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Reverend Henry Mitchell

Religious leader and religion professor Reverend Henry Mitchell was born in 1919, in Columbus, Ohio to Orlando and Bertha Mitchell. He received his B.A. degree from Lincoln University and went on to attend Union Theological Seminary, from which he received his B.D. and M.Div. degrees. After graduation, Mitchell was hired as pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Fresno, California and later moved to the Cavalry Baptist Church in Santa Monica, California. He also earned his Th.D. degree from Claremont School of Theology and his M.A. in linguistics from California State University.

In 1969, Mitchell became the first Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Black Church Studies at the consortium of Colgate Rochester Divinity School, Bex Ley Hall, and Crozer Theological Seminary. He also served as professor of religion and Pan African Studies at California State University and academic dean and professor of history and homiletics at Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. In 1988, Mitchell and his wife, the Reverend Doctor Ella Pearson Mitchell, began team-teaching as visiting professors of homiletics at the Interdenominational Theological Center. They became well known for their team-teaching and preaching style, where they would speak to their audience in dialogue with each other.

Mitchell served as the founding director of the Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies and has written a book on the history of the African American church called Black Church Beginnings: The Long-Hidden Realities of the First Years . In addition, Mitchell has also written Black Preaching: The Recovery of a Powerful Art , a history of African American preaching styles, Fire in The Well , a collections of sermons Mitchell and his wife have given, and Together For Good: Lessons From Fifty-Five Years of Marriage , Mitchell and his wife’s joint autobiography. He has also co-authored the book Preaching for Black Self-Esteem .

Mitchell has been awarded an honorary D.D. degree by the American Baptist Seminary of the West and an honorary L.H.D. degree by Lincoln University. He and his wife are also the recipients of the 2008 Union Theological Seminary Trailblazer Award.

Henry Mitchell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 16, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.084

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/16/2010

Last Name

Mitchell

Marital Status

Married

Schools

Lincoln University

East High School

Eastwood School

East Pilgrim Elementary School

The Ohio State University

California State University, Fresno

Claremont School of Theology

Union Theological Seminary

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Henry

Birth City, State, Country

Columbus

HM ID

MIT11

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

Any

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Negotiable

Favorite Season

Fall, Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Preferred Audience: Any

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

9/10/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Ice Cream

Short Description

Religion professor and religious leader Reverend Henry Mitchell (1919 - ) held positions as a professor both of religion and African American history, including the first Martin Luther King Jr. Professor of Black Church Studies at the Colgate Rochester Divinity School. He also pastored the Second Baptist Church in Fresno, California and the Cavalry Baptist Church in Santa Monica.

Employment

North Carolina Central University

Northern California Baptist Convention

Second Baptist Church

Calvary Baptist Church

Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School

Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies

Interdenominational Theological Center

Proctor School of Theology

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
0,0:1995,29:4085,64:4655,72:5035,77:5700,88:7980,157:11852,169:18736,256:28814,464:48338,809:49554,845:54775,878:55155,886:58195,935:58860,944:60898,967:65194,997:66217,1010:66775,1018:67147,1023:80025,1220:88970,1302:90300,1321:100092,1452:100780,1461:102930,1503:103274,1508:110130,1575:129842,1738:131974,1781:132384,1787:139279,1845:152422,2062:152884,2070:171654,2297:176440,2363:176940,2369:180820,2385:191615,2652:212324,2927:220999,3049:221496,3060:221993,3069:224588,3107:225458,3130:230722,3194:239655,3291:244670,3372$0,0:2108,20:2728,26:21494,248:26492,338:30345,368:43576,465:44422,473:61068,546:74260,679:75860,713:76340,720:76980,730:82180,773:89014,882:89518,889:112800,1038:119349,1143:119965,1152:120504,1160:122660,1200:123276,1210:124277,1233:124585,1238:125124,1246:125509,1252:126741,1277:127126,1283:128050,1297:128666,1306:129205,1314:133364,1345:134170,1369:134604,1377:137454,1408:140359,1447:140857,1454:141355,1461:143596,1500:144592,1512:145339,1522:151280,1558:151660,1564:152116,1572:158293,1638:163092,1682:165032,1717:170050,1727:176415,1776:188510,1840:198700,1877:206860,1952:213975,1993:216390,2016:217425,2022:218115,2030:252269,2269:252695,2276:252979,2281:253263,2286:276540,2542:278725,2567:279485,2578:286240,2634
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Henry Mitchell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Henry Mitchell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers his maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his paternal great-grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about his paternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his father's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his father's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers his father's occupation and personality

