Transcribe your podcast

Support for on being with Krista Tippett comes from the Fetzer Institute, helping build the spiritual foundation for a loving world. Fatso's new study. What does spirituality mean to us? Reveals how spirituality informs our understanding of ourselves and each other and inspires us to take action for the common good. Explore these findings and more at spirituality study, Doug. Howard Thurman is one of the most influential philosophers and spiritual teachers of the 20th century, and his influence is rising again for new generations.


It was said that Martin Luther King Jr. carried Thurmond's book, Jesus and the Disinherited, alongside the Bible and the Constitution. Thurmond insisted on a place for spiritual nurture at the heart of social activism, and he brought a searching theology of Jesus to that. He was at the same time meditating in the early 20th century, traveling to India, bringing the teachings of Gandhi and Tichnor hand to the civil rights leaders, even influencing Jewish mysticism. Today, we bring Howard Thurman's wisdom forward, exploring its resonance in the theology and life of a religious leader in the year 2020.


Otis Moss, the third. He is a theological but also a literal bridge between Howard Thurman, the black freedom movements of the last century and of ours. I'm Krista Tippett and this is On Being. Howard Thurman was born in 1899 and he died in 1981 in San Francisco, where he co-founded the first fully intentional cross racial church in the U.S.. Otis Moss, the third was born in 1970 and he grew up with legendary civil rights figures in and out of his family home from Fannie Lou Hamer to Andrew Young.


His parents were married by Martin Luther King Jr. His father, Otis Moss Jr., was an influential pastor and civil rights leader based in Cleveland. Today, Otis Moss, the third, is himself a senior pastor of the influential Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.


Do people call you Pastor Moss? What do people in your congregation call you? I'm just curious.


Some say, you know, Pastor Moss, pastor oh, I won't call you pastor.


Oh, I'm here. But I like. No, no. And three I mean, all kinds of names, you know, and then you get some know would be. That's fine.


OK, so you have said that Howard Thurman is one of the most influential theologians and I have one of the most underappreciated and I agree with you.


I feel like he's a voice and not just a voice, but that an element of the civil rights movement that's kind of hidden from history. So we're not partaking of the whole lineage in some ways. And so what what we want to do with this show is introduce him to a wider audience.


And I I have my copy of the sacred text Jesus and Disinherited with us.


Yes, yes, yes. And so I read some passages, I will say just starting out.


I like amidst all of the the official facts of your bio, you know, the pastor being the pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, studying at Morehouse College and Yale and Chicago Theological Seminary.


You also note that you've been highly influenced by the works of Zora Neale Hurston, August Wilson, Howard Thurman, jazz and hip hop music.


Absolutely. You it out.


I have a senior official bio. Did you meet Howard Thurman?


I never met Howard Thurman, but I heard his voice often in my household.


My father has this incredible collection of Thurmond tapes, and he gave that collection to to Morehouse to create the Howard Thurman listening.


And probably you're talking really cassette tapes. Yeah, they they are tapes. And when we would go on trips, when I was very small, we would drive, you know, for for vacation. We would hop in the car and go on vacation.


And my father would play Thurmond tapes that part of the journey, you know, had some music that we wanted to hear.


But we would all we would listen to Thurmond also. And so I became familiar with his voice before I really knew who he truly was.


Mm hmm.


If I ask you now and you may have been conscious of this or not as conscious at how his his theology, his religious sensibility, how did that imprint kind of the the religious sensibility that you started to inherit and imbibe in your childhood?


I have to tell the story. So I was about 11, 11 or 12. And Andrew Young came to preach and and Andrew Young loved engaging with young people. And he would after service, he would talk with all the young people at church. And when we went back to my father's office, I was minding my own business, being a piqué, just wanting to go home.


Yet his peak is do and preacher's kid.


We need to say that for people and the preacher's granddaughters of preachers to for those who don't know preachers, kid, it's a life. It's a unique culture. It is a fraternal sorority that you are pledged into.


And I was minding my own business because I wanted to go home, be with my friends. All of that had been in church too long. So engages me. And he says, oh, this.


