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Martin Luther King Jr. delivers a speech during the March on Washington. Wednesday, August 28, 1963 (National Archives)
Commemorating MLK and Remembering a Forgotten History
January 16, 2020
As we commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we learn about the role American religion has played in both reinforcing and combating racism.
Book cover of The Color of Compromise. (Courtesy Zondervan Press)
The Color of Compromise January 16, 2020
Many American Christians are remembered as anti-racist activists and abolitionists. But American Christianity as an institution has done much to buttress racism… even before the country was founded. In fact, the actions of early American Christians towards those they had enslaved would shape America’s attitudes towards race for centuries to come.

Jemar Tisby, author The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism

During our interview, Jemar Tisby suggested that a fitting way to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day would be to read the Reverand Doctor's Letter from Birmingham Jail. This powerful document was originally written in the margins of a newspaper and on any scraps of paper Dr. King could get access to in jail. You can see the original typewritten copy in the online collection of The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.
Portrait of Yolanda Pierce, dean of Howard University School of Divinity, (Curtesy Howard University)
Remembering the women of the Civil Rights Movement January 16, 2020
Take a moment to think of the most famous women of the civil rights movement. Coming up short after Rosa Parks? Our guest says the African-American experience has been “flattened” by history and written many important women out of the story. We hear how black women in religion have long strived to break the “stained glass ceiling.”

Yolanda Pierce, dean of the Howard University School of Divinity
Rabbi Sandra Lawson holding a prayer book and wearing a prayer shawl. (Curtesy Rabbi Lawson)
Being Both: Black and Jewish January 16, 2020
The American Jewish community was an early and ardent supporter of the Civil Rights Movement. But recently, tensions have arisen between Black and Jewish activists. We talk to two people who are proudly both. They reflect on the shared history of the two groups, and how they are sometimes "othered" by the larger Jewish community. 

Rabbi Sandra Lawson, associate chaplain for Jewish life at Elon University
Rabbi Capers Funnye, leader of Beth Shalom B'nai Zaken Ethiopian Hebrew Congregation