Prayers and Songs of an Ongoing Movement

Historical perspectives offered through celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” and the release of Lee Daniels’ The Butler have prompted many conversations about racism, racial divides and a persistent call in this country for equality for all. I have been captivated by the old footage and freedom songs of the Civil Rights movement and the March on Washington. Voices from artists like Marian Anderson, Odetta and Mahalia Jackson will be heard throughout history and inspire prayer, as the human rights movement continues.

“…Dere is trouble all over dis worl’….  I ain’ gwine lay my ‘ligion down….”

“I’ve Been ‘Buked,” a Negro Spiritual sung by Mahalia Jackson just before Martin Luther King Jr’s inspiring “I Have a Dream” speech captures the essence of our collective call as women religious and people of God. There is indeed trouble all over this world. How do we continue to fight the systemic nature of oppression and injustice – wherever it rears its head – and not lay our religion down?

What are you paying attention to these days? Is your life reflecting a commitment to living gospel messages of love and justice?

Tanya Williams, OP
St. Louis Park, MN


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