Have you read Howard Thurman? I was like, no, I'm 11, no Howard Berman. And so he looks at me, he says, I want you to go and get your father's copy of Jesus and the Disinherited. I want you to read it. And I want you to call me when you're finished.


And this is Andrew Young talking to me.


I'm like, right. Oh, OK. OK, sir. So I went home.


I never finished the book, but I read the first few pages and it stuck with me.


This idea of looking at Jesus through the lens of those who are disinherited and the imprint of his grandmother on Thurmon never left me.


So that framework of of Jesus as being this radical, revolutionary, nonviolent person who was on the margins always was was a part of of my theology and not an exclusive Jesus, but one who was just I mean, just for for lack of a better phrase, I was just down for the people.


And and and that was the Jesus that I always saw.


I never saw the one that was, you know, on TV. This, you know, this this guy with the kind of hippie Jesus, you know, the Jesus that I was introduced to was the one who not only was a Calvary, but was also in Montgomery.


Well, there's a lot to start with, Barry. I mean, it's. Yeah, I mean, I'm just going to read the first sentence of Jesus and the disinherited many and varied are the interpretations dealing with the teachings and the life of Jesus of Nazareth.


But few of these interpretations deal with what the teachings and the life of Jesus have to say to those who stand at a moment in human history with their backs against the wall.


That phrase, that phrase is just what does that tell me? Let me just ask you the question. Who do you understand Jesus was for Howard Thurman? And also how does that relate to who Jesus is for you?


For Thurmon, Jesus was this human being who was so deeply divinely connected at a level that no other human being in history has ever been.


So his Christology does not, you know, fit into the highly traditional Christology of just divine and human.


He saw them as divine and human, but as a mystic, he leaned on the human side and allowed the echo of the divine side to encircle his interpretation of Jesus.


Hmm. You called him a mystic and. And I just you know, it feels to me like in some ways he was so ahead of his time. I mean, it's interesting to me you were part of this documentary about Howard Thurman. And I noted down all the different ways people described what he was right. Like, what was his role. And here all these different ways. Pastor to the leaders, moral anchor for the movement, had an established philosophical framework teacher, spiritual activist, mystic, contemplative spirituality, nature, mystic, talking to trees.


This is where he was very much ahead of his time.


Saint for the movement. And I think even even just what you said, it feels.


I think it would be surprising to people who have a kind of basic what you learned in history about the civil rights movement, to know that it had a mystic who was the pastor to the leaders and the teachers and the activists.


Yeah, it's fascinating that so many people who are part of the movement have these unique Howard Thurman stories, you know, of course, Dr. King made these connections with with Thurmon.


You're the Snick community, had this connection with Thurman, and Thurman was always pushing them on the inward journey, right on who they are and their encounter and to find and his words.


Find the sound of the genuine in you, discover that, discover what makes you come alive and the encounter with with the spirit, the encounter with silence, the encounter with God and that God is a god of justice. And and those two things together right back.


Yes. Contemplative and justice. That is you know, that's an interesting juxtaposition. It's not kind of where 21st century minds go. No, not at all. That's true. Yeah.


Um, this is something you said in the documentary. You said you said he was the teacher. He was the mentor. He was the spiritual sage. He was not the one who was on the front line, but he was the one where people would retreat to to be filled and that that emphasis that he had.


On the connection between interior life in her life. And our action. Was was part of what was revolutionary and part of what was so powerful, it seems to me that you just kind of grew up connecting those things organically because you were growing up with your father and around all those people.


I think you're I think you're spot on. That's so much of what we do, especially in America, is so external. Yeah. And doesn't nurture the spirit. Everything is transactional.


And when you begin to nurture spirit and the spirit of Thurmon speaks of social constructions fall to the wayside, though they inform.


But all of the things that we use as markers begin to fall away and to find the inward sea. He says that there's an island.


Did he say about the inward sea? Yeah, the inward sea. Wow. That. And in the end, sea there is there is an island that that everyone has in their spirit. And on that island is an altar. And next to that altar is an angel with a flaming sword. And in order to put what is most important on the altar, you first have to find the sea.


