I’m Thankful for my Grief About the Election

It would be so much easier to bear a Trump presidency if I hadn’t learned about structural racism. Easier if I’d avoided stories from my black and brown friends about micro-aggressions, ignored history, police violence, and daily grief. Easier to stay positive if I hadn’t figured out exactly how sexual assault happened in my high […]

A Peculiar Kind of Christianity

One of the verses that was drummed into my head as I was growing up in the church was 1 Peter 2:9. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his […]

A Mudroom Exclusive: An Interview with Shannan Martin

Hi guys, Ashley Hales here. At The Mudroom, we love to let you know you’re not alone. We can sit in The Mudroom together, drop off all of our stuff, and know that we have a tribe who listens, understands, and can help hold all the crazy.  And we’re privileged to do that even virtually, […]

Black and White Narratives

If you’ve ever spent time around old country folk, you know how they’ll spend 5 minutes getting the date and weather right for a story. “It was spring…no wait, it was June, because that was when my daughter…no wait, that would have been in ’71 because…” I’ve been thinking about what and how we remember. […]

Finger Pointing and Neighboring

Like so many others, I am following the developments in Dallas, Minneapolis, Baton Rouge, Kansas City and Florida, And I know that there will be fingers pointed. I could point my finger at the police, who disproportionately kill unarmed black men, who are seven times as likely as white men to die at the hands of police. […]

Ain’t I a Black Woman, Too?

After a few days of hoopla I figured I should sit down & finally watch Beyonce’s Lemonade. Admittedly I’m a fan, but never I-will-defend-Queen-Bee-to-the-death as some are prone to doing. I expected an enjoyable viewing experience, but what I got was so much more.   I read that Lemonade’s concept was being described as “every […]

Striving to Embrace Our Multi-Ethnic Community

One morning as I scanned my church email, most of the names and subject lines were familiar. Our guest speaker for the coming Sunday had sent her sermon title. Our music coordinator wanted to discuss the worship flow and congregational singing. Our denominational office had sent the usual weekly email of announcements and prayer requests. […]

One Small Square

The sigh was collective. Weighted with a tangible disappointment it was all we could do to make space for it as we gathered after class one day. Numerous stories of police violence against Black women were being highlighted within the national consciousness and our emotions were all over the place. Female members of the student […]

Coming of Age in This American Life

I. As a girl, I learned about racism from my white father. He taught me it was evil which was the exact opposite of his upbringing where racism was as natural as a Carolinian drawl and black eyed peas with salty cured ham hocks and collard greens.  His blonde haired blue-eyed roots were soaked in […]