By: Ewuare X. Osayande
This originally appeared on Ewuare's website.
As many shop for Christmas presents in the malls of America, still many others have taken to the streets all over this nation in protest to the rash of police killings of African Americans under the banner of #BlackLivesMatter. This jarring juxtaposition of realities is best captured by the photograph from Ferguson of St. Louis police officers in riot gear standing below a “Seasons Greetings” banner bedecked with Christmas lights. The seasonal themes of “peace and good will” and “glad tidings to all men” have been rendered meaningless in the face of such fascistic state-sponsored intimidation as Christians prepare to celebrate the birth of their Savior, Jesus the Christ.
But contrary to the sermons that are being preached during this Advent season, the first Christmas was not as “calm and bright” as the Christmas carol suggests. As today, that first Christmas pageant was indeed a pageant of protest. In fact, this present juxtaposition of realities was the same stark contrast faced by the people to whom Christ was born. The Hebrew people lived under fear of death at the hands of a militarized state. The level of repression being visited upon Black America at this very hour in the United States is strikingly similar in spirit and expression to what the people of Galilee felt and knew when Jesus was born.
By: Joanna Shenk
This article first appeared on Geez Magazine
A new location
I recently moved to San Francisco, which was not a quick or easy decision (and deserves a blog post unto itself). I now live in the Mission District of San Francisco, in a community house with four other people. Our home is owned by a Mexican couple who raised their family in this house before moving south of the city. The Mission is one of the neighbourhood’s most rapidly displacing long-term residents due to an influx of people who look like me: young, white, professional.
Following the transition, one of my top priorities was to get to know the history of this place. Based on my experiences with People’s History of Elkhart, in Indiana, where I used to live, I knew it was crucial to locate my story within the broader story of a place.
How did I come to be in this place? Who was here before me? Who’s still here? Who was forced to leave? Who’s coming now? Why?
Note: The following is a piece I wrote for the 2015 edition of wretch, a day planner and resource guide. It was long enough since my last project that it took a few tries to get started, but it felt good to finally put thoughts to paper again.
God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God? — Micah 6:8 (NRSV and NIV)
The viewpoints expressed in each reader-submitted article are the authors own, and not an “official Jesus Radicals” position. For more on our editorial policies, visit our submissions page. If you want to contact an author or you have questions, suggestions, or concerns, please contact us.
Nekeisha Alayna Alexis
Liza Minno Bloom
Eda Ruhiye Uca