You've got to get to the island and you got to get past the angel so that you can find what is truly genuine in you and what is most important said once you find that.


Then you come alive, then you discover. What you have been purposed for. And then you begin to work out, so you work inward to work outward. Yeah. You have also said that he. Gave and if you use this word and African unity to the interpretation of Jesus, say some more about what that means.


Well, he returns Jesus to the the African Asiatic roots. You know, prior to the the Constantinian framework of Christianity, this mysticism, disengagement, this idea that there are things that we cannot touch nor control, but yet we lean in nonetheless was was very common.


We moved into a very strong doctrinal kind of Western.


Yeah. Christian Christendom.


I mean, it was necessary because, you know, because it was connected to do an empire and an empire's demand that you follow particular orders.


And prior to that, there was this deep encounter idea which you would call the, you know, the desert fathers and mothers and all of that.


And Thurmon returns the faith tradition to the encounter once again. Which Pentecostalism has a strong element of that, but a thurmon deepens this African city because his primary theological teacher was his grandmother who was framing, interpreting scripture and the world through an African lens.


That she could say, you know, I appreciate Paul, but there's some stuff I don't like him because he doesn't like me.


Right, right. And so he so far tells all those.


He tells us stories and Jesus and the disinherited. Yes, yes, yes. It's so beautiful.


And there's this story that he I absolutely love about about Thurman that he tells about his grandmother, that his grandmother owned some land and there was a white woman who was adjacent to the land and did not like the fact that this black woman owned land. And so she decided she was going to get back at Thurmond's grandmother and went to her chicken coop and got all the manure and dumped it into Thurmond's grandmother's on her land and upon her tomatoes and her greens and everything.


She was going to destroy it.


But his grandmother, when she realizes all this manure just had destroyed everything in the evening time time, in the morning time, she would get up in the morning and take the manure and just mix it in with the soil as fertilizer. And so the woman would dump at night and Thurman's grandmother would get up in the morning and and turn it over and mix it. And so the woman next door eventually fell ill. And she wasn't just mean to black people, she was mean to everybody.


So so nobody came to see her. When she went, she became ill. But Thurmond's grandmother went next door and brought her some flowers and knocked on the door, heard this frail voice and she came in. The woman was completely shocked that this black woman, who she had been so cruel to, would come and see her. And she was so deeply moved by the kindness. And Thurmond's grandmother places the flowers next to the woman. And the woman said, these are the most beautiful flowers I've ever seen.


Where did you get them? Thurman's grandmother said, you help me make them, because when you were dumping in my yard, I decided to plant some roses.


And Thurman talks about from the manure, what can blossom. There are some who are who allow the manure to fall on them and others who just turn over the soil to make something new that that that is so African. It comes out of the black tradition because we know manure, but we also know fertilizer that can plant new things. I'm Krista Tippett and this is On Being today exploring the present resonance of the mystic and moral theologian of the civil rights movement, Howard Thurman, in the life of Pastor Otis Moss, the third.


So you and I are speaking and the momentous year of 2020 and I was watching the sermon that you videotaped, which is how sermons are done right now.


The sermon you delivered on on May 31st, that would have been the Sunday, right.


George Floyd was murdered in the city of Minneapolis on May 25th of that week.


And your sermon.


I want to talk about that. I want to talk about what you preached and and that as a way into how you are, how you're interpreting and applying this theology that we're talking about in our time. Yeah. So you had to do it as a video and you quoted that great song that we so that was so vividly associate with the civil rights movement of the 1960s. You know, We Shall Overcome someday. And you said this is a question and a statement.


When is someday?


You just talk a little bit about what came to you that week. And yeah, I mean, I want to draw ties between what we're talking about here, but we don't want a force that just talked to me about that message, the fast moving.


Nature of what was going on that week. We had already witnessed the videotape, a murder of a mother, Aubrey. And then. We are hit with the and the story of Brianna Taylor, which also happened around the same time, but the. The death of Jorge Floyd and I said I didn't say in the sermon, but I said that, you know, he preached a sermon for four, eight minutes and forty six seconds. And it was just one phrase, I can't breathe and wanted the world to to hear this message.


