Tag: Yale Divinity School

James W.C. Pennington, Man Who Escaped Slavery to Study at Yale, Gets Classroom Named After Him

(Photo: YouTube/Quick Review)
(Photo: YouTube/Quick Review)

article via thegrio.com

On Thursday, Yale University will honor its first black student by naming a divinity school classroom after him.  James W.C. Pennington escaped from slavery to Maryland in 1837.  At the time, it was illegal to educate African-Americans from other states, but Pennington was allowed to attend classes as long as he didn’t speak, use the library or earn a degree.

Divinity school graduate Lecia Allman led the push to honor Pennington, who later in life formed an organization to help former slaves receive their education.

Divinity School Dean Gregory Sterling said of the decision to rename the classroom that it “recovers part of our past that has been neglected.”

Episcopal Church Elects Michael Curry as its 1st African-American Presiding Bishop

Bishop Michael Curry of North Carolina, smiles after being elected the Episcopal Churchs first African-American presiding bishop on Saturday, June 27, 2015.
Bishop Michael Curry of North Carolina, smiles after being elected the Episcopal Church’s first African-American presiding bishop on Saturday, June 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The Episcopal Church elected its first African-American presiding bishop, choosing Bishop Michael Curry of North Carolina during the denomination’s national assembly Saturday.

Curry was elected in a vote by bishops at the Episcopal General Convention, the top legislative body of the church. Curry won among the bishops in a landslide, earning 121 votes. The other three candidates had 21 votes or less. The decision was affirmed on a vote of 800-12 by the House of Deputies, the voting body of clergy and lay participants at the meeting.

Curry will succeed Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, who will complete her nine-year term on Nov. 1. She was the first female presiding bishop and the first woman to lead an Anglican national church. The New York-based Episcopal Church is the U.S. body of the Anglican Communion, an 80-million member worldwide fellowship of churches with roots in the Church of England.

“We’ve got a society where there are challenges before us. We know that. And there are crises all around us. And the church has challenges before us,” Curry said in brief comments as he was introduced to the assembly as presiding bishop-elect. “We are part of the Jesus movement, and nothing can stop the movement of God’s love in this world.”

Continue reading “Episcopal Church Elects Michael Curry as its 1st African-American Presiding Bishop”

Civil Rights Lawyer Michelle Alexander Speaks Against Mass Incarceration: the “New Jim Crow”

At a Monday talk, civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander condemned mass incarceration of African-Americans as a form of legalized discrimination.

Monday at Yale University, civil rights lawyer Michelle Alexander condemned mass incarceration of African-Americans as a form of legalized discrimination. (Photo/Maria Zepeda)

Michelle Alexander, a civil rights lawyer who gained national renown after publishing the book “The New Jim Crow,” spoke to students and faculty at the Yale Divinity School Monday afternoon about the phenomenon of mass incarceration in the United States, which she described as a legalized form of racial discrimination. Because African-Americans make up a large percentage of America’s prison population, Alexander said millions of African-Americans nationwide are deprived of basic human rights to housing and employment, adding that the prisoners have fallen victim to the kind of racial discrimination that existed at the time of Jim Crow.

“We have not ended racial caste in America, we have merely redesigned it,” she said. “This is a system that has literally turned back the clock on racial progress in the U.S.”

Alexander said a series of American government campaigns to curb the illegal drug trade, commonly referred to as the war on drugs, is causing an unprecedented number of incarcerations, especially of people of color. More than 45 million people have been “swept into the system” for drug offenses, Alexander said, adding that the number of people currently incarcerated for drug offenses surpasses the number of people incarcerated for any one reason in 1980.

Continue reading “Civil Rights Lawyer Michelle Alexander Speaks Against Mass Incarceration: the “New Jim Crow””