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Henry Mitchell lists his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his childhood home in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers his neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his experiences of school segregation in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls the Eastwood School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers singing in the choir at the Second Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about the clothing styles of his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers Pilgrim Junior High in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers East High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his preparation for college

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls his graduation from East High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his experiences during the Great Depression

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers his calling to the ministry

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls working at the Truck Tractor Equipment Company

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers his exemption from the draft

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls leaving The Ohio State University

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers enrolling at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers his summer work experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls his activities at Lincoln University

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls his time at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about his preparation for seminary

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about the history of the Baptist denomination

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls his transition to the Union Theological Seminary in New York City

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers his first year at the Union Theological Seminary

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers meeting his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers his decision to propose to his wife

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his wife's ordination as a minister

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls his start as an expert on the black church

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about African American religious symbolism

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Henry Mitchell reflects upon his philosophy of religion

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls becoming the dean of the chapel at the North Carolina College for Negroes in Durham, North Carolina

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes the impact of World War II on his brothers

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls his time as dean of the chapel at the North Carolina College for Negroes

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers the birth of his first child

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about his children

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls working as a field secretary of the Northern California Baptist Association

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about his graduate education

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls the tragic deaths of his family members

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his role in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers the adoption of his son

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls pastoring the Second Baptist Church in Fresno, California

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers the assassinations of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers pastoring the Calvary Baptist Church in Santa Monica, California

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls his Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Professorship of Black Church Studies

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about his career in academia

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Reverend Henry Mitchell recalls founding the Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies in La Verne, California

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about his publications

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Reverend Henry Mitchell reflects upon the success of his marriage

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his collaborations with his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about the history of the black church, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Reverend Henry Mitchell the history of the black church, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Reverend Henry Mitchell talks about his trips to Africa

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Reverend Henry Mitchell reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Reverend Henry Mitchell reflects upon the role of women in the black church

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Reverend Henry Mitchell narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$6

