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Simply Stories Podcast

Nov 26, 2019

Surprise friends! You’re getting an extra episode of the Simply Stories Podcast this week!  There was so much happening in my conversation with Dorena, we had to split it into two. So whether you’re traveling for the holidays, still working, or preparing a meal, let’s pick up with Dorena and I talking about how history’s narrative is being broadened by hearing it being told from new perspectives, especially from the perspective of people of color. 

This quote from our conversation is going to stay with me for a LONG time: “If parents [during Jim Crow], would have the audacity to bring their children to see a fellow image bearer treated like this, why can we not read our children these stories? Why can we not subject ourselves to the discomfort of unpacking history so that we can do better because we can’t do better if we don’t learn from the past, and we can’t learn from the past if we don’t acknowledge all of it.”

There is so much grace as we learn, friends. I’m so grateful that Dorena presented a seat at this table  to me, and I hope you felt welcomed there too. Its true that we cannot fix or change history, but we most certainly can be attentive to how others experience it, what we uproot and sow into the present and how that affects future generations. 

They who have ears to hear, let them hear. 


Dorena’s books: Colorfull, Thoughtfull, Gracefull

“Harriet” movie (find showings here!)

The Central Park Five aka Central Park Jogger Case  // documentary “When They See Us” /// commentary on film vs. reality

New Yorker article (not Washington Post) “Who Speaks for Crazy Horse?

Charles and Susan Robinson : The Red Road

Pocohontas (The person, not the movie. This article from the Smithsonian is FASCINATING about how the story we’ve also known may not actually be what happened. Additionally, I'd love to know what Native Americans think of the animated film... If anyone wants to enlighten me, I’d love to listen!)



-Civil Rights Room at the Nashville Public Library downtown

-Brown v. The Board of Education of Topeka

Knoxville, TN’s super delayed desegregation of schools (Brown v. Board was in 1954, the ruling that officially STARTED desegregation in Knoxville was called Goss v. Board of Education, Knoxville took place in 1963. The story I told about my Mom seeing dummies in blackface hanging in the trees at her high school took place in 1965. This article details how the city was not fully “under compliance of the ruling” and “officially” desegregated until the early 1970’s. The article is an eye-opening read. 

-Our side bar about teaching children about their bodies, I can’t suggest this book enough: God Made All of Me: A Book that helps children protect their bodies

-Dorena’s tweet about the little boy bullied for his skin being the color of “poop” 

-Internment camps for Japanese Americans

-Tamera Alexander: Belmont Series, Belle Meade, Carnton -- fictional stories based on real people and real events during and after the war in Nashville, TN. (The two books I mention about Belle Meade are 1) this one with the attack on BMP and the Irish American immigrant 2) this one tells the story of a gal who attends Fisk University and joins the Jubilee Singers on their tour that saved the school --which is a true story--  that is FASCINATING.) 

-Freedmen Schools

-Haven: The Dramatic Story of 1,000 WWII Refugees and How They Came to America by Ruth Gruber 

-Fort Ontario in Oswego, NY, the haven/camp for the refugees. I misquoted the number of refugees who  came on the ship 984 made it. This article I just read called their process of being in America “their being given sanctuary on an old army base in Oswego, New York.” Which. Yes. But there were people who had relatives in America that wanted to take them home and they were. not. allowed. to. leave. Whether we like it or not, they were interred until the government could figure out what to do after being literal prisoners and victims of the Nazi party. I’m not saying it wasn’t complicated, but let’s not mince words.  ::Off soap box:: This article is beautiful because it equally (towards the bottom) shares the accounts of people who were there who share how hard and painful it was, but also how many people of Oswego tried to care for them regardless of the literal fence in between them. Read the book, y’all. There’s a lot of freedom and joy in the story, but there’s a hot mess of not caring for people as hurting humans in there too. We can hold them both in the same hand, just like the rest of this conversation about history and how we approach the narrative. 

-Crazy Rich Asians: movie // book (which I JUST learned is a trilogy! Here’s a link to all three.)

-Washington Post Article I read about using the song “Yellow” by Coldplay

-“Black Panther” // the movie, and an article highlighting its power

-Ann Voskamp and Lisa Sharon Harper

-Enneagram 2

-The Great Migration 

-Reconstruction (The Act of 1867; some perspective from Time Magazine about what went wrong- I’m a history buff, I could do this all day long ;))

Thank you, B&H, for publishing these incredible books and for allowing me to read little bits from them on the podcast!

Scripture References:

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

John 10:10 

John 8:42-47

Matthew 6:6

Proverbs 16:20

2 Corinthians 2:15

Matthew 9:36

Mark 4:1-19

From Dorena: At Strong Tower, we do a little bit of everything in & through church; we teach a GDK (God's Diverse Kingdom) class in the spring that focuses on race and justice. Chris preaches series at times and we've done book studies as well. Truly it's a part of our DNA! Here is information on getting connected with them if you find yourself in Middle TN!

On locally ministering/helping/giving to the homeless in Middle TN:

-Project615 is a local apparel company that is passionate about giving back to the community. When you purchase one of their “Consider Others First” shirts, it gives FIVE meals to a homeless person in Nashville via, The Bridge. They also have a clothing drive for the homeless where you can bring items to their local store and receive a discount on other Project615 apparel. You can find that info here.

-The Bridge in Nashville that ministers to the homeless on Tuesday nights.

-The corner standing friends usually sell for The Contributor whose mission is: “The Contributor creates economic opportunity with dignity by investing in the lives of people experiencing homelessness and poverty”

-Nashville Rescue Mission does good work to help those in housing transition.

-Last Call 4 Grace in Murfreesboro (they also partner with Rescue 1 Global who are part of the fight against sex trafficing. Whole. Other. Podcast.)

-Green House Ministries in Murfreesboro

-Amelia’s Closet in Murfreesboro is a company whose mission is: “Providing professional apparel & hope to deserving women as they open the employment door.” They work to equip women and fight against poverty, homelessness, trafficking and more. “We want to help women feel valued, confident, and hopeful as they soar to new heights.” (AMEN!)

-Murfreesboro Rescue Mission

***I do not benefit from any of the organizations that mentioned above. I am just trying to spread the word about them, especially the local ones. The amazon book links are the only part of these very detailed lists of resources that I receive any incentive from as an amazon affiliate. However, I’d send and recommend these books to you no. matter. what. However, I am humbled and grateful for your support of the podcast and my family through their purchase. 

Dorena mentions (and part 1 and 2 of our conversation!) some people she follows that have given her great perspective, here is her list she shared with me in addition to people we brought up:

Michelle Reyes @drmichellereyes

Jemar Tisby @JemarTisby 

Ray Chang @tweetraychang

Christina Edmondson @DrCEdmondson 

LaTasha Morrison @LaTashaMorrison

Sarah Shin @SarahShinAuthor.

Dorena also mentioned going to the library and finding resources, and my son and I stumbled upon this heart breaking book called Stolen Words about how Native Americans have lost their language during the white-washing of their identities in order to assimilate into white society. Reading the book brought such a wave of compassion over my heart. It does not matter if you agree or understand it all, their stories matter and are worth telling and hearing. 

Connecting with Dorena:





Intro and outro music by