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What This Indian Rapper and the Prophet Hosea Have in Common

by The Editors 12-14-2015
Screengrab from jhatkaa/Youtube video

Screengrab from jhatkaa/Youtube video

In July 2015, a young female rapper from India released a music video calling on Unilever to take responsibility for the mercury contamination caused by one of their former factories in Kodaikanal. In lyrics set to the tune of Nicki Minaj’s Grammy-nominated (and explicit) rap song “Anaconda,” rapper Sofia Ashraf explained that “Unilever came and left devastation / As they exposed the land to contamination.”

New and Noteworthy

by The Editors 12-08-2015
Four January culture recommendations from our editors.
Being Between

The documentary film Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African? focuses on young African women who live in the U.S. and West Africa but identify with both cultures. How do they work out unique twists in the issues of race, complexion, gender, and family heritage?

Revealing the Word

Nyasha Junior, assistant professor of Hebrew Bible at Temple University, has written An Introduction to Womanist Biblical Interpretation, an accessible and forward-looking guide to African-American women’s contributions to biblical scholarship. WJK Press

Letters

by The Editors 12-02-2015
Letters to the Editor from Sojourners readers
Everett Historical / Shutterstock

Everett Historical / Shutterstock

   Letters to the Editor from Sojourners readers    

Why We Published Our Cover Story in English and Spanish

by The Editors 11-12-2015
Waj / Shutterstock

Waj / Shutterstock

Taking our cue from these leaders whose understanding of justice is rooted in a multilingual, multicultural context, we published the cover story in both English and Spanish — a first for Sojourners. For English-only speakers, we hope this serves as a reminder that our own perspective is limited. For those who regularly navigate multiple languages and cultures, especially Latino and Latina Christians, we hope you’ll continue to heed the challenge of Bishop Minerva Carcaño: “It is our responsibility to be a voice for justice and to be able to sit at the table with others.”

New & Noteworthy

by The Editors 10-30-2015
Four December culture recommendations from our editors.
Liz Vice / rhapsody.com

Liz Vice / rhapsody.com

Soul for the Soul

Liz Vice sings contemporary music of praise and devotion in classic R&B, soul, and gospel styles. Her album There’s a Light, propelled by her powerful and blues-tinged voice, will lift you up and carry you back. Ramseur Records

No Bargains

What is The True Cost of affordable fashion? In this documentary, director Andrew Morgan invites us to think deeply about the consequences of cheaper clothes (and who suffers them) and consider the role we play in a globalized world. truecostmovie.com

Letters

by The Editors 10-27-2015
Letters to the Editor from Sojourners readers
Everett Historical / Shutterstock

Everett Historical / Shutterstock

   

New and Noteworthy

by The Editors 09-24-2015
Four November culture recommendations from our editors.
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Radical History

Through recent testimonials and historical footage, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, a film by documentarian Stanley Nelson, brings fresh insight on the cultural and political influence of the young men and women who proclaimed 50 years ago that black lives matter. Firelight Films

Hear Their Cries

God of Justice: The IJM Institute Global Church Curriculum , by Abraham George and Nikki A. Toyama-Szeto, is a 12-session Bible study on the centrality of God’s concern for the poor and the oppressed. It is rooted in the human rights work of the International Justice Mission. IVP Connect

Marching Toward Full Equality

by The Editors 09-15-2015

Woodcut illustration of Ida B. Wells, lifelong fighter for justice, anti-lynching laws, and women's right to vote. Image via /Shutterstock

In the spirit of Aug. 26's Women’s Equality Day, we took to social media and the blogosphere to celebrate the ratification of the 19th Amendment and 95 years of women voting in the U.S. However, as some of our supporters rightly pointed out, that landmark constitutional victory did not guarantee all women the right to vote. Our efforts should have acknowledged that painful reality.

As we look back at the suffrage movement, it’s important to acknowledge how racism tainted this historic fight for the vote. Many black women activists — such as Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, and Anna Julia Cooper — were staunch supporters of women’s rights, yet experienced discrimination from fellow suffragists and white supremacists. These divisions, along with conflicting political interests, caused immense friction within the suffrage movement, thus revealing the challenges of fighting sexism in a deeply racist society.

PLUS: Poetry Written by Members of the Free Minds Book Club

by The Editors 08-12-2015

Poet Ambassadors / Photo courtesy of Free Minds

The Forgiveness

By Steven

I forgive my dad for walking out on his only son
I forgive the people who think they get over
When they assume that I’m dumb
I forgive life for dealing me this hand
I forgive my inner boy for not becoming a man
I forgive the man who bumped me
Because he couldn’t see
I forgive ...
But I can’t forgive everything
Because I’ve yet to forgive me ...

Steven is an active member of the Free Minds Book Club.

New & Noteworthy

by The Editors 08-11-2015
Four September/October culture recommendations from our editors.

