesday evening at 10:00 pm @ or 730-0155.

Please contact the church office to select dates for any ministry activity. YOU MUST BE ON THE CALENDAR TO HAVE AN EVENT. Please schedule your event during the times in which the building is open.

If you are in need of a van ride to church on Sunday mornings, please call CaSandra Bradshaw at 859-5922 by Thursday night at 9:00 pm.

The Young Masters are looking for a few good adults who are interested in seeing young people succeed to join the BPC "BOOSTERS & PARENTS CLUB" The BPC will be committed to providing support to the Young Masters as well as all young people within their reach. Please call Rev. Glenn Carter-Ministry Leader 272-7337 or Alonzo Gwynn & Alphonzo Gwynn-Coaches. The Young Masters is a ministry designed to teach young people about the word of God through basketball and caring. Sports and athletics teach kids about the discipline and control needed in everyday life as well as when they are in friendly competition.

Election 2012 is approaching quickly. TN law now requires you to have State/Federal issued ID in order to cast your vote. If you don't have ID, please begin the process now... If you have any questions, please see First Lady Lisa Jones Johnson.

The Klondike Smokey City CDC receives job postings on a regular basis. These job listings will be posted on the Bulletin Board in the Fellowship Hall. For more information, please contact Quincey Morris at the Klondike Smokey City Resource Center, 901-527-9491.

Memphis School of Servant Leadership:
The Community Alliance for the Homeless will conduct the Annual Point In Time Count on Wednesday, January 25 from 5 am to 8 pm. On that day, approximately 100 volunteers will travel throughout the County to identify and interview anyone who slept unsheltered the evening before. The Alliance also collects data from every shelter and transitional housing provider to identity the sheltered population. Training is offered on either Wednesday, January 18th from 11-1 at MIFA Les Passes (715 St. Paul) or Friday, January 20th (3-5) at the same location. If you would like to volunteer or contribute to the outreach effort (WE NEED HATS, GLOVES, SOCKS, COATS, BACKPACKS, AND SNACKS), please send an email to Thank you!
Raising up Christian Servant Leaders for the Church and the World

Living Wage Event @ G'Life: On Saturday, February 4th at 2:00 p.m. WIN is planning an indoor living wage rally here at G'Life. The focus is stopping the state legislature bill to repeal the living wage, as well as supporting a living wage for U. of M. workers.

Meet the Candidates Forum: Monday, February 6, 2012....You are cordially invited to meet the candidates in the 2012 Shelby County Primary Election 5:45 pm- 7:45 pm @ Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Avenue (Meeting Room C). This is free and open to the public; email candidate questions to: or call 901-396-6300.

MONISA SWEETS-- VALENTINE'S DAY SALE......Chocolate covered strawberries ($20.00 per dz.), chocolate covered strawberries w/champagne ($25.00 per dz.), chocolate roses ($8.00 per rose or $30.00 per dz.), cupcakes (strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, red velvet- $10.00 per dz.), heart cake w/wo chocolate strawberries- $ 40.00. Email/call all orders to 770-990-2118/Tanya Harris ( All orders must be paid by February 10, 2012.

G'Life, we will have a Repass for the legendary singer, Etta James, Saturday, January 28, 2012 @ 2:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.  This occasion will be a potluck, so please bring a dish.

G-Life, we will have a baptism on Sunday, January 29, 2012 @ 3:00 p.m. at McLean Baptist Church. Let's come out and support our candidates.

Read more here

Sunday, January 22, 2012

G'Life Member Present Paper at Conference

G'Life is pleased to announce that The National Council of Black Studies accepted the paper of our Deacon in Training, Kimberley Travers for presentation at its 36th Annual Conference in Atlanta Georgia, March 7-10, 2012. Travers paper titled "The Prophetic Rhetoric of Howard Thurman," calls for us to reexamine Thurman's rhetorical legacy by placing him instead of in the mystic tradition, within the prophetic one. Travers currently is a Master of Arts and Religion student at Memphis Theological Seminary and a Netters Scholar.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

GOP campaign rhetoric raising racial concerns

By The Admin on January 18, 2012

Hoping to win the hearts of Southern conservatives, Newt Gingrich leaned into his argument that President Barack Obama is a “food stamp president” and that poor people should want paychecks, not handouts — a pitch that earned him a standing ovation in South Carolina during a presidential debate on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“I believe every American of every background has been endowed by their creator with the right to pursue happiness, and if that make liberals unhappy, I’m going to continue to find ways to help poor people learn how to get a job, learn how to get a better job and learn someday to own the job,” Gingrich said. A day later, he turned the moment — complete with the cheering conservative crowd — into a TV ad as he works to claw his way to the top of the leader board in the closing days of the South Carolina campaign.

