James Forbes’ ode to Juneteenth calls on Americans to embrace the promise of freedom

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(RNS) — The Rev. James A. Forbes Jr. was already an adult when he first began to understand the significance of Juneteenth. It was his wife, Bettye, whom he met in the early ’60s when they were both students at Howard University, who helped him gain an appreciation for the commemoration. She had grown up … Read more

‘We still have work to do’: How to understand the new Juneteenth holiday

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(RNS) — President Joe Biden signed legislation on Thursday (June 17) recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday, marking June 19 as a day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States and be mindful of Black Americans’ struggles for freedom. Celebrated for more than 100 years, though mostly in Black communities, and already … Read more

A guide to what’s at stake at the Southern Baptist Convention’s historic annual meeting

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(RNS) — The annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention begins Tuesday (June 15) with more than 17,000 “messengers” arriving in Nashville, Tennessee, to chart the future of the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S. This year’s meeting, the first since 2019 due to COVID-19, has riveted national attention as the Southern Baptists face decisions … Read more

Utah university should ditch ‘Dixie’ name, committee says

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A committee created to consider a name change for a university in Utah voted Monday to choose a replacement that does not include Dixie — a regional term many consider offensive because of its association with the Deep South and slavery. Dixie State University, which is located in St. George, … Read more