This is a Maundy Thursday sermon I preached entitled “This Ain’t Free” on April 2, 2015 at Duke Chapel. I took two texts, Paul’s epistle, 1 Corinthians 11 and the then recent album by Kendrick Lamar “To Pimp a Butterfly.” While the hip-hop lyricist Kendrick Lamar opted to use an expletive for the second track […]Read more "“This Ain’t Free”"
This past week, like most people in this country, I found myself revisiting the works of Aretha Franklin. The undisputed Queen of Soul passed after a lengthy illness of pancreatic cancer just this Thursday before last. I was at work when the news alert came across my phone. When I left my office, I got […]Read more "Aretha Franklin, the Hammond B3 and Me"
I don’t know Willie Moore, Jr. I’ve never met him. I have tangentially followed him over the years. I’ve seen his growth in the black popular Christian world mastering the tools of social media to provide a platform to spread his thoughts and views by embracing a millennial perspective. I’ll be honest, I haven’t always agreed […]Read more "The Miseducation of Willie Moore, Jr."
President Donald Trump, right, bows his head as Relentless Church Pastor John Gray, left, says a prayer during a meeting with inner city pastors in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) On Wednesday, August 1, President Donald Trump met with prominent black clergy at the […]Read more "Don’t Sit, Stand"
In a moment of unscripted ecstasy, during a recording for jazz and gospel artist Damien Sneed, Bishop Iona Locke illuminated that “under a dark canopy” many self-identifying Christians show up to places hiding what she calls the “introspect.” The introspect for Locke could easily be interpreted as what’s quintessentially known as church hurt. For the […]Read more "Under a Dark Canopy: Dealing With #ChurchHurt"
Thoughts from Hampton University Minister’s Conference 2018 This was my third year attending the famed Hampton University Minister’s Conference. My thoughts and reflections are still somewhat of a jumbled mass in my mind. What follows is my attempt to make sense of disorderedness in my brain in a coherent way that gives clarity to the […]Read more "For Black Millennials Who Considered Leaving When the Church Was Too Much"
First things first. Bishop Michael Curry is the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church. That means he’s the top Episcopal bishop in all of the United States, along with other countries and territories in the Western Hemisphere. His only direct report is the Archbishop of Canterbury, the seat of the Anglican Church. […]Read more "Bishop Michael Curry, an Explainer Essay"
Netflix recently released “Come Sunday,” a movie that told the story of Carlton Pearson. The story dramatized Pearson’s move from classic Pentecostalism to Christian universalism, approximately collapsing the years 1998 to 2006 into a movie format. The movie stars Chiwetel Ojiofor as Pearson and Martin Sheen as Oral Roberts, along with roles played by Danny […]Read more "“Come Sunday”: An Explainer Essay"
Michael Eric Dyson penned an essay paying homage to the black digital intelligentsia in 2015 that paid homage to names that had some level of household recognition amongst black folks as well as some non-black circles naming people such as Ta-Nehesi Coates, Jelani Cobb, Melissa Harris Perry, Marc Lamont Hill, Jamilah Lemieux and Salamisha Temet. […]Read more "A Requiem for Black Intellectualism"
I caved some time last year and signed up for a music subscription service and figured that since I was paying for a service it would be worth changing my music listening habits. Part of that resulted in my rediscovery of old classics that the music service thought I would like. For example, I […]Read more "Hip Hop’s Soundtrack for the Spiritual but Not Religious"