DAStory

4$3

DATitle
Reverend Henry Mitchell remembers his calling to the ministry
Reverend Henry Mitchell describes his role in the Civil Rights Movement
Transcript
Now, you talked a little bit about religion. But I want you to tell me more about your church [Second Baptist Church, Columbus, Ohio] and your affiliation, besides the choir. When did you, when did you get the call?$$I got the call after I finished high school [East High School, Columbus, Ohio]. I was working on a job that was made for me, 'cause they didn't need me in that place [Truck Tractor Equipment Company]. But the fellow that was the head Negro in charge was a good friend of my dad [Orlando Mitchell]. My dad had been very helpful to this fellow when he almost died in an auto accident. They were in the Mat- Ma- Masonic lodge together, and he was the foreman. So my dad went to him one day and said, "My boy is finishing high school. Is there any possible chance you'd give him a job?" Said, "I don't have a job, but I'll make him a job." The result was that at points on the job where I was making twenty-five cents an hour, twelve dollars a week, he would have to put me somewhere to make it look like I was really needed, 'cause otherwise, the boss would have made him fire me. "You don't need that little boy." So, I handled freight that I shouldn't have handled. And I still got problems from that. And he would put me up in a warehouse assembling farm implements have been shipped in in pieces before he needed them. Usually, he would assemble whatever the harvester was or something like that. He would assemble it after he needed it. But he put me up there to put some stuff in stock already assembled. Well, I'm up here looking busy, pushing a ratchet wrench, putting spade lugs on a real big tractor wheel, and didn't take any brains at all, and my mind was floating all the time, they call free association. And one day it dawned on me, every time my mind floats I wind up in a church somewhere, in a pulpit somewhere, either in Africa or in the United States or wherever. And finally, it dawned on me that I was being called. And well, I did, I admired both of my grandpas [Henry Estis and Henry Mitchell] who were Baptist preachers, but I didn't admire them enough to want to join them. But it got on me so bad I couldn't sleep, so finally I yielded to the call. I to- I tried to keep it a secret 'cause people have been calling, telling me I was preacher all along. My--I don't know how this happened, but I, I could recite chapters from the Bible, and I don't even know when I memorized them. When I couldn't read, I could relate that: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so--," [John 14:1-2] when I did my first funeral, after I became a professional pastor, I'm walking down the aisle reciting this stuff in front of the coffin as it rolls down the aisle. And you would have thought I had been pastoring, 'cause I wasn't reading any--(laughter); I was just reciting. But it was because I've known when I couldn't read I could recite that stuff.$$And, and that was just from going to church and hear- hearing it over and over again, you think?$$I haven't any idea how I got it. It must have been something like that, because I don't remember my parents sitting down telling me, "Now memorize this or memorize that."$$But you did go to Sunday school.$$Oh yeah. I memorized the books of the Bible and all that sort of stuff.$In the 1950s--we're going into the 19--the end of the 1950s, 1956. This is when civil rights is starting to--$$Yeah.$$--come to the forefront. Were you involved in civil rights? In, in what way?$$I was involved in all kinds of ways. We had one demonstration with har- Martin King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] right there in Fresno [California].$$Tell me about that.$$I have pictures of it in the stuff that I've got some pictures of. In Fresno I was able to clear up police brutality and stuff, got them to deal with blacks, black justly and e- even made them hire blacks, where they didn't plan to and so forth. I almost got to be ordered to the--elected to the school board, but I had found the school board was wrong on some things. So all the teachers organized the whole--that's a big bunch of people against me because I had caught the school board. And the school board really didn't want me to be on the board 'cause I had caught them wrong too many times.$$Okay. Now, were you involved in the National Baptist Convention [National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.]?$$Yeah.$$Can you tell me what the involvement of the National Baptist Convention was to the, in this--I guess there was some kind of little--a rift between civil rights or their views on civil rights in the National Baptist Convention. Do you know about that, or do you have an opinion about that?$$Well, we had some strange things happen. For one thing, Martin Luther King should have been president of the Congress of Christian Education. And the president had a power base in Mississippi and places like that. And they thought of Martin too radical, and they moved him--he was elected president of the congress, and the president stopped him, did not rec- it was, it was a, a, a technical thing where the presidency or the, the, the, the, the mother convention had to approve the officers elected by the congress. And the congress elected Martin King as president, and the president re- had the convention to deny the usual form of approval. And they picked a new president for the congress because they thought was, that Martin King was too, too radical, stupid stuff like that. So the president was unfortunately the sort of person who, who was almost satisfied with things like they were. And he said just let us, let us fix it with the vote. We don't have to have all of these demonstrations and stuff.$$All right.$$I was quite active in the city. I was too far out to be terribly importantly involved in nationally. But I did have a demonstration in San--in Fresno, in which Martin King did came and--did come, and take part.

Lawrence Carter

Chapel Dean and religion professor Lawrence Carter was born in Georgia to John and Bernice Carter and grew up in Ohio. He received his B.A. degree from Virginia University of Lynchburg and his M. Div., S.T.M., and Ph.D. degrees from Boston University. After his graduation he served as Baptist Counselor, Residential Counselor, and Executive Director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Afro American Cultural Center, and as Associate Dean of Daniel L. Marsh Chapel at Boston University. He went on to teach at Harvard University Divinity School and serve as coordinator of African American studies at Simmons College.

Carter eventually became a tenured professor at Morehouse College, a college that Martin Luther King Jr. had tried to recruit him for years earlier. In 1979, Carter became the first Dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel and college curator. In the same year, Carter also founded the Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel Assistants Pre-seminarians Program at Morehouse. In 1982, he began lecturing at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta.

Carter was responsible for choosing and researching the site for the new edifice for Ebenezer Baptist Church, a church that both Martin Luther King Jr. and his father preached at. Carter has published several books, including Walking Integrity: Benjamin Elijah Mays, Mentor to Martin Luther King Jr. and Global Ethical Options, in the Tradition of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Daisaku Ikeda . He also commissioned the Gandhi Ikeda King Hassan Institute for Ethics and Reconciliation in 1999, and created the Gandhi-King-Ikeda Community Builder’s Prize of the Morehouse Chapel in 2001. Carter is an advocate of the work of Doctor Daisaku Ikeda, president of the lay Buddhist organization Soka Gakki International, and has done much to publicize Ikeda’s work in the U.S., including helping to create a traveling museum exhibit on the life and work of Gandhi, King, and Ikeda.

