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There are two phrases that come to mind when attempting to sum up this week. First, the colloquialism, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Second, Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes 1:9: “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.”
Even with the mass upheaval of our societal patterns and expectations brought by the pandemic, and the spread of global protests against racism and police brutality, our material conditions are not changing at the pace of our rhetoric.
This week our legal system forced the nation to beg for the life of a Black man scheduled to be executed for a crime, despite compelling evidence he was wrongfully convicted. Then it affirmed white vigilantism. World leaders gathered to bemoan climate change while sticking with the colonial logic that brought us to the beginning of catastrophe in the first place. And the company formerly known as Facebook changed nothing more than its brand — again.
There are some stories of change, however. While one company changes the aesthetics, another changes the pay structure. Tennis has remained a largely white sport, but thanks to two Black women from Compton, Calif. — and their father — that’s changing.
1. Hope for the Dirt: Pauli Murray’s Durham
A photo essay honoring Pauli Murray and the West End neighborhood in Durham, North Carolina, that formed the pioneering activist. By Kate Medley via bittersoutherner.com.
2. ‘God Is Weeping’: Faith Leaders React to Rittenhouse Verdict
Pastors, Christian authors, and activists expressed frustration with the verdict reached and the trial itself. By Mitchell Atencio and Betsy Shirley via sojo.net.
3. A King County Nonprofit Raised All Staff Salaries to $70,000 Minimum. Will More Organizations Follow?
There is not a labor shortage, rather, people are no longer taking jobs in which they cannot earn a living wage. By Naomi Ishisaka via The Seattle Times.
4. Our Climate Crisis Demands Indigenized Thinking, Not Colonial Logic
Climate solutions created through a colonial logic keep us in bondage to a supply chain and a market economy. By Sandy Ovalle Martínez via sojo.net.
5. How Exxon Duped “The Daily”
The New York Times' popular podcast aired a misleading climate ad during COP26, despite policies designed to prevent misinformation. By Emily Atkin via Heated.
6. How the Metaverse Will Pull Us Further Apart
The divisions in our world cannot be repaired through virtual or simulated reality. By Amar D. Peterman via sojo.net.
7. What Happens When a Non-LGBTQ+ Affirming Church-Meets-Coffeeshop Comes to a Particularly Queer Part of Durham?
The Sunday morning after the church clarified its position, a pair of women were seen pouring a thick perimeter of salt around the church storefront. By Sarah Edwards via Indy Week.
8. Okla. Governor Grants Julius Jones Clemency After ‘Prayerful Consideration’
The governor’s decision follows months of advocacy from Jones’ family, faith leaders, celebrities, and the public. By Betsy Shirley via sojo.net.
9. The Making of Black Ivy Style
A new book examines how Black civil rights leaders, jazzmen, artists and writers rewrote the sartorial codes of a largely white elite. By Guy Trebay via The New York Times.
10. The Unorthodox Love of Venus and Serena’s Father
In King Richard, Will Smith stars as Richard Williams, the sports dad who spurned conventional wisdom to protect his daughters. By Mitchell Atencio via sojo.net.