And there were.


Oh, yeah, there were a lot of people that were communicating what I would call kind of very trite.


Easy theological framing and wanted to co-opt certain words and phrases from the civil rights movement and from the Bible, and this was a moment for the moment.


Mm hmm. Hmm. Right. That that language. Right. That biblical language has never felt more needed. Yes. Lamentation.


And America has difficulty with lament because we romanticize history and were so drunk on Confederate wine and don't even realize it, that when you use lemon and some.


Communities and for some years, they hear that is as hate and I respond as that, I hate the death of George Floyd and the system that created it and that we have to learn how to limit our hearts, have to break in the way that God's heart breaks, in the way that Jesus was lamenting throughout a good portion of his ministry at what he was witnessing, sometimes turning over tables in anger and in deep pain.


Or on a tree across. Saying, forgive them, they just don't know what they are doing. There's this limit, and then, of course, in the end, the Hebraic tradition, the Jewish tradition, the prophetic tradition. The prophets lament, I mean, you can't get to a prophet without a prophet, you know, lamenting, crying and just raging at the a nation that just refuses to love and to act with justice. Mm hmm.


And Thurman clearly communicates that in Jesus and the disinherited. He talks about the deception and the fear and moves on talking about finally the love ethic. But. We've yet to deal with the internal deception that, you know, being a part of of America causes us. What I thought when I was working on that on that message is, strangely enough, Star Wars.


Oh, you and I have more in common than I do. OK, I like going.


Oh, yeah. It was really a very star Star Wars. And if I can just make up that word. Yeah. Moment because within the church and within American general, there is you know, there's the empire and the digitise and America wants to believe that it's the Jedi, but in reality it's the empire that thinks it's a Jedi.


OK, yeah.


And so what do you do when you're trying to exercise your empire demons and you want to follow the path of of of a Jedi? You got to find a Yoda. And Thurman is our Yoda. You've got a train.


Yeah. I mean, that's a word people like Vincent Harding. And I bet your father, John Lewis and you know, Ruby sales, you know, it's the practice. It's the training.


It's the honing of your it's the failing to you fail in the process of training.


Something something so powerful. You said in that sermon, which I kind of heard echoes of, of Thurmon. You know, you talked about your understanding of Christianity as a tradition of hope, unafraid to face horror, a tradition of possibility, unafraid to stare down pain. So it's not about being at all. Unrealistic, right, idealistic.


I have a real issue with the kind of triumphant, easy, quick framings in spiritual traditions and America in particular, because it feeds into something that is not authentic and not real and not human.


And Thurman, who comes out of this black Southern tradition, if you're if you're a black Southerner of that era.


You are familiar with horror, you know, pain intimately, and you can't have the kind of face that says it's just going to be all right.


It's going to be all right. But we have to face the pain. And facing the pain doesn't mean that you become a complete, hopeless cynic.


It means that you operate with a level of of realism. And the only way I think Baldwin is best when he says not everything you face can be changed, but not until you face it. Can it be changed that.


We just have this proclivity to not want to face tragedy and, you know, I'm sorry to say it, but much of mainline and Western Christianity really is not, unfortunately, because it's been so influenced by kind of the market.


And I've said before, it's capitalism and ecclesiastical garments, right where it has the robe, but it has no redemption.


It has no deep love. It has no deep contemplation. And that's the challenge. It's not exclusive. Ms. Here is the voice of Howard Thurman in a meditation from February 8th, 1952, on the inner life and how cultural notions have interrupted its natural flow with our outer lives, the god of religion.


On the one hand, the God of the of the sanctuary, the God of the cloister, the God of the damned light, the the self treading step. The God of the holy place. The God of a piety. The God of the extremities of life. And then the God of life over here, the God of the marketplace. The God who stays outside. And so persistent is this dichotomy in our thinking and feeling. That we we tend to split our allegiance right down the center.


Them that's got shall get. And then let's not shall lose, so the Bible says.