Carter has received four honorary degrees from Lincoln University, Al al-Bayt University, and Soka University of Japan. He has been elected delegate to numerous international religious conventions, among them the Second and Third Synthesis Dialogues in Italy. He has also been given many awards, such as the Seikyo Award for Highest Honor and the Trumpet Award for Spirituality. Carter has been a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow twice, a Fulbright-Hayes Scholar, and has been voted a member of the Class of Leadership Atlanta.
Lawrence Carter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on July 15, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.080

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/15/2010 |and| 4/18/2011

Last Name

Carter

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Edward

Schools

West High School

Virginia University of Lynchburg

Boston University

First Name

Lawrence

Birth City, State, Country

Dawson

HM ID

CAR23

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Caribbean

Favorite Quote

I Can Do All Things Through Christ that Strengthens Me.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

9/23/1941

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Trout, Salmon, Eel, Crabcakes, Green Vegetables

Short Description

Religion professor and chapel dean Lawrence Carter (1941 - ) was a professor and chapel dean at Morehouse College, and worked to promote and preserve the legacy of civil rights leaders around the world.

Employment

Morehouse College

Boston University

Simmons College

Bates College

Favorite Color

Scarlet, Yellow

Timing Pairs
0,0:3050,11:3590,22:4250,36:5870,43:6794,51:15788,136:22866,232:23262,239:28542,375:35296,520:36612,541:37270,549:45830,633:49425,683:64255,877:73103,1020:76092,1115:79435,1147:79810,1154:80110,1163:80635,1176:85440,1259:85926,1266:86412,1273:87222,1283:88032,1295:92754,1347:95606,1426:97320,1433:97656,1438:99645,1457:109126,1622:114992,1709:115296,1714:116208,1729:119360,1769:122140,1790:122416,1795:122761,1801:124094,1812:126405,1834:126915,1841:127425,1848:131072,1875:131402,1881:134823,2034:140414,2116:141200,2124$0,0:3888,65:4320,73:4608,78:9333,159:11244,185:12154,198:12609,204:13246,213:14793,235:20545,250:22795,291:25195,342:25645,349:30295,392:30834,400:36340,454:37110,467:48932,575:49762,588:51339,615:55221,652:55537,657:56880,694:57433,702:58302,707:63413,760:64142,825:64790,835:73161,941:75452,1015:83355,1107:103388,1299:103857,1307:104192,1313:108176,1370:110251,1424:115291,1491:119570,1532:130523,1691:140000,1800:140642,1808:141605,1822:156750,2060:157010,2065:166604,2152:169442,2209:169958,2216:170732,2226:173719,2246:173915,2251:174111,2256:176260,2285:177880,2316:178840,2343:183084,2441:183320,2446:189264,2505:199219,2619:205814,2734:213290,2805:214018,2821:214837,2831:224580,2981:224930,2987:225350,2995:225980,3006:230913,3078:232383,3092:235028,3139:236456,3165:240250,3219:240550,3228:246947,3304:251595,3478:256360,3492:261070,3548
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lawrence Carter's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lawrence Carter describes his mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lawrence Carter remembers his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lawrence Carter describes his relationship with his maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lawrence Carter remembers the attack on Pearl Harbor

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lawrence Carter describes the foods of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lawrence Carter remembers his early religious experiences

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lawrence Carter describes his mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lawrence Carter describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter remembers pivotal moments from his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lawrence Carter describes his maternal grandmother's home in Dawson, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lawrence Carter remembers his maternal grandmother's death

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lawrence Carter recalls his convalescence in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lawrence Carter remembers his first train trip to Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lawrence Carter remembers his early education in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lawrence Carter remembers his fifth grade teacher

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter talks about his academic achievements at Garfield Elementary School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lawrence Carter describes the Hilltop neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lawrence Carter describes the Hilltop neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lawrence Carter describes his mother's occupations

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lawrence Carter remembers the day of his mother's funeral

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lawrence Carter describes his mother's personality

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lawrence Carter describes his experiences at West Junior and Senior High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lawrence Carter describes his role as bailiff in the student court at West Junior and Senior High School in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter recalls his decision to attend Virginia Theological Seminary and College in Lynchburg, Virginia

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lawrence Carter remembers meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lawrence Carter describes his call to ministry

