Alka's Angle

  • Dr. Barbara Ransby is a historian, writer, and longtime political activist. She is a Professor of History; Gender and Women's Studies; and African American Studies and Director of Social Justice Initiative at the University of Illinois in Chicago. In her newest book, Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the 21st Century, she examines the BLM movement, discussing its roots and motivations, its politics and its future as part of what she calls a new Black Freedom movement.

  • Continuing our celebration of Black History Month, today I wish to lift up the name and story of Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler. At a  time when very few women worked outside of the home, Dr. Crumpler was saving lives. Earning her M.D. degree from New England Female Medical College in 1864, she was the only African-American person to earn a degree from the institution and the first African-American female physician in the United States.

  • Friends, we lifted up a few names of people who risked their lives while speaking up against the injustices they witnessed or experienced themselves. During this month I will share with you stories of persons whose stories are less known but their contributions were equally meaningful. One such name is Claudette Colvin -- a civil rights activist in Alabama during the 1950's.

  • Friends it is a cold and frigid day today, but this is only the beginning from what I am hearing. I hope that we will all make wise choices and be careful if we need to be out and about! Even though I am in the safety and warmth of my house, something else gave me chills this morning. An email, from Church World Service, reminded me that: “January 27th marked two years of attacks by the administration against refugees and Muslims.” Meredith Owen went on to speak about the impact of bans on refugee and Muslim bans on the lives of many and how it also has hindered our capacity as a nation to welcome refugees. The refugee admissions goal for Fiscal Year 2019 is set at 30,000, which is ‘a new record low.’

  • Friends, these next few weeks will be filled with anxiety for all the people called United Methodists around the world. I know some of you are tired of me talking so much about the United Methodist Church, but that is my context: that is the church I know. This is the church that has nurtured me and, truth be told, I love it! Another reality is, everyone is watching and waiting anxiously to see what the United Methodists will do in a few weeks in St. Louis, Missouri! Not just United Methodists!