Keynote presentations by---
-Rev. Dr. Barbara Brown Taylor | Redeeming Darkness: A Spirituality for the Night Times
-Ruth Ozeki | A Tale for the Time Being
-Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II and Taylor Branch | Dismantling American Racism: Past & Present
Throughout the day I gained insight, pondered new ideas, discovered information that connected the dots in my understanding, and came away with a renewed determination to be a force for positive change in my world.
Interestingly I sat in on three presentations by authors whose books I have read: Dave Boling, Ruth Ozeki, and Laurie Frankel. In all three of these sessions I gained new insights about their books.
|Dave Boling, author of The Lost History of Stars|
|Guernica, by Picasso|
|Ruth Ozeki, reading from her memoir|
|Laurie Frankel, author of This is How It Always Is|
|Frances FitzGerald, author of The Evangelicals|
|Rev. Dr. William Barber on Skype|
The day concluded with an amazing keynote discussion and presentation by two remarkable men: Rev. Dr. William Barber II and Taylor Branch. Dr. Barber addressed us via Skype but had so much to say about continuing the fight for civil rights building on the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Rev. Barber reminded us of King's words, that the worst thing we can do is give up the struggle: "We've come too far to turn back now." 50 years after King proposed it, Barber is picking up the Poor People's Campaign. He strives every day to reach racial equality through a moral revival, which he called the third reconstruction. Barber spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, if you would like to hear him speak. He is very inspiring and a great orator.
|Taylor Branch signs his book.|
took him 24 years to write, warns that deconstructing racism is not sufficient, and perhaps is not even possible, without building and expanding freedom. Our peril is racism, our freedom provides hope. If we build on freedom, it is a self-renewing and creative process and will redeem the soul of the nation. Talk about inspiring. Don and I bought his 2013 book The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement. We thought the 190 pages made this book more accessible than the 2000 pages of his trilogy of the movement.
As we discussed and debriefed the day, Don and I were both quite inspired and thought several of the topics discussed helped connect some dots in our understanding. For example, the 2nd Amendment to our Constitution, which many people cite as a guarantee of their right to own guns, was written as a concession to the Virginia delegation so that they could keep their slave patrol militias. Simply put the 2nd Amendment wasn't about guns, it was about keeping slavery. Ugh. (Check out this site for details on this topic.)