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New & Noteworthy: Ben Crump, Faithful Innovation, and More
The documentary Civil: Ben Crump follows the civil rights attorney as he represents the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Andre Hill. While Crump’s work sheds light on police brutality, he also takes legal action to protect Black farmers and bank customers. Netflix
New & Noteworthy: Youth v Gov, Celebrity Worship, and More
The Future Fight
Youth v Gov, currently streaming on Netflix, follows the 21 American young people suing the U.S. government for creating the climate crisis and failing to act to protect their constitutional right to life, liberty, personal safety, and property. Barrelmaker Productions
New & Noteworthy: "Subversive Habits," Unjust Incarceration, and More
A Love Song
Elizabeth and Gulistan Mirzaei’s short documentary Three Songs for Benazir follows the life of a young newlywed couple, Shaista and Benazir, living in a Kabul camp for displaced persons. The Oscar-nominated documentary focuses on their burgeoning love as Shaista struggles with whether to join the Afghan National Army. Mirzaei Films.
New & Noteworthy: “Essential Labor,” Indigenous Resistance, and More
Wanting to understand the enduring power of the myth of the Confederate “Lost Cause,” comedian CJ Hunt expanded what was originally a satirical internet video into an insightful documentary. Set against the New Orleans City Council’s 2015 vote to take down four Confederate monuments, The Neutral Ground explores hard truths of our nation’s past. ITVS.
New & Noteworthy: Fannie Lou Hamer, 'Fight Like Hell,' and More
Capturing the vibrant 2019 protests that pushed Puerto Rico’s governor to resign, the documentary Landfall examines life after Hurricane María and the debt and environmental crises that devastated the U.S. colony long before, prompting local resistance and creative action. Blackscrackle Films.
New & Noteworthy: April 2022
Moved by Love
The limited ABC series Women of the Movement follows Mamie Till-Mobley as she grieves the murder of her son Emmett Till and fights for justice. Directed by four Black women, the show tells the true story of the woman who helped fuel the civil rights movement. Two Drifters
New & Noteworthy: “This Here Flesh,” Exposing Injustice, and More
Reporter Seth Freed Wessler utilizes video call footage to expose the horrific conditions of a detention center used by ICE to detain immigrants amid the COVID-19 pandemic. His documentary, The Facility, follows those inside as they protest for better protections and for their release. Field of Vision.
New & Noteworthy: America's Broken Medical System, Feminism, and More
Homeroom, the final documentary film chapter of the Oakland trilogy, features Oakland (Calif.) High School’s class of 2020 as they organize to remove police officers from their school and navigate remote learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Concordia Studio/Open’hood.
New & Noteworthy: ‘Light Up the Night,’ Catholic Identity, and More
Katie Pruitt’s debut album, Expectations, explored growing up gay and Catholic in the American South. On her new podcast series, The Recovering Catholic, she speaks with comedians, religious leaders, and other artists about how they see God and what spirituality means today. Osiris Media.
New & Noteworthy: 'Passing,' Dismantling Prisons, and More
Adapted from Nella Larsen’s 1929 novel, Passing explores a Harlem Renaissance-era relationship between two reunited childhood friends, one of whom now passes as white while the other lives as a Black woman. The black-and-white film, which debuted at Sundance, moved to Netflix on Nov. 10. Picture Films.
Sojourners Magazine Turns 50
WE'VE BEEN TOLD we don’t look a day over 39! Okay, old joke. But we’re acutely aware of the slightly awkward irony of an intentionally countercultural—and counterinstitutional—movement, formed in the ragtag, “don’t trust anyone over 30” culture of the early 1970s, turning 50 years old. Like the Rolling Stones, we’re still hard at it, as we mark five decades since the beginnings of Sojourners. While we’re more structured and stable than back in the early days of the so-called People’s Christian Coalition (which, not surprisingly, published many raised fists in our first few issues), we’re still doing our best to speak truth to power, afflict the comfortable, and all that. Our outward appearance may have evolved over the years, but our mission—our first principles—are unchanged from day one.
The photos below focus on the people who launched The Post-American in 1971 and helped it to thrive and grow after our 1976 move to Washington, D.C., where it became Sojourners magazine. The publication was started by students at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Ill., north of Chicago—students who were convinced that much of the church, and the evangelical part of it in particular, was wrong in its support of the Vietnam War, wrong in its approach to racism and racial justice, and at best inadequate in its awareness that the gospel calls disciples of Jesus Christ to be agents of change in our fallen world.
As you’ll see in these photos, community, worship, and public actions for social justice were all part of the job description for those who put out the magazine—there was little separation between magazine work and our socially engaged life together in Christian community. After 50 years, we’re still strong believers in an integrated life of faith and social justice, and we try to tell that story in every issue of Sojourners. We hope you enjoy this look back at our earliest roots.
New and Noteworthy: Prisoner-Poet, Serenade, and More
Serenade is a collaborative album dedicated to LGBTQIA+ youth of faith. Produced by Gretta and Kyle Miller of the band Tow’rs, this multigenre and multiartist project explores the “hope and heartbreak” of living as a queer person of faith. Beloved Arise Media.