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lawrence Carter talks about his baptism and the pastor of his church

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lawrence Carter recalls his first encounter with racial discrimination

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lawrence Carter remembers a minstrel show from his youth

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lawrence Carter recalls attending Virginia Theological Seminary and College in Lynchburg, Virginia

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter remembers a valuable lesson about his education

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lawrence Carter recalls his early jobs as a teenager

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lawrence Carter remembers working as a camp counselor at Camp Wheeler in Chesterville, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lawrence Carter recalls applying to the Boston University School of Theology in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Lawrence Carter explains the difference between licensure and ordination

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Lawrence Carter remembers facing racial discrimination in Columbus, Ohio

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Lawrence Carter remembers the events of the Cold War

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Lawrence Carter describes his membership in the Un-American Activities club

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter reflects upon his experiences during the 1960s

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Lawrence Carter describes his participation in the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Lawrence Carter remembers the March on Washington

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Lawrence Carter describes his graduation from Virginia Seminary and College

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Lawrence Carter describes his vacation on Huckleberry Island in Canada

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Lawrence Carter remembers a close friend

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Lawrence Carter recalls his childhood adventures in a junkyard

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Lawrence Carter describes his dating experiences at the Boston University School of Theology

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Lawrence Carter recalls meeting his wife

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Lawrence Carter narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter narrates his photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Slating of Lawrence Carter's interview, session 2

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter describes the early years of his marriage

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Lawrence Carter recalls his start as a university instructor

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Lawrence Carter talks about his organizational memberships in Boston, Massachusetts

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Lawrence Carter remembers joining the Masons

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Lawrence Carter describes the connections between Masonry and Christianity

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Lawrence Carter talks about his appointment as dean of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Chapel

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Lawrence Carter describes his plan for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Chapel

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Lawrence Carter remembers his relationship with the King family

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Lawrence Carter describes the Martin Luther King, Jr. Chapel Assistants Pre-seminarians Program

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Lawrence Carter remembers the Atlanta Missing and Murdered Children cases

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Lawrence Carter remembers Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter recalls the activities at Morehouse College in the late 1980s

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Lawrence Carter describes the Leadership Atlanta program

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Lawrence Carter talks about his involvement in the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Lawrence Carter talks about Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s expulsion from the National Baptist Convention, USA

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Lawrence Carter describes his son

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Lawrence Carter talks about his research for his books

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Lawrence Carter remembers his ethics research in the Fulbright-Hays Program

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Lawrence Carter describes the culture and geography of Brazil

Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Lawrence Carter remembers revitalizing the campus of Morehouse College

Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Lawrence Carter remembers reinterring Benjamin Mays at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter recalls finding the new location for Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Lawrence Carter recalls editing the centennial collection of Benjamin Mays' writings

Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Lawrence Carter talks about founding the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Institute for Global Ethics and Reconciliation, pt. 1

Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Lawrence Carter talks about founding the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Institute for Global Ethics and Reconciliation, pt. 2

Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Lawrence Carter describes his peace work after September 11, 2001

Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Lawrence Carter remembers hosting Cheikh Anta Diop at Morehouse College

Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Lawrence Carter describes the subject of his Ph.D. dissertation

Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Lawrence Carter recalls his inaugural address at the Soka University of America

Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Lawrence Carter recalls planning the first Interfaith Resurrection Assembly

Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Lawrence Carter talks about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Lawrence Carter describes his various honors

Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Lawrence Carter talks about his wife

Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Lawrence Carter shares his plans for the future

Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Lawrence Carter reflects upon his legacy and how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Lawrence Carter shares a message to future generations

Tape: 11 Story: 9 - Lawrence Carter shares his thoughts about contemporary churches, pt. 1

Tape: 11 Story: 10 - Lawrence Carter shares his thoughts about contemporary churches, pt. 2

Tape: 11 Story: 11 - Lawrence Carter shares his gratitude in joining The HistoryMakers collection

