Magazine article The Christian Century

Energized

Magazine article The Christian Century

Energized

Article excerpt

WHATEVER ELSE you might think about the outcome of the election, Barack Obama energized young adults in a way that was reminiscent of John F. Kennedy's campaign.

As I watched the election returns and the wonderfully diverse crowd that gathered in Chicago's Grant Park to celebrate Obama's victory, I remembered my own first exposure to the civil rights movement and how the connection between Christian faith and the quest for racial justice caught my imagination and solidified my sense of call to ministry.

I remembered hearing a young guest preacher from Atlanta by the name of Martin Luther King Jr. in Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago. I remembered Andrew Young visiting the school and telling us that some ministers needed to get involved in demonstrations and marches in the South--and that the rest needed to stay home to explain what was happening to their white congregations.

I remembered marching in downtown Lafayette, Indiana, after Martin Luther King was assassinated and signing a petition advocating the formation of a human rights commission--and getting in hot water with some of my congregation when I wrote a letter to the commission, published in the local newspaper, asking the city to remove a black-faced post boy standing by a hitching post in front of a prominent fire station. …

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