Rhetoric like that from Gingrich and other candidates is stoking concerns among some blacks that the political discourse is rewinding to the days of “Southern strategy” campaigning that uses blacks as scapegoats to attract white votes. Yet, it’s unclear whether this strategy — if that’s what it is — will work on an electorate now accustomed to seeing African Americans in high-ranking positions.

Read more here

Called Ministers to Preach Licensing Sermons

On December 20, 2011, both Bessie Christian and Carrol Seldon accepted and answered their calls to preach the gospel. Now Gifts of Life Ministries is pleased to announce that both are scheduled to preach their licensing sermons. Typically a licensing sermon is the first formal sermon that a minister preaches. We will hold Ms. Christian's sermon on February 12, 2012 at 3:00pm and Ms. Seldon's on March 18, 2012 at 3:00pm at Gifts of Life Ministries, located at 1542 Jackson Ave. We invite all to share in both of these great events.


A Problem with Today’s Widespread Celebrity Culture: "Do Sociology and Christianity Mix?"

January 19, 2012 by Bradley Wright

A defining feature of life today is we have a lot of celebrities. We live in a world of information, and much of that information is about specific people. We have celebrities in just about every area of life ranging from broad areas, such as entertainment, sports, and government to more obscure tasks such as noodling catfish (i.e., is catching them by hand) and baking cakes.

Think about it. How many people do you know a lot about via the media even though you’ve never met them? Quite a few, I’d wager. And if you want to learn about someone, it’s usually pretty easy on-line.

There’s nothing wrong with this, per se, but it can cause a problem in how we evaluate our own lives. Celebrities are often known for doing something really well, and we naturally gravitate toward those celebrities who are experts in areas that we’re interested in ourselves. As I blogged about last week, we understand ourselves, in part, through processes of self-comparison.

Read more here

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Letters reveal Ray theories on juries, racism: Attorney's estate includes assassin's correspondence

By Joe Edwards , Associated Press

NASHVILLE -- James Earl Ray doubted a jury would believe a defense proposal to blame the assassination of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on a conspiracy, according to letters he wrote to his lawyer as he tried to win a trial and withdraw his own guilty plea in the 1968 slaying.

The letters are among documents going up for auction this month from the estate of the late Jack Kershaw, a Nashville attorney who represented Ray in the mid-1970s.

Ray pleaded guilty in 1969 to killing the civil rights leader and was sentenced to 99 years in prison, but recanted the confession three days later. He died in prison in 1998.

In one letter, Ray responds to plans by one of his other attorneys to write a book alleging that white racists conspired with government agencies to kill King.

Read more here

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

From the Pulpit to the People to the Polls: How African American Churches Can Make a Difference in 2012


Today, as Americans across the country celebrate the life and work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we must also consider the future of his legacy. Dr. King's movement achieved great strides for African Americans and others who had been left out of the American dream. But even as we celebrate the great achievements of the Civil Rights movement, a key accomplishment of the movement is under attack: the right of every eligible citizen to cast a ballot that counts.

The 2008 election was a hopeful one for African Americans in our democracy -not because of who was elected, but because who turned out to vote. For the first time in American history, we voted at a nearly identical rate to our white neighbors. In fact, African American women had the highest turnout rate of any group of any race. More than 40 years after the end of Jim Crow (acknowledging the resurrection of what many are calling the "New Jim Crow"), we closed that persisting gap of participation. In greater numbers than ever before, we stood up and we spoke with our vote.

Read more here

What Is Your Fear Holding You Back From?

