A Sojourner’s Truth Podcast: The HISTORY of Our Stories

Due to The Call and Response Conference, my team was delayed in publishing last week’s podcast episode. Earlier this week, we published the episode, featuring my aunt (mom’s baby sister), Latrice Williams, talking about the HISTORY of Our Stories and specifically discussing the history of our family across generations.

S1E4_Latrice Williams

Today’s episode features a conversation with my dear friend, godmother, mentor, and acclaimed choir director and Bennett Belle, Joyce Garrett talking about the HISTORY of Our Stories. In it, she shares her personal experience participating in the Civil Rights Movement as a college student and the continuous fight for racial justice today.

S1E5_JoyceGarrett

Joyce Garrett, a native of Kinston, North Carolina consistently produced outstanding choral ensembles for over thirty years at Eastern High School, Washington, DC.  A consummate musician and exemplary music educator, Garrett served as Founder/Artistic Director of the Excellence Without Excuses program, a youth intervention, values-training and scholarship program she created for the award-winning Eastern High School Choir of Washington, DC during her teaching career there from 1972-1999. Garrett directed the United States Naval Academy Gospel Choir in Annapolis, Maryland from 1990 until 2006, performing throughout the United States from California to New York, showcasing the Gospel Choir’s talents, and serving as a catalyst for Academy minority student recruitment and retention. Garrett received the Bachelor of Arts Degree from Bennett College, and the Master of Music Degree from The Catholic University in Washington, DC. During her teaching career, she received numerous honors and awards Currently, she serves as the Music and Worship Arts Ministry Director of the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA.  She is married to James Garrett and is the mother of two adult children, Rodney and Melanie Messer.

Follow her work through the Joyce Garrett Fan Page.

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Leader: Are you Weary in the Wilderness?

Desert and Camels

God uses the hard realities of life to expose our deepest fears and internal struggles. These experiences make us more self-aware so we can cultivate the spiritual disciplines necessary to lead ourselves and others well. Consider what happened to Moses, the humblest person on earth (Num. 12:3). After the people complained about their misfortunes yet again in the wilderness, Moses was miserable. He cried out to the Lord: “What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised? … If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me” (Num. 11:11–12, 15).

Who would have thought that the humblest man in the world could fall so deep into despair? Have you ever found yourself in such a state of weariness? There are many days in my life when I find myself praying: “God, please don’t let me become weary in doing good, for I know that at the proper time I will reap a harvest if I don’t give up. Help me to press on and do good to all people, especially to those who belong to your family” (see Gal. 6:9–10). This prayer is particularly helpful when I’m going through a wilderness experience or dealing with difficult people. Prayer disciplines us to humble ourselves before God, and it also provides revelation for how to move forward.
Continue Reading at Christianity Today.

Truth is, Women are the Unsung Heroes in this World

I’m sharing an excerpt of my forthcoming book (only eight more days!), A Sojourner’s Truth: Choosing Freedom and Courage in a Divided World today thanks to Evangelicals for Social Action.

From Chapter 2:

She gently touched my shoulder, then took my hand to lift me from the brown folding chair under the funeral-home tent. My eyes had been fixed on the steel silver bars as I watched strangers lower my mother’s body into the ground. My Aunt Janet said to me, “Come on inside the church, Tasha. There are some things you just don’t need to see.”

I don’t remember eating the meal provided at the church that day. I don’t remember what I did before or after the service. I don’t remember whether I wore my midshipman service dress blue uniform or a traditional black dress—it wasn’t exactly a day for taking pictures. I do remember entering the old Baptist church, filled with family and friends, as songs of praise rang out from a full choir loft where my mother used to sing. Those black people, my mother’s friends, stomped, rocked, and clapped their hands as they sang praises to Jesus. As I walked down the aisle, I worried about my immediate family: How would we make it without my mother? Who would love and lead us now?

Continue reading at Evangelicals for Social Action.

I am also pleased to announce the ESA is hosting a book event launch event with me and Kathy Khang, author of Raise Your Voice, in Washington DC on Monday, October 22, 2018 at Bus Boys and Poets on 14th and V. Register here.

Speak Up Lead On_WashingtonDC

It’s stop number three on the #ASojournersTruth book tour. Don’t miss an event or book Natasha today!

…when I thought I would emotionally die, God was gracious.