Raising Themselves
The film Know How, a musical written and acted by foster-care youth, tells interwoven stories of coming of age within a dysfunctional system, the losses and dangers these young people face, and their against-the-odds struggle to persevere. First Run Features

Beyond the Food Drive
In Charity Detox: What Charity Would Look Like If We Cared About Results, Robert D. Lupton asserts that poverty must be addressed “through development, not through one-way giving.” With anecdotes and examples, he explains development strategies such as fund reallocation, reciprocal exchange models, and neighborhood reconciliation. Harper One

70 Years of Fear

by The Editors 07-15-2015
For many Christians today, the call to oppose nuclear weapons has been neither obvious nor urgent. Until now.

The February 1977 issue of Sojourners.

ON JULY 16, 1945—70 years ago today—the United States Army tested the first nuclear weapon in Alamogordo Air Base in New Mexico. "For the first time in history there was a nuclear explosion," wrote General Leslie Groves two days later in a memorandum to the U.S. Secretary of War. "And what an explosion!" Less than one month later, bombs were dropped on the Japenese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. More than 150,000 people were killed instantly and other deaths from radiation exposure followed

New & Noteworthy

by The Editors 07-10-2015
Four August culture recommendations from our editors.
PicMonkey Collage.jpg

Collage Created via Pic Money

Four August culture recommendations from our editors.

Demonic Drums, Transgender Housing, and 8 Other Quotables from Our June Issue

by The Editors 06-08-2015
Image via tovovan/shutterstock.com

Image via tovovan/shutterstock.com

It’s hard to overlook the peppy pink pig who appeared on the cover of our June issue, but maybe you missed the lyrical beauty of Senior Associate Editor Julie Polter’s review of Sufjan Stevens’ newest album, or Eboo Patel’s surprising lesson on what Thomas Jefferson’s 1764 copy of Islam’s holy book can tell us about the 2016 elections. The June issue taught us how to stop funding what we hate, how a housing-first model saved the life of a homeless transgender woman, and how prison guards are earning degrees alongside inmates.

Below, read our top 10 quotes from the June 2015 issue of Sojourners.

New and Noteworthy

by The Editors 06-08-2015
Four July 2015 culture recommendations from our editors
Old New Soul

Leon Bridges is a 25-year-old gospel and soul singer from Texas with a vintage sound and sheepish stage presence. In six months, Bridges went from washing dishes full-time to selling out multiple SXSW shows. His new album, Coming Home, features smooth love songs, both romantic and religious. Columbia

Top 12 Award-Winning Articles from This Month's Associated Church Press Awards

by The Editors 05-19-2015
Image via Tashatuvango/shutterstock.com

Image via Tashatuvango/shutterstock.com

Earlier in May, Sojourners attended the Associated Church Press awards ceremony in Toronto and took home 20 awards, including first place prizes for Best National and International Magazine, Best Department (Culture Watch), and Best Column (Hearts & Minds).

Read (or reread) some of the award winning articles below. 

Divest!

by The Editors 05-07-2015
Various campaigns have adopted the tactic of divestment to compel action toward a safer, more just, and more sustainable world. Does it work? 

This is an introduction to five-part series in Sojourner's June 2015 issue about divestment; to read the rest, click here.

IT WASN'T A HUGE surprise last year when Union Seminary announced that it would become the first seminary in the world to divest from fossil fuels. Union, after all, has long been a leader in progressive causes, and President Serene Jones said that “divestment of our endowment from fossil-fuel companies is one small step” toward stopping the catastrophic threat—the “sin”—of climate change.

But a few months later, the divestment movement reached an altogether different level when the Rockefeller Brothers Fund announced that it was moving its money from fossil fuels, starting with the worst carbon polluters, coal and tar sands. The Rockefeller money, of course, came from oil—patriarch John D. Rockefeller was the co-founder of Standard Oil—and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund controls $860 million in assets. All in all, 180 institutions have pledged to divest more than $50 billion to defund climate change—and, as they say, with billions in assets moved, pretty soon you’re talking real money.

New & Noteworthy

by The Editors 05-07-2015
Four June 2015 culture recommendations from our editors
Contemporary History

The duo Ibeyi are Naomi and Lisa-Kaindé Díaz, 19-year-old French-Cuban twins with Yoruba roots—a West African culture transplanted to Cuba during slavery. Ibeyi’s self-titled album begins and ends in prayer; in between is a fusion of English and Yoruba, minimalist piano and percussion, jazz and hip hop. XL Recordings

Pocket Poetry: What We're Reading for National Poetry Month

by The Editors 04-21-2015
In recognition of National Poetry Month’s “Poetry in Our Pocket Day,” and in celebration of Sojourners’ historical love of poetry, our staff selected some favorite poems below.

In recognition of National Poetry Month’s “Poetry in Our Pocket Day,” and in celebration of Sojourners’ historical love of poetry, our staff selected some favorite poems. 

New & Noteworthy

by The Editors 04-01-2015
Four May 2015 culture recommendations from our editors
A Good Neighbor

Children’s television host (and Presbyterian minister) Fred Rogers was known for his gentle, soft-spoken manner. Michael G. Long argues in Peaceful Neighbor: Discovering the Countercultural Mister Rogers that Rogers was also a radical, imbuing his show with nonviolence and care for creation. Westminster John Knox Press

VIDEO: Nashville Sit-Ins

by The Editors 02-11-2015
A video depicting the social responses to boycotts during the civil rights

A video depicting the social responses to boycotts during the civil rights