If GOD doesn't give any of us a spirit of fear (and fear IS a spirit) then what spirit does fear come from? If GOD is GOOD and Fear is NOT of HIM, then what is Evil... and wouldn't fear come from the opposite of a supernatural being that is good? So today, I am speaking to you... what is your fear holding you back from? Do you fear someone of the opposite race, ethnicity or country? Why? Fear turns into selfishness. Fear keeps us from coming into our season of blessings. Fear evokes the worst out of humanity. So if GOD does not give us a spirit of fear...which evokes hate and all other forms of disobedience.. then what do you think is giving you that fear? BGI family, I am speaking hard on this today. Fear has destroyed lives... fear has destroyed communities, fear has destroyed civilizations. So what is your fear keeping you from today. The fear in you has consumed you. It has paralyzed you from moving in a direction that will bless your soul. When your soul is blessed... your life is blessed... and then everything around you will see the blessing that comes from you. Fear causes you to make selfish decisions which ultimately end up backfiring on you and causing more pain. Fear blinds you and prevents you from seeing that the pain that has been caused in your life and the life of others was a result of the fear in you. The only thing you should fear is GOD and when you fear GOD..then you have come into the understanding to know that GOD is not some abstract fictional being that we hope is there once we die... you fear HIM because you know HE is REAL and has been watching your every step all along. That kind of fear is a GOOD thing... but even beyond that... you now have bold faith to walk in HIS will for your life because you now see that GOD is bigger than any problem..any circumstance. So the fear that's evoked all kinds of UNGODLY thoughts will be squashed because that kind of fear wants to keep you blind from the truth about you. The truth about you is what you've known all along but you have been to prideful to even admit to yourself. Yes You Are A Sinner and no matter how hard you work to be righteous, your works won't come close to earning the grace you desire. On any of our best days we don't cut it... so when you realize that... then you will learn that GRACE is a precious GIFT from GOD. It is by GRACE I am saved. Grace is a gift from HIM because I finally understood that no matter how much I did to show I am Christian.. I still needed HIM to save me from self.
No Hell & No Fear in 2012!!
Submitted by Rev. Alma Harris
click here for more

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Martin Luther King's Ebenezer Baptist Church Aims To Keep Preacher's Spiritual Vision Alive

First Posted: 1/15/12 10:02 AM ET Updated: 1/15/12 11:53 AM ET

When the Rev. Raphael G. Warnock steps up to the pulpit on Sunday, he'll face a crowd of thousands in a worship service that marks no religious holiday and is rarely recognized outside the United States, but rivals Christmas and Easter as one of his congregation's biggest days of the year.

Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday has become a worship day across denominations in American churches, but at Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King honed his oratory and found his spiritual fervor, the day takes on additional importance.

As he fields guests and television cameras, Warnock will honor the past and thrust his congregation, which sits down the street from the site of King's first home and the original Ebenezer building where he preached, into the struggles of the present.

"We don't want to just place King in biblical or historical perspective, but we want to give voice to the values he trumpeted in relationship to the issues facing us today," said Warnock, who has been the senior pastor for six years. "We are not a museum."

Read more here

Gingrich faces tough questions at black church

January 14, 2012

(AP) COLUMBIA, S.C. - Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich faced tough questions Saturday about his past statements on race and class, making a rare appearance by a Republican primary candidate before a black church — an audience unlikely to vote in South Carolina's Jan. 21 contest.

Standing behind the lectern at Jones Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church, Gingrich was peppered with questions about his assertion that poor children lack work ethic and his criticism of President Barack Obama as a "food-stamp president."

Gingrich may get credit for spending nearly an hour in front of a largely unsupportive crowd. But the event is unlikely to help him win many votes in South Carolina's primary, a contest Gingrich himself has said will be make-or-break for his campaign.

Read more here

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

OCCUPY: A Culture of Resistance was Born in 2011: the People United in an Independent Movement

In 2012, the Real Conversation will be in the Occupations, while Corporate Candidates have a False Conversation

by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers

The Occupy Movement that developed in 2011 profoundly shook the foundation of the 1%. Almost instantly a new form of political power was created, all truly grown from the grass roots, and handed the 99% some REAL political capital for the first time in decades, and installed the Occupy Movement as a force to be reckoned with. Next spring promises to see more growth of this movement as the economy continues to stagnate and the government continues its dysfunction. Already, the Occupy Movement it showing its political independence: protesting candidates from both parties who are part of corrupt money-based elections. The irrelevance of the political debate, primarily between two-corporate approved candidates, will become more evident as the voices of the people grow.

How We Got Here

No doubt every occupier has their own story, this is ours. On December 16, 2010 we joined with Veterans for Peace and other organizations in an anti-war protest. The theme of the protest was developing a ‘culture of resistance’ in the United States. Many of us spoke that day about the need for resistance, perhaps none more clearly than noted author Chris Hedges who said “Hope will only come when we resist the violence of the state. . . . those who resist here today with non-violence are the last thin line of defense between a civil society and its disintegration.” That day 132 Americans, mostly veterans, were arrested standing against the corporate-military state that the United States has become.