And it still is a new. After a short break, we'll be back with Otis Moss, the third. And being is brought to you by the John Templeton Foundation, harnessing the power of the sciences to explore the deepest and most perplexing questions facing humankind, learn about the 2020 Templeton Prize winner Dr. Francis Collins and his work to find a cure for covid-19 at Templeton Prize Drug. But God bless the child that's got his own. God bless the child. There's got his own.


I'm. I'm Krista Tippett and this is On Being Today with Otis Moss, the third and esteemed Chicago pastor who is a bridge between the black freedom movements of the last century and ours with him were soaking up the teachings of Howard Thurman. Thurman was a mystic as well as a moral anchor for the civil rights movement, a meditator as well as a theologian. His book, Jesus and the Disinherited, formed the civil rights leaders. And before this interview, Pastor Moss pointed me to a meditation of Thurman that has influenced his ministry.


Thurmond taught, If we believe that life is finished, ready, then we know there isn't anything that can be done about anything. Or we may be of the mind that life, in its essence, is not fixed, is not frozen. But life in its essence is fluid, is creative purposes. Therefore, goals, deeds, ideals can fulfill themselves because of the fluid flowing character of all of life. Tell me why that message that you sent along is especially important to you?


The fluidity, the complexity of of life and creation and nature and the music that is within it, that we have to learn how to to listen to what we think is this just cacophony of just noises. But within it, there's this beat and there's this rhythm. And that's what Thurmon is demanding that people reach toward that you stretch, you don't reach, you encounter what you don't understand. The vocabulary that we even use for the sacred is so inadequate because the moment we speak it or think that we have design contained it, defined it.


That God is so beyond the human vocabulary, but yet God can be. Not known, but maybe the unknown, knowable, unknowable, unknown beneath how you want to say it is the way in which we encounter that which is sacred and so we know something, but not enough. It's just like scooping a teaspoon of water out of a out of an ocean and saying, oh, I've got it all.


No, you've got a few molecules. You can do some study. You can understand a little bit. But the mysteries are too vast.


But in that spoon of the little water, you can come to know something on your journey. That will assist you. And that as one more person, more on the secular and would say the wildness of God, yes.


Fits so beautifully and interestingly enough, Thurman's speaking and that that particular piece that I said also connects to Thurman's view liturgically. That's why you have to have the arts in worship.


Oh, you have to have the the dancer. The violinist and the drummer and the saxophone and the piano, you have to have people who are taking music which does not have a human vocabulary in the traditional sense.


Every person who hears it will hear something different. No one hears the note the same way.


Hmm. But yet it's the same note. It will not touch the person in the same way.


But it's the same note I wanted to ask you about, you know, in in Jesus and the Disinherited. And you mentioned this a minute ago.


Just briefly, there's such the way he describes the human experience and behavior that we call hate, the way he describes the disease of fear.


Mm hmm. Um, as a disease.


Yes. As a disease. Yes. And that these things are so alive. They are human reactions that are as old as time and they are so alive and active and really messing with our life together right now.


Um, you know what? I love that you stated you talk about the, uh, the disease of fear that Thurmon speaks about and and about hate and how that is a disease. And we often have not engaged the fullness of experience and how it affects us on that level. And that's what Thurmon challenges the reader and people who listen to him to do. And I'm reminded of of an analogy I always use of these beautiful pictures, usually from from nature.


There's this wonderful meditation that he does where he talks about what type of spirit are you? He says, are you a reservoir? Do you collect the water? And you hold it to be dispensed at a later time. Are you a swamp because swamps just hold water, but they have no outlet, only inlet, and that is why so much dies in the swamp, because it's all for them. But then there are canals and rivers that always are feeding into something else.


Decide are you a reservoir, a swamp? Or a canal. I'm Krista Tippett and this is On Being today bringing the wisdom of the mystic and theologian of the civil rights movement, Howard Thurman, into the present. We're doing that through the life and ministry of Otis Moss. The third, he is the son of civil rights leader Otis Moss Jr. and he's senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. In 2015, he and Trinity helped create a video for black young people that has rippled around the world.


