A must-have list of books for every bookshelf…
1.) Sulwe, Lupita Nyong’o (age: 3-7)
A beautiful and powerful celebration of blackness and black skin from the queen that is Lupita. Gorgeous illustrations accompany this book which I highly recommend as a perfect way to show your kids books where they are the central characters.
2.) The Hate You Give– Angie Thomas (teens, 13-up)
One of the last years’ New York Times bestsellers, Angie Thomas’ The Hate You Give tells the story of a young black girl who is present at the shooting of one of her friends, a young black boy at the hands of a police officer. This is powerful, harrowing and a necessary glimpse into what sparks the kind of anger we are seeing today. It’s a fiction and also has a movie to go with it!
3.) We Need to Talk About Race, Ben Lindsey
For the preachers and spiritual leaders in our communities working with majority black church members and communities, Ben Lindsey’s We Need to Talk About Race is an engaging look into this issue.
On police brutality and organisations that you can engage with in Kenya:
IMLU-ORG – IMLU is a non-governmental organization with a vision for ‘A World Free From Torture, Violence & Discrimination
MUHURI KENYA – An NGO audaciously non-partisan and a bold defender of human rights, the marginalized, and constitutionalism in Kenya.
UHAI WETU – Social Justice Centres Working Group Research team for in-depth research & information on campaigns against police killings & abuses in the ghettos.
A growing list that will be added to as we go!
In a time of such heartbreak, we say their names: George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Tony McDade. Regis Korchinski. Breonna Taylor. David McAtee. Justin Howell.
Black lives matter.
Sometimes we can feel something like compassion fatigue. There is so much going on at once and so many things wrong. But even when we are so tired, we still must carry on using our voices, our words, our funds where possible and our hands in peaceful protest so that we can build the world we want to see.
One where justice is real, safety for our black bodies is assured and one in which we are not afraid to live.
This article in the cut details a list of places that you can donate to for George Floyd and the #blacklivesmatter movement.
The world is a mess and a scary place right now. There are no words. Stay safe, stay home. Look after each other.
What a joyous, absurd and utterly glorious poem! I laughed out loud when I read this poem👇🏾 and fell In love with how easily and well it displays the utter absurdity that prayer can sometimes be. I love the absurdity of prayer. The strangeness of it, the hope in it, the comfort of it.
I believe wholeheartedly in the power of prayer to bring peace, and solace and give your heart a chance to heal. I love its ability to give to the one engaging with it at so many different levels. I love most that prayer gives one room to feel and to care enough about how they are feeling that they must do something about it — even if that is to meditate and lean their worries on a greater being.
But I often find it absurd–even as I engage in it! There is so much joy and humour to be found in the things we choose to pray about; but isn’t that the wonder of it all?
And this particular poem has everything I absolutely love about the funny, humorous and wonderful parts of prayer.
On Being Asked to Pray for a van by Michael Chitwood
My evangelical brethren have let me know,
via the quarterly fundraising letter,
that they can’t get the gospel around
because their van has given up the ghost.
God in the machine, help them.
I lift up their carburettor and their
Bless them with meshed gears and a
greased cam shaft.
Free their lifters. Deliver their differential
and anoint their valves and their pistons.
Unblock their engine block and give them
deep treaded tires.
Their brakes cry out to You.
Hear them, O Lord.
Drive out the demons from their steering
column and come in to the transmission
that they may know the peace of passing.
Minister even unto the turn indicator.
Creator Spirit, Holy Maker of the Universe,
give them gas.
*When Poets Pray by Marilyn McEntyre is a close look at how poets from George Herbert to Lucille Clifton have used poetry to explore spirituality and how poetry and prayer continues to be closely related, oftentimes giving language to things we cannot easily express and thereby making the simple act of reading poetry an act of meditation, silent contemplation and yes, even prayer. It is published by William B Eerdmans Publishing, and is available to order now.*