Read more here

Bestselling Author of Black Church Blues Tackles the Sticky White Church/Black Church Race Issue

By Jackie Grogan, author of "Black Church Blues"

A candid discussion on spiritual imperfection and the vast differences between the black church and the white church, both, supposedly worshiping the same God.

During the 2008 campaign, after Rev. Jeremiah Wright's inflammatory rhetoric received national attention, Presidential candidate Obama was forced to address a controversial issue simmering beneath the cracks of America's multicultural fabric: the vast differences between the black church and the white church, both, supposedly worshiping the same God.
The delicate chord he stuck to deflate the negative impact upon his campaign reminds us of the enormous role religion and religious practices play in the lives of most Americans. The United States proclaims to be a Christian nation. In many ways the church is an untouchable institution with unique privileges, unparalleled tax status and an unspoken exemption to official scrutiny and investigations that attempt to penetrate its structure and expose the hidden apparatuses that keep it afloat.
I say hidden because God is supposed to be the foundation of the church. But he is invisible. He is like the wind, in that, you can't see God, only the results of his presence. "On this rock I build my church...." But the rock is hidden to the naked eye. So the spiritual apparatuses that sustain the church are entrusted to humans that you can see; imperfect humans, who have the opportunity to obey, disregard, transpose, de-emphasize, embellish and distort the Word of God and the supernatural instructions from the Third Person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit. This is where the system breaks down.

Read more here

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Man, His Times And His Message

By Michael Roberts

This year on January 15 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be 83 years old. On that day in 1929 one of the last century's most outstanding and influential Black leaders came into the world of white racism in the United States. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the man who would become the embodiment and conscience of the Civil Rights Movement, was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to a religious Black middle class family. In fact, he was the grandson of the Rev. A.D. Williams, then pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church who was also the founder of Atlanta's chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). It was this family tradition of Christian social activism that would eventually shape King's adult life and catapult him into the leadership position of the national Black Civil Rights Struggle.

While many of King's detractors have criticized him for his non-violent Ghandian-style civil disobedience strategy that he pitted against a hostile, belligerent State apparatus, there can be little doubt that he eventually achieved the grudging respect of an American Establishment more comfortable with the use of violence than with non-violent means against violence. And even today many still have not fully grasped the tremendous racial inequalities that King was a witness to in the segregated south. Few today would have been able to live in the intolerable conditions of "separate and unequal" that was the slogan and forced institutionalized apartheid of the South.

Read more here

Friday, January 6, 2012

Passengers Brawl With White Man On Bus After N-Word Lecture

Written by Casey Gane-McCalla, Lead Blogger on January 3, 2012 1:30 pm

SEATTLE-Jim Hardie, a white Iraq veteran brawled with several African American bus patrons after he became fed up with their use of the n-word and the b-word and confronted them on it.

After Hardie expressed his disapproval of their language, the passengers attacked Hardie and he was successful in fighting the three assailants off the bus.

Read more here

Former pastor claims reassignment was race-based

By Bob Allen
Wednesday, January 04, 2012

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (ABP) – A former staff member at Kentucky’s largest African-American congregation claims in a recently filed lawsuit that he was reassigned from a pastoral position because he is black.

Billy Hollins, a Southern Baptist North American Mission Board-appointed missionary who worked as a pastor in Kentucky and Illinois for more than 25 years, says St. Stephen Baptist Church hired him in August 2001 to serve as pastor of the church’s satellite campus in Jeffersonville, Ind. He claims the church’s senior pastor, Kevin Cosby, removed him and gave him a new job title in 2007 because he wanted the pastor of the Southern Indiana campus to appeal to white members.

Read more here

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Black American Income Inequality

by Benjamin F. Chavis
NNPA Columnist
Originally posted 1/4/2012

As we begin 2012, the issue of “income inequality” is a matter of high importance for millions of Black Americans and others who struggle to improve their overall quality of life. The fact is that the contradiction of economic injustice for decades has had a devastating impact on Black people across America. Inequality and systematic racial discrimination in education, economics, and the environment have been so pervasive and institutionalized that too many of us have come to falsely believe that this situation is permanent without recourse to challenge and change it. This is again why the growing Occupy Wall Street movement should be of particular interests to African Americans and Latino Americans who are the two groups that are most affected quantitatively by income inequality in America.

