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.

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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.

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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.

Subscribe to A Sojourner’s Truth Podcast today:

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Find us on iTunesSpotify, SoundCloud, and YouTube.

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.

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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.

Special Announcement: A Sojourner’s Truth Podcast!

Friends,

 

In honor of the release of my upcoming book, A Sojourner’s Truth: Choosing Freedom and Courage in a Divided World, I have launched A Sojourner’s Truth Podcast: Conversations for a Changing Culture!

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The introduction episode is up, and I’m announcing my first guest on tomorrow!

 

Here’s a transcript of my introduction episode which you can listen to live now!

 

Subscribe to the podcast:  iTunes, Spotify, YouTube and SoundCloud.

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Welcome to a Sojourners Truth podcast, conversations for changing culture. I’m your host, Natasha Sistrunk Robinson, and I’m glad you’re joining us for Season One, where the theme is: Our Stories.

 

Hello, Beautiful People!

 

I cannot believe that this is the first podcast of A Sojourner’s Truth podcast!

 

I have been wanting to do this for a long time and I am excited to share it with you. This is the place where we’re going to have conversations about our changing culture.

 

I’m Natasha Sistrunk Robinson and when I’m personally asked, I like to introduce myself as a black girl from Orangeburg South Carolina. Professionally, I am a writer. In this point, I’ve published one book, Mentor for Life and its accompanying leadership training manual; and a Bible study, Hope for Us on the Nicene Creed.

 

I speak professionally across the country and sometimes internationally. I’m a consultant often helping people and organizations with leadership, mentoring, and diversity training, specifically concerning cultural awareness.

 

I also have a nonprofit, Leadership LINKS, Inc. in the state of North Carolina where I currently reside. I will be sharing more about that later in the series, but today in this introductory episode, I want to share my heart and passion for the podcast.

 

I’m sharing why I’m doing it, what you can expect to get out of it, and all the fun we are going to have! I love people! I’m a relational person. I love people watching. I like to understand how people think, and why we think and do the things that we do.

 

My desire for this podcast is that we have honest conversations and learn how to listen well. I want us to ask good questions in those conversations so we can all grow and become better together.

 

I’m also using this season of the podcast to introduce and walk you through my upcoming book, A Sojourner’s Truth: Choosing Freedom and Courage in a Divided World. It is the most intimate and the most intimidating thing that I’ve ever written, and quite honestly, I didn’t want to write it but God kept bringing me back to the contents of the book, and the message he wanted to communicate through it.

 

So, this is my story. It is my truth. It is the way we will center our conversation and the focus for this season’s podcast.

 

There is power in bringing our untold stories to light. The freedom to speak about the reality of suffering and death results in a freedom from denial.

Richard A. Horley

 

READ ALONG: Natasha reads excerpts from the book’s introduction ending with the words, “The first person each of us must learn to lead is ourselves. So this is me, inviting you to answer the questions, to speak the truth, to lead well, and to become strong and courageous.”

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So that is my invitation to you as you read the book, and hopefully as we have conversations on the podcast this season. This podcast will follow the passion and the desired alignment of the book by offering an invitation to share, by encouraging us to celebrate how God is shaping us through our stories, and that’s why I decided to name the theme for season one: Our Stories.

 

As I share my story, and as I share the story of Moses and the exodus narrative, I’m inviting people to the table to share their stories. By sharing our stories, we will all grow and we will all be changed.

 

I have some special guests joining me this season—some of them you may know and some of them will be new to you, but they are quite personal to my story and experience—and I’m excited to introduce you to them in this series.

 

Our discussions will follow the outline of the book: considering the FORMATION of Our Stories, the HISTORY of Our Stories, Our Stories in the WILDERNESS, and Our REDEMPTION Stories.

 

So I invite you to join us this season. We will be publishing the podcast on Thursdays, and they’re going to syndicate on iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, and YouTube. I’m also going to post a summary transcript of each podcast on my blog as our “Coffee Talk” on Thursdays.

 

I invite you to comment and join the conversation using the #ASojournersTruth hashtag as my guests may want to continue the conversation with you as well. I want to thank my publisher, InterVarsity Press, for partnering with me in this effort of writing the book, understanding the importance of the contents of the book, and also the importance of my voice and the message that God wanted to communicate through my voice. I thank them for encouraging all of us to #ReadWomen and elevate the voices of people of color.

 

You can pre-order A Sojourner’s Truth right now! The book officially releases on October 9, 2018! It will be available everywhere books are sold. I want to always encourage you to support your local bookstores because I don’t want to live in a world where we cannot visit bookstores.

 

Together, I promise you that we’re going to share our stories, we’re going to speak the truth, we’re going to encourage each other to live free and courageously!

 

I think we’re gonna laugh a lot, and I hope we also have a lot of fun!

 

You can also connect with me through my website at www.NatashaSRobinson.com.  You can follow me on: Facebook (Don’t miss the news – “Like” and click “Following” to “See First”), Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe to my YouTube channel. I will leave you with this quote from the book: “The first person each of us must learn to lead is ourselves.”

 

Until next time, “Tell the truth people!”