It's called Get Home Safely 10 Rules of Survival. Here's an excerpt. Number three, do not under any circumstances get in an argument with the police. Number four, always remember that anything you say or do can be used against you in court. Number five, keep your hands in plain sight. Make sure the police can see your hands at all times. Number six, avoid physical contact with police officers.


Do not make any sudden movements and keep your hands out of your pockets. Number seven. Do not. Do not, do not.


Do not, do not, do not. Do not run.


Even if you are afraid of your free number eight, even if you want to talk about something that feels really hard, you were part of this get home safely, video it again, you know, thinking about backs against the wall and how that phrase resonates again in our time and it resonates in so many different directions.


That was 2015. That was not 2020. That was 2015. Was that a project of the church or.


It was it was a collective project along with Christian Theological Seminary. Um, Dr. Frank Thomas, who is professor of preaching there to Christian Theological in Indianapolis, along with a film group that was based in Indianapolis. And Dr. Thomas preached for us, usually preaches every year in December, and he saw our curriculum get home safely. And he said, oh, my goodness. Tell me a little bit more about this. I said, well, it's a curriculum.


Basically, we're teaching our children literally how to survive when they leave to leave home.


And we are teaching parents what what to do if your child and you're talking about black black children, natural parents, 10 rules of survival if stopped by police.


That's right.


You know, we want you to come home safely. And just for people who haven't seen it and it really these things have gone around the world. But there's a moment in the video. It's very short, but it's full of it's like very pragmatic. Right.


It's there's that moment where the mother is just saying to her son, who we see your goal is to get home safely and her voice cracks. And I think as a mother, you can't you know, I guess in the context of this conversation we're having, you know, Howard Thurman wrote I also wrote an incredibly about children.


And there's a part where he says, the doom of the children is the greatest tragedy of the disinherited. They are robbed of much of the careless rapture and spontaneous joy of merely being alive. I hear we are having this conversation in 2020.


And I it grieves me so deeply that if Howard Thurman came back, you know, now, he would see that this is still this is a reality. I don't imagine my words are very inadequate.


But I think, you know what I said to to my son, Elijah, you do not have the right to be a frolicking teenager, as other children do, because they will see your your boyish movements and your laughter and your joking with your friends as a possible threat. You're going to have to be aware when you are in certain spaces around certain individuals, especially if they have a gun.


You have to be aware. Because I want you home, I want you safe. I want to see you thrive. Do you have this conversation with your father about how far we've come and how far we've not come?


Yeah, we do.


You do? That's right. That's a.


It's it it's a wonderful conversation because my father, who has one of the greatest voices ever, you know, it's just I guess it's their own voice.


And he you can hear Howard Thurman's influence in the way that he preaches.


And he told me a Thurmond story I will never forget.


He said when Thurmond was a small boy, he saw an elder. A man who must have been in his 80s, who was planting pecan or pecan trees, depending upon what part of the country you're from.


And young Thurmond raised the question.


He said, sir, you're not going to be around.


You will not live long enough to taste the fruit from these trees.


And the old man paused. And said, son. All my life, I've been eating from trees I did not plant. It's my job to plant for somebody else and my father said, just plant.


There will be trees. And that you will never see grow. That someone else. We'll eat from. And it's their responsibility to plan for somebody else. And so we don't have all that we should have, we've not reached the goals that we're supposed to reach. But we have started the race. And you've got the baton on. Pass it on. Mm. As you said earlier, Jesus and the Disinherited ends with the chapter on love, having done hate and fear and deception.


Yes, and you're right, it ends on love and I thought maybe that would be a good place for Usdin because that's also well. So let me read a little bit of just the first page of this chapter. He says he's talking about Jesus with sheer artistry and great power. He depicted what happens when a man responds directly to human need across the barriers of class, race and condition. Every man has potentially every other man's neighbor. Neighborliness is non-special.


It is qualitative. A man must love his neighbor directly, clearly permitting no barriers between. Then he goes on to say that this was not an easy position for Jesus to take with his within his own community.


You speak of the beloved community. Feels like such a resonant. Language now, and I just I want to know, how do you think about the possibility of love and the work of love in our time in your generation? Mm hmm.


