Young Blood

Young BloodAccording to a recent study by researchers at Boston’s Northeastern University, the murder rate of African American teenagers, and particularly young black men, skyrocketed 39 percent since 2000 and 2001. This increase is significantly higher than the rise of homicides overall, which climbed 7.4 percent since 2000-2001. With this dramatic rise in violent crime among African American youth, how should the Christian community respond?

Black and White Like Us

Black and White Like UsI took my 11-year-old daughter to the Cheetah Girls concert a week after Election Day. Stood in line for 20 minutes with other moms to buy her overpriced popcorn and soda. Forked over the rest of the money in my pocket for a poster and some laminated thing dangling from a lanyard. Sat through throngs of tweens screaming “girl power” in upper octaves.

It wasn’t until five o’clock the next morning, when the caffeine in the value-sized soda jolted me awake, that I realized I had forgotten during the concert that my daughter and I don’t share the same skin color. I am White, and she is Black.

Preaching to the Converted

Preaching to the ConvertedIt’s no secret that America is a very religious nation. A comprehensive study in 2007 by the Pew Forum revealed that a whopping 92 percent of all Americans say they believe in God, and 82 percent say that their religion is very or somewhat important to their lives. Of these, 78.5 percent claimed affiliation with some branch of Christianity.

Barack for Kids

Barack for KidsAmong the slew of articles and books written about Barack Obama over the last year, one of the most surprisingly controversial entries is a children’s book — Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope, by poet Nikki Grimes and artist Bryan Collier. The book was released last summer and quickly landed on the bestseller list. But with that success also came criticism, as many readers and reviewers characterized the tome as hagiography and political propaganda. According to Grimes, who says she knew very little about Obama before writing the book, hero worship and politics were the furthest things from her mind.

A Continuing Education

A Continuing EducationGeorge Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, seems like an unlikely place for a racial incident: The small Christian college was founded by Quakers, who were active in the abolitionist movement before the Civil War and helped slaves escape along the Underground Railroad.

But last year, on Sept. 23, a university employee found a life-sized cardboard cutout of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama hanging from a tree on campus, with a sign attached to it that read: “Act Six reject.” The phrase was a reference to a program by George Fox and Portland Central Young Life that offers full scholarships and leadership training to area high school students. Most, but not all, of the recipients are from minority groups.