Introducing Our Kids to the Kids of the Civil Rights Era

Introducing Our Kids to the Kids of the Civil Rights Era

A few nights ago my family experienced the hardest, most sobering time we’ve had since starting our #BlackHistoryMonth meal and historical conversations. It was kids choice night. The kids chose the dishes and we discussed some of the stories of Black children in the Civil Rights era. Our were thankful for what we learned that night, thankful for the kids who made it possible for them to enter their schools without much fear.

That evening was hard but a necessary part of teaching our kids the whole story. We thanked God for those kids and how their stories and lives changed history—changed all of our children’s futures.

You can learn more about what we did here: Kids and Black History Month.

Meeting African Americans Born After Slavery

Meeting African Americans Born After Slavery

This month my family is celebrating Black History Month through cooking through Jubilee and discussing historical figures and events related to or inspired by the food we eat.

Last night, we took a trip to West Africa for West African Groundnut Stew, a stew inspired by the Senegalese peanut stew. This particular stew was from African slaves, reimagined in the American South.

We took the night to learn about African Americans who would have been born in the early 1900s, who would have likely known someone who was a slave, if their family was not. The enduring strength of these men and women along with their achievements is inspiring. I don’t want to waste a minute of my freedom.
Learn more about who we discussed: Black History Month With the Newbells
Black History Month with the Newbells

Black History Month with the Newbells

This month my family will be cooking through “Jubilee: Recipes From Two Centuries of African American Cooking” and discussing various aspects of Black History. Each week I’ll share briefly about what we discussed but I encourage you to research the people and places if you’d like to know more.

 Saturday we ate  Louisiana red bean & rice; wilted mixed greens with bacon and discussed the 1811 Uprising (Louisiana slave revolt). We discussed how the church has used the Bible to oppress slaves and what the Bible actually says about slavery in the context of the first century.

 While waiting for our beans to finish, we listened to Fats Domino….He was born in New Orleans and was a leading pioneer of rock and roll. Inducted in the Rock-n-Roll Hall of fame in 1986.

Last night I made “Beef with onions and wine.” It’s a version of the French stew beef bourguignon. According to Martin, the author of the cookbook “Jubilee,” Mahalia Jackson called it “oven beef Burgundy.” Tonight we listened to music by Ms. Jackson and learn about her life. This recipe was stupid good. I mean: GOOD GOOD GOOD! Yum!

I hope to update the site once a week with the various things we are doing. But one of the best ways to get the full picture of it would be fo check it out and follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/trillianewbell/. And although I haven’t announced this yet, I will be starting a YouTube channel where I’ll discuss some of these things.

#BlackHistoryMonth

The Super Bowl Halftime Show and #MeToo

The Super Bowl Halftime Show and #MeToo

The Super Bowl has come and gone but the conversation about the halftime show might have taken center stage.

The show headliners were two Latina women, Jennifer Lopez, or J.Lo as she’s known by fans, and Shakira. Both are strong performers with unique styles. Both are dancers with two decades, three or more for J.Lo, under their belts. And both tend to wear little clothing and twist and shake in ways many Christians might find inappropriate.

So, when the halftime show was announced and the two took the stage, most of us should have known what to expect. They performed as they have most of their careers. And as one who was a dancer in her younger years, their technical skills were quite impressive. But those skills were overshadowed by their sexual innuendos. From the specific highlighted areas on their outfits to the rotating hips, sexuality was on full display.

The question many asked after the show was how could J.Lo and Shakira do this in the midst of the MeToo Movement? Don’t they realize that they aren’t empowering women?

That’s a question only they can truly answer but given their life’s work isn’t much different than what they performed, I’d say they weren’t considering their halftime show in light of MeToo. They were doing what they always do.

The question I’m most interested in is whether or not performances like this objectify women. The short answer: yes. If we are going to dress in a provocative manner and perform on a stage, any stage, then we are drawing attention to our bodies, the movement of them, and communicating something as a result. For those of us following Jesus, we know that we cannot and should not use our bodies in such a way that tempts anyone to sin. We want to do everything in our power to eliminate that temptation. Protecting those around us—as much as we can because we know that women can be objectified regardless of what is worn or what they do—is a part of loving our neighbor.

But what I struggle with is conflation of the MeToo Movement with a sexually charged halftime show. The MeToo Movement, from all accounts, is about men who have abused their power, not only objectifying women but also assaulting them. I so appreciate all of the desire to see women protected and honored and the MeToo comments regarding objectification of women and the halftime show as long as we never excuse men for taking advantage of women because of what she wears or doesn’t wear. Women don’t ask to be assaulted. Let’s be careful not to mix this up.

In saying this, I want to be clear: I am not saying that women have zero responsibility for their own bodies, what they wear, and how they act. What I am saying is that we should consider the wisdom of bringing in the MeToo Movement when addressing the music performances. There is a problem with our over sexualized society but that never is an excuse for abusers. No, sexual performances do not empower women. Yes, women should be mindful of what they do with their bodies. But, no, none of these things are invitations for sexual assault or abuse.

1947 Hymn Book

1947 Hymn Book

This was written as a prompt from a 1947 hymns book (pictured). We had 15 minutes to write.

1947

Separate but equal

But not so equal

3 white girls singing hymns

But you know they aren’t the only ones, right?

Do you know?

Do you want to know?

Don’t you want to know?

1947

Negro spirituals ringing in my ear

Lift every voice and sing

We are here

We sing because we’re happy

We sing because we’re free

Free in spirit

Free in song

Freedom ringing

And yet longing to be free

3 white girls singing hymns

We are with you

We love you

You may not want us but we know He does

Do you know?

Do you want to know?

Don’t you want to know?

We are free

Don’t you want to be?

By Trillia Newbell via a prompt

#blackhistorymonth

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