Seminary to Stream Lecture

Adapted from a Seminary of the Southwest announcement

Seminary of the Southwest will stream a lecture, “The Cruel Hand, the Birdcage, and the Fire this Time: A Theological Reflection on The New Jim Crow,” at 6 p.m. February 2.

The lecture is by Asante Todd, assistant professor of Christian ethics at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Online participants may submit questions during the evening’s Q&A session. A discussion of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander will follow.

The seminary has scheduled two other events, both open to the public, for Black History Month:

  • February 16, 4 p.m. — Margie Bedford will discuss her experience as the first black woman to integrate the Austin school system.
  • February 26, 5:30 p.m. — Southwest will host a worship service in Christ Chapel featuring the Huston-Tillotson Gospel Choir and preaching by the Rev. Kim Baker, an MDiv alumna of the seminary. A reception will follow.

Academic Dean Scott Bader-Saye hopes the events, besides honoring the many contributions that African Americans have shared with the country, will help the seminary community and guests grow in their awareness of race-based injustice.

“If justice is to ‘roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream,’ it is a task for all of us,” he said. “Racism is a rhizomatic scourge, springing up from multiple sources, finding expression in multiple locations.”

The Rev. Hunter Ruffin, senior seminarian from the Diocese of Southeast Florida and student chairman of the planning committee, explains the choice of events for Black History Month 2015 at the seminary.

“Like so many Americans, the members of the committee responded with grave concern over the events that unfolded last fall in the cases of Eric Garner and Michael Brown,” he said. “As a result, the committee set out to explore during Black History Month the intersection of race and justice in America.”

A student-led committee of faculty, trustees, and friends of the seminary has organized the events.

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