Series 29: For the Love of Black Lives
It’s time for each of us to raise our voices with the Black community as we come together to fight for the wholeness and dignity of Black children and adults in our country and across the world. How can those of us who aren’t people of color better understand the experience of what it’s like to be Black in America? To that end, we’re sitting at the feet of experts in the Black community across the spectrum of society—from history and culture, to healthcare and education and spirituality and more—to explore what Black children and adults face every day as American citizens, identifying the systems that hold back their flourishing, but also celebrating the innumerable gifts and beauty they bring to our world.
Black culture is central to American culture—we simply don’t have America without having the Black experience, born of slavery and systemic racism and white supremacy, of physical and mental and emotional pain. But through generations, Black women and men have passed down stories given from their mothers and grandmothers. They’ve cooked and sang and danced and played the most beautiful music. They’ve written and dreamed and created. Black culture has inspired us for hundreds of years as it has woven its way into the tapestry of American life. And today, we’re going to talk about the richness of it all with Dr. Tanisha C. Ford, a cultural critic and professor of history at CUNY. Dr. Ford shares the artists and icons that shaped her world as a young Black woman growing up…Listen Now
Though many of our country’s systems of care desperately need an overhaul, there’s one system in particular that could improve greatly to help Black Americans: healthcare. It’s unimaginable to any of us that we might get lesser care, for example, if we were giving birth to our first child. But black women find themselves in these situations often–even those who wouldn’t be considered to have less means–where healthcare professionals aren’t listening to their needs or taking time to understand their health concerns–and this sometimes leads to disastrous consequences, including deaths that could have been avoided. These healthcare gaps are part of an unhealthy loop that starts with a huge imbalance in economic resources, which leads to a lack of access to healthy food, gyms, nutritional education, and as our guest today says,…Listen Now
God created a beautiful world, filled with people who share love, creativity, friendship and hope in all kinds of ways. For thousands of years, some have tried to use religion to wield power and authority over people around the globe, claiming “their” way was the “right” way to gain access to God. That’s how the seeds of religious trauma are sown. And through generations, we’ve seen members of the white American Christan church push Black and brown people away from the center of the church’s stories in an attempt to gain control over those cultures. But as justice educator and equity consultant Alicia Crosby reminds us, we gain so much when we center stories that have been pushed to the margins, when we allow ourselves to be curious about ourselves and other…Listen Now
As lawyer and activist Bryan Stevenson puts it, slavery never actually ended—it just evolved, and today it looks like mass incarceration. In the past fifty years, we’ve seen the prison population skyrocket from 200,000 in 1970 to 2.2 million in 2020. In fact, America holds just 5% of the world’s population but more than 25% of the world’s prisoners, where Black people clock in five times the number of inmates as white people. It is imperative that our generation abolish the overcriminalization of Black women, children, and men. And today we’re learning a bit more from CeCe Jones-Davis on how to bring that world to fruition. She’s an activist, a worship leader, and a teacher of social gospel who’s made it her mission to expose the underbelly of the criminal justice system…Listen Now
Today we open a new chapter of For the Love, where we’ll celebrate the beauty, wholeness, and dignity of Black Lives. At the same time, we’ll also explore the roots of the recent growing advocacy and racial reckoning with experts who will guide us through different facets of what it’s like to be Black in America—in education, health, culture, the church. We’ll unpack how the Black experience differs from the white experience, with true understanding of the gaps in these collective experiences becoming the catalyst for necessary change. Leading off this series is Alencia Johnson, who is the chief impact officer and founder of 1063 West Broad, a company focusing on social impact, brand engagement, and communication strategy (you may remember Alencia from the #sharethemicnow campaign, when she took over Jen’s Instagram…Listen Now