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

3$4

DATitle
Lawrence Carter remembers meeting Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Lawrence Carter describes his call to ministry
Transcript
And so the school was living on its heyday decades past. But I stayed, and in 1961, Martin King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] came to Lynchburg, Virginia to speak, and I didn't know he was coming, and this was gonna be my second time going to hear him. Maybe I should put in, before I tell you this, that in the tenth grade the superintendent of school was at our church, Oakley Baptist [Oakley Full Gospel Baptist Church, Columbus, Ohio], on a Sunday morning with no warning, took me across town to hear him speak at Union Grove Baptist Church [Columbus, Ohio]. It's the first time I heard him--tenth grader. And I was impressed, and couldn't figure out why I had been brought, but I was considering the ministry--didn't know for sure, and I had figured out a habit that was a good practice, that when I visited churches, I should go and ask the minister could I look at his study--library. And I asked Dr. Hale [ph.], a Morehouse man [Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia], if I could see his study after church, and he said, "Of course, go right in, there's nobody there." I went in and closed the door and started looking at the books, from the floor to the ceiling, and when I turned around to view the books on the other side of the room, Martin Luther King, Jr. himself was seated in a chair, alone. I was astounded, and the first thing I thought was the pastor lied to me (laughter); he said nobody was here. King said, "What's your name?" I told him. He said, "Have you considered college?" I said, "Yes." He said, "Have you considered Morehouse?" I said, "Yes." And I said, "But one of my neighbors talked me out of it." He said, "Why?" "He said it wasn't up to snuff." He then started a very persuasive conversation on why I should consider Morehouse. Long story short, the neighbor won, and the church people said to me, "Basically, we think that you'd be better off at Virginia [Virginia Theological Seminary and College; Virginia University of Lynchburg, Lynchburg, Virginia] because we think that Morehouse would be too hard for you."$$Wow.$$That's how I got to Virginia to college.$Before we go forward, I just wanna go back a little bit and, and pick up some pieces. I wanna know about when--I mean you told about the tenth grade you were considering ministry, but when was the first time you felt that you had the call?$$Oh. My calling was not a Pauline call, of being knocked off some proverbial horse and blinded by a bright light, it didn't happen abruptly; it was a gradual thing from the ninth grade to the twelfth, and it got stronger and stronger by elimination. And it wasn't until January of the twelfth grade; I was so anguishing that if God wanted me to preach, why didn't he just tell me? And of course I could hear Bill Cosby's voice, "You know, he doesn't operate like that" (laughter). Well, one day I was seated in the sanctuary [at Oakley Full Gospel Baptist Church, Columbus, Ohio] trying to decide, and my pastor came down the aisle. Nobody else was in the sanctuary but me. And as he passed, I said, "Reverend Ashburn [Jacob Ashburn, Jr.], I think I've been called to preach." He kept right on going (laughter); didn't say anything. I was shocked; I thought this would cause for some kind of conversation. So I watched him go on back to the narthex, and then I decided to sit there until he came back, and he walked right by me and I said, "But I'm nervous about having to preach all these Sundays." And he said, while passing by me, "I thought you said you were called to preach," (laughter), and he walked right on into his office, and I thought, what's going on? I was dealing with my ambivalence. So I followed him into his office and so we talked a moment. And he said, "Well, if you think you've been called," he says, "I'll set a date for you to preach your trial sermon." And that was January. He set the date of May 11th; that gave me time to finish and to graduate [from West Junior and Senior High School; West High School, Columbus, Ohio], though the graduation wasn't 'til June. I'll never forget--the church was full; it was like a Wednesday night. My mother [Bernice Childs Johnson] had told everybody. People from out of town came. I was as nervous as you can imagine. I had only preached one other sermon a few Sundays before at a United Methodist church, and I don't know what happened, but the sermon was received thunderously, and the word spread throughout the community, "[HistoryMaker] Lawrence Carter has been called to preach, and you should of heard him last Sunday." But I had not preached at my church. And when I finished that sermon, I didn't have another sermon (laughter), so I had to write another sermon. So I did, and I remember using--I can't even tell you the title of the sermon right now, but I used like these little devotionals, these little handbooks--one of the popular ones; it's not coming to me right now, that everybody knows.$$Daily Word?$$Daily Word--to help me get ready. And I went in with my little manuscript, and I sat there, really sweating, looking out at all these people, wondering, what do they want to hear? And I got up and I delivered it. And I sat down, and the church licensed me. But I remember I was very disappointed at one of my favorite deacons, Mr. Joseph Gentry [ph.]; he did not make the motion and he did not second it, but he voted in my favor. I wanted him to make the motion just because I had so much--he was the one who took me to hear Martin Luther King [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther, King, Jr.]; I had so much respect for him. So that is how I started, and I've been struggling ever since (laughter).

Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy

Reverend Maisha Itia Handy was born on September 20th in Chicago, Illinois. Her mother and father were musicians associated with the Phil Cohran Ensemble, the Pharaohs and Earth, Wind and Fire. She started school at Ile Iwe Ominara School, which means “School of Knowledge”. Handy also attended Faulkner School and St. Felicitas Elementary School. A talented singer and a pom pom girl, Handy graduated from Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in 1985. That summer she felt called to the ministry. At Lincoln University she earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice in 1989 and briefly attended the University of Missouri Law School. Handy received her Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology, Emory University in 1994 and her Ph.D. from Emory University in 2002. Dr. James W. Fowler III, Dr. Robert M. Franklin, Jr. and Dr. Jacqueline Grant served as Handy’s mentors.

Handy was national president of the Baptist Student Union from 1988 to1989. Licensed to preach in 1991, Handy was ordained in the gospel ministry at First Baptist Congregational Church in Chicago in 1994. She worked as youth minister and minister of music for the Suwanee Parish United Methodist Church from1994 to1998 and served as program assistant for the Black Church Studies Program at Candler School of Theology. Handy served as program assistant and research consultant for the Lilly Endowment’s Youth Theology Institute from 1994 to1997. In 1999, Handy spent a year as teaching assistant to Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. Since 2000, she has been assistant professor of Christian Education at the Interdenominational Theological Seminary (ITC) in Atlanta. Handy is currently minister of Christian Education at First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

Handy, a member of Theta Phi National Honors Society, has presented scholarly papers to the American Academy of Religion and other institutions. Her themes range from youth and women’s issues to shame as a socializing mechanism. An example of one of her articles is, “Fighting the Matrix: Toward a Womanist Pedagogy for the Black Church,” which appeared in volume XXXII of the Journal of the ITC in 2005. Handy serves on the board of the Youth and Family Convocation and is a council member of Ndugu and Nzingha Rites of Passage. She serves as Minister of Music for the First African Presbyterian Church in Atlanta.

Handy was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 23, 2005.

Accession Number

A2005.200

Sex

Female

Interview Date

8/22/2005

Last Name

Handy

Schools

Whitney M. Young Magnet High School

Ile Iwe Ominara School

Faulkner School

St. Felicitas Elementary School

Speakers Bureau Availability

Weekends

First Name

Maisha

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

HAN01

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - Negotiable

Favorite Season

Summer

Speaker Bureau Notes

Honorarium Specifics: Generally $200. Depends upon organization.
Availability Specifics: Thursday-Saturday

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Bermuda

Favorite Quote

What Many People Perceive As Genius Is Really Just Perseverance In Disguise.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

9/20/1968

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Sweet Potatoes, Salmon

Short Description

Religion professor and minister Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy (1968 - ) was an assistant professor of Christian Education at the Interdenominational Theological Seminary (ITC) in Atlanta, and has served as teaching assistant to Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa.

Employment

Interdenominational Theological Center

Favorite Color

Pink

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her mother's family

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her maternal ancestors' sharecropping, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her maternal ancestors' sharecropping, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her maternal great-grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her father's background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her father's background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her father's musical genius

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her father's involvement in Chicago's Afro-Arts Theater

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her family's involvement in the Nation of Islam

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her family's resistance to mainstream holidays

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes Islam's impact on the Black Arts Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her likeness to her parents

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy recalls schools she attended in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy recalls converting to Christianity

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy remembers Whitney M. Young Magnet High School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes community members and her father's career

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her activities at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy remembers Mayor Harold Washington

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her self-perception in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her college options

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy remembers her call to ministry

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her involvement in the Baptist Student Union

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes becoming a criminal justice major

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes the Black Panther Raid in Chicago

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her criminal justice experiences in Missouri

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her activities at Lincoln University

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy remembers becoming the Baptist Student Union's national president

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy recalls the Baptist Student Union choir

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her law school experiences

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy recalls her seminary education

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy remembers Candler School of Theology

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her instructors at Candler School of Theology

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy distinguishes black theology

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes cultural representations of God

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes womanist theology

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her master's and Ph.D. dissertations

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy defines shame in the context of church

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy talks about biblical interpretation, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy talks about biblical interpretation, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes the importance of dialogue in theology