New & Noteworthy: Neurodiversity, Trees, and More
The three short films in The Trees Remember series span 60 years and feature Black women in the outdoors, reframing narrow historical narratives of who has access to nature. Directed by Angela Tucker, they portray memory, relationships, and belonging in the outdoors. TuckerGurl Inc.
On the Spectrum: Autism, Faith, and the Gifts of Neurodiversity chronicles author Daniel Bowman Jr.’s life as an autistic Christian, starting from his unexpected diagnosis at 35. Illuminating the ways that neurodiversity enriches us all, this book debunks misconceptions and offers hope. Brazos Press.
New & Noteworthy: Sexuality, Grandmothers, and More
Siân Heder’s heartwarming feature film Coda captures the love and struggles of a deaf household and their family business. As a CODA (child of deaf adults) and the only hearing person in her family of four, 17-year-old Ruby faces a dilemma when she discovers her talent for singing. Pathé.
In Affirming: A Memoir of Faith, Sexuality, and Staying in the Church, Sally Gary shares her journey through isolation and profound community as she opens fruitful conversations on sexuality and following Christ. Eerdmans.
New & Noteworthy: ‘Pink Noise,’ Muslim Writers, and More
‘I Finally See’
Prerelease tracks “Church Girl” and “Safe Passage” pave the way for British singer-songwriter Laura Mvula’s forthcoming album Pink Noise. The former gospel choir member brings introspection and the ’80s sounds of her youth to her third record, perfect for dancing. Atlantic Records.
A Common Thread
Muslim American Writers at Home: Stories, Essays and Poems of Identity, Diversity and Belonging gathers a range of Muslim identity and experience in the U.S. and Canada. Authors in the anthology share dreams and memories, shatter stereotypes, and speak to one another. Freedom Voices.
New & Noteworthy: March For Our Lives, Performance Art, and More
No More Death
In the 98-minute documentary Us Kids, survivors of the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., organize the monumental March for Our Lives against gun violence while they honor their dead and take back democracy. Impact Partners.
Flesh Bears History
Natalie Wigg-Stevenson expands our theological imagination with Transgressive Devotion: Theology as Performance Art. Rooted in Baptist, Catholic, Anglican, feminist, and queer theological traditions, Wigg-Stevenson explores the emotional depths artists access by crossing boundaries in hopes of coming closer to God. SCM Press.
New & Noteworthy: A Lyrical Memoir, Reclaiming Scripture, and More
Captured Behind Bars
Filmmakers in Iran risked arrest to help document Nasrin, a compelling portrait of Iranian human rights lawyer and political prisoner Nasrin Sotoudeh. The film highlights her activism and the power of the Iranian women’s rights movement today. Virgil Films.
Return to the Roots
Who Stole My Bible? Reclaiming Scripture as a Handbook for Resisting Tyranny, by Jennifer Butler, remedies authoritarian misrepresentations of the biblical mandate for justice. This practical guide dissects nine Bible stories and presents tools for embodying faith as liberation. Faith in Public Life.
New & Noteworthy: The Funk Apostles, Land Theologies, and More
Virtuoso keyboardist Cory Henry’s 2020 album Something to Say encapsulates a trying year—traversing elation and sorrow. He brings Herbie Hancock-worthy skill and range to what he calls “future soul.” Featuring the Funk Apostles on four tracks, this self-produced project is required listening. Henry House Entertainment.
A Divine Puzzle
Author and public theologian Grace Ji-Sun Kim’s essays read as meditations in her newest book, Hope in Disarray: Piecing Our Lives Together in Faith. Sifting through today’s complex array of personal and societal injustices, Kim approaches readers with the gift of generative hope. The Pilgrim Press.
New & Noteworthy: Jamaican History, Raising Children, and More
A Shared History
Based on Andrea Levy’s novel of the same name, The Long Song depicts a young woman coming of age in Jamaica, anticipating the imminent end to slavery and her servitude. The series displays Britain’s colonial history with the island and crafts a gripping rendering of survival, insurgence, and joy. PBS.
Decolonizing Discipline: Children, Corporal Punishment, Christian Theologies, and Reconciliation presents practices from Indigenous experts to repair the harm children have endured due to colonial legacies. Edited by Valerie E. Michaelson and Joan E. Durrant, this practical book reimagines raising children. University of Manitoba Press.
New & Noteworthy: Lesbian Clergy, Harvesting Herbs, and More
Love, Home, and Longing
Named after the hardy Korean herb, Minari follows a multigenerational Korean American family as they relocate to rural Arkansas to pursue the elusive “American Dream.” Lee Isaac Chung’s film is a stunning, visceral portrayal of creating roots of one’s own. A24 Films.
Called to Ministry
In Out in the Pulpit: The Lived Experiences of Lesbian Clergy in Four Protestant Mainline Denominations, Pamela Pater-Ennis uses theological and social work frameworks to highlight lesbian clergy, following 13 women as they reconcile their Christianity, gender, and sexuality. LifeRich Publishing.