Black church leaders, in particular, are now moving to the forefront once again to raise the level of consciousness and social action of millions of Black people around this issue through the rise of Occupy the Dream that is revitalizing and reapplying the therapeutic and uplifting dream and legacy of The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Our situation can and will change to the extent to which we organize and mobilize around our defined economic and political interests. More than ever before, Black Americans will have a larger role in shaping the future of America. But we must be focused on what the priority issues are while standing tall and bold in support of an inclusive movement for social change.

What is income inequality? It is the measurement of the distribution of income that highlights the gap between individuals or households making the most of the income in a given country and those making the least for a period of time. In the United States, overall income inequality has steadily increased during last 30 years between the super wealthy and the super poor. When you add race as a distinguishing characteristic, the widening gap of income inequality between Blacks and Whites in the U.S. exposes the lingering impact of years of targeted discrimination and economic injustice imposed on vast majority of Black Americans. Income inequality is the extent of disparity between high income and low income households.

read more here

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Body vs. soul food

Eating low on the hog may not be good for you, and fresh food folks can help

By Larry Gabriel
My mom made some of the best Southern-style fried chicken I ever ate. After church dinners that featured her crispy, golden yard birds, Mom would often have to pass her recipe on to other church ladies.

Growing up, I ate all the staples of the soul food diet — pork chops, pig feet, ham hocks, greens, assorted beans, macaroni and cheese — most of it cooked with requisite amounts of lard or Crisco. We ate low on the hog, high on the hog, and hogs in general. Once in a while Dad would bring home a half of a hog’s head and mom would make head cheese. I loved that spicy, gelatinous concoction. I would buy pickled pig feet from the big jar that sat on the counter at Mr. Robinson’s store on the corner of Myrtle and 18th Street in Detroit. He’d wrap it in butcher paper, and I’d stand outside and happily suck on the vinegary fat and gristle.
I know I’m not the only one who can rhapsodize about soul food. And many of you recently had your special New Year’s soul food dishes. You had Hopping John (black-eyed peas cooked with cubed fatback or ham hocks) for good fortune and prosperity. You had collard greens (overcooked and with salt pork or ham hocks) to encourage green in your wallet. There was a pork entrĂ©e (chops) to encourage family bonds. Maybe you had macaroni and cheese, sweet tea chock-full of processed white sugar or banana pudding.

Stop! Every one of those foods represents the antithesis of the purported reason for eating them. Hopping John won’t bring you good luck. It will bring you bad health. The collard greens will take the green out of your wallet when you pay your doctor’s bills. The pork will not encourage family bonds; it will kill your family members.

Read more here

Afrocentricity movement and Millennium Marches – Essay Sample

What are the goals of the Afrocentricity movement? Why do many black intellectuals oppose Afrocentricity?

The goals of the Afrocentricity movement are to discover the identity, heritage, and culture of African Americans which are free from Eurocentric bias. Many black intellectuals oppose Afrocentricity because they fear it will lead to self-segregation and hurt the progress towards successful integration of African Americans in the overall American society.

Why has the church remained so important to African Americans? How are women’s roles changing in the black church? Why has Louis Farrakhan been so controversial?

Churches have maintained their importance in the African American community by taking an active role in addressing issues of stress, anxiety, and tension facing African Americans. Women ministers are on the increase in churches serving African American communities. Three Thousand of the eight thousand ministers of the AME church consist of African American women. Louis Farrakhan has been controversial for his anti-semitic beliefs that Jews are the root cause of the problems affecting African Americans, his belief in male superiority, and his association with controversial leaders such as General Sani Abacha of Nigeria.

Read more here

Judge: Black church rightful owner of KKK store

By MEG KINNARD | Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — After a lengthy legal battle between a black South Carolina church and members of the Ku Klux Klan, a judge has ruled that the church owns a building where KKK robes and T-shirts are sold.

A circuit judge ruled last month that New Beginnings Baptist Church is the rightful owner of the building that houses the Redneck Shop, which operates a so-called Klan museum and sells Klan robes and T-shirts emblazoned with racial slurs. The judge ordered the shop's proprietor to pay the church's legal bills of more than $3,300.

Since 1996, the Redneck Shop has operated in an old movie theater in Laurens, a city about 70 miles northwest from Columbia that was named after 18th century slave trader Henry Laurens.

Ownership of the building was transferred in 1997 to the Rev. David Kennedy and his church, New Beginnings, by a Klansman fighting with others inside the hate group, according to court records. But a clause in the deed entitles John Howard, formerly KKK grand dragon for the Carolinas, to operate his business in the building until he dies.

Read more here