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes relationships between Christianity and African culture

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her dissertation findings

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy talks about South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy considers the relationship between Christianity and punishment

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes differences between black theologians

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy recalls teaching at Atlanta's Interdenominational Theological Center

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy shares her perspective on megachurches

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes the importance of womanist theology

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes resistance to womanist theology

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy talks about womanist theology and Islam

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her teaching and research plans

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes African rites of passage organizations

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dr. Reverend Maisha Handy describes Atlanta's First Iconium Baptist Church

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her extended family

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes her interests

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$5

DAStory

4$4

DATitle
Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy describes womanist theology
Reverend Dr. Maisha Handy recalls teaching at Atlanta's Interdenominational Theological Center
Transcript
In terms of womanist theology, now, what is that?$$Womanist theology, [HistoryMaker Reverend Dr.] Jacquelyn Grant actually studied with Dr. Cone, [HistoryMaker] James [H.] Cone, for her Ph.D. work, she and several other persons also. And what womanist theology does is it--it does two things. I think it critiques two main movements, meaning one, it offer a critique back to Dr. James Cone in saying, in his articulation of black theology and of his understanding of the black church, he was very sexist and did not include the sisters, if you will, and their contributions to theology and to the church in some of his analysis. And, you know, he has since, of course, evolved in that, but when his books, 'God of the Oppressed' [James H. Cone] and 'Black Theology & Black Power' [James H. Cone] and all those books were coming out in the 1970s, it still maintained a lot of the sexism that was found largely in the black church. The second movement that I think womanist theology speaks to is the feminist movement. Womanism and feminism are not the same. The feminist movement, of course, emerged, again, around the 1960s and '70s [1970s] when women were wanting equal work for equal pay and, you know, really interested in getting involved in the public sphere and in the job force. And, of course, black women felt that a lot of the concerns around the feminist movement largely again centered around white women and their concerns. And the issue of race, particularly, was not addressed. And so what womanist theology says is that you can't talk about sexism and gender issues without also talking about racism. And you can't talk about sexism and racism without also talking about classism in the ways in which class affects women, and particularly, women of color, but that those areas and those different isms, if you will, form a matrix or an intersection. And you have to analyze them simultaneously rather than as separate issues. So whereas black theology dealt only with race and feminist theology largely only dealt with sex and gender, womanist theology deals with racism, with sexism, with classism, with homophobia and with all of those different types of oppression simultaneously--$$Okay.$$--for the purpose of liberating everybody and not just one particular group.$Walk us through your career over the last, I guess, we're only talking about the last five years, I guess, right?$$Um-hm, yes.$$Yeah.$$As a Ph.D. student [at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia], after I completed my comprehensive exams and defended my dissertation proposal, you become what's called ABD, All But Dissertation, and at that point, you're marketable and free to start interviewing for teaching positions. And so I did exactly that. A position opened at the Interdenominational Theological Center [(ITC), Atlanta, Georgia] in the area of Christian education, and was also at that time courted to become the director of lecturer studies at Emory at Candler School of Theology [Atlanta, Georgia] for [Dr.] Alton [B.] Pollard [III], who was going on sabbatical for a semester. And I decided to take that full-time, tenure track position at ITC in the area of Christian education, and I've been teaching there--I'm starting my sixth year this semester and been teaching, as I said, Christian education and also administration and leadership development courses. So I've been doing that for about five years at ITC in a tenure track position. And I very much enjoy teaching. I've enjoyed teaching, enjoy doing some work, and in the past two years have really been able to merge my interests, both in womanist discourses and womanist approaches to religion and the area of education. So last year I taught a course called Womanist Approaches to Christian Education as a pilot course. And response was very positive. So that course is now a permanent part of ITC's curriculum and I'll be teaching that again this fall. And that is a course that has afforded me the opportunity to invite scholars like [HistoryMaker Reverend Dr.] Jacquelyn Grant, [Reverend Dr.] Renita [J.] Weems, [Reverend] Melva Sampson and other persons who are doing womanist work to come and be guest lecturers in the course and dialogue with students. And also enable me to have them do some different kinds of reading so they read Alice Walker and Toni Morrison, '[The] Bluest Eye' [Toni Morrison] and some other texts, and talk about how we can go back to Sunday school classes, how we can go back to bible studies and other educational ministries of the church and focus on those issues that impact black women.