This moment of racial reckoning. I believe I've been given the best glimpse of the beloved community. We have been a part of a variety of protests over the over this these pandemic months, it's ramping up now.


And I remember going to one particular demonstration early on in the pandemic immediately after the George Floyd incident and murder. And our church gathered and we put out the call and we were in the middle of Bronzeville, which is the migration neighborhood in Chicago that Isabella Wilkerson talks about in the warmth of sounds. Yeah, and here we are. This is the heart of of this black migration.


The heart of. Part of the south side of Chicago. And so our church gathered, we were on the other side of the street with some other people and the churches and our BLM organizers and black youth, one hundred and a his daughters and all of these local activists, primarily South Side and black.


And we looked on the other side of the street. And we saw these young people with skateboards who were not from the south side and their bikes, and we saw some parents with their children and. Young boy holding a sign that said white silence is complicity and and another one saying holding a sign, this says Black lives matter.


And it was the strangest thing because everybody who was black on the other side of the street, we all looked at each other and we said, what is going on?


I said, we. And then so we started you know, we started the protest and the demonstration. We all got together. And here we were, the most multi racial gathering.


And also in terms of class and also in terms of orientation, there were people who were gay and lesbian and people who were straight. There were Muslims standing next to Jews and Jews standing next to Pentecostals and Pentecostals standing next to Buddhists. And I mean, we're just we're all going everybody is shouting the same thing. Black Lives Matter and that moment, that clarion call that just that moment and I use this term often reminded me of the ethic that black.


Religiosity, black spirituality has been trying to bring to America for quite some time and usually embodied in the music.


Especially the music of jazz, because jazz is about the beloved community and democracy. Taking elements that are not supposed to play together. A music that comes out of of of African unity, but then connects with the indigenous community and those who are French and German in a place called New Orleans, that literally is a gumbo pot of culture.


And the instruments in jazz are not supposed to play together saxophones or for marching bands. Trap drum sets are not to play with pianos and bases are supposed to use bows, not your finger.


And yet they all play together and everyone in the jazz band is given the right to solo, meaning that I can bring my own cultural narrative to the table.


And in that march I could hear America's jam session going on and I got a glimpse of the beloved community and maybe, maybe, just maybe if we listen to Thurmon and maybe also listen to Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday, maybe America can be saved.


Otis Moss, the third is senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. He's the author of several books. And one of the voices in a great documentary, Backs Against the Wall The Howard Thurman Story. Howard Thurman's books include Jesus and the Disinherited. His meditations and sermons can be found online at Morehouse College and Boston University. I'm also excited about a new anthology edited by Dr. Gregory S. Ellison, the second of the Candler School of Theology called Anchored in the Current Discovering Howard Thurman as educator, activist, guide and Prophet.


The NBN project is Chris Heagle, Lily Percy, Lauren Nordahl, Aaron Kosaka, Eddie Gonzalez, Lillian Roe, Lucas Johnson, Suzette Bearly. Zach Rose, Serri Graslie, Colleen Sheck, Cristian Wartell, Julie Siple, Gretchen Honold, Alcohol Hawtrey Go to him and Benkert Beyond Being Project is located on DeCota land.


Our lovely theme music is provided and composed by Zoe Keating. And the last voice that you hear singing at the end of our show is Cameron Kinghorn. On Being is an independent non-profit production of the On Being Project. It is distributed to public radio stations by WNYC Studios. I created the show at American Public Media. Are funding partners include the Fetzer Institute helping to build the Spiritual Foundation for a Loving World. Find them at Fetzer Dawg Calliope, a foundation dedicated to reconnecting ecology, culture and spirituality, supporting organizations and initiatives that uphold a sacred relationship with life on Earth.


Learn more at Calliope Dog Humanity United Advancing Human Dignity at home and around the world. Find out more about humanity. United Dog, part of the Omidyar Group, the George Family Foundation in support of the Civil Conversations Project, the Osprey Foundation, a catalyst for empowered, healthy and fulfilled lives, and the Lilly Endowment and Indianapolis based Private Family Foundation dedicated to its founders interest in religion, community development and education.


On Being is produced by our studios in Minneapolis, Minnesota.