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“I’ve Known Rivers…”

The Nile River in Aswan, Egypt. (Canva)

African American poet, and royalty of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes shared that while riding a steamboat down the Mississippi River his mind thought of these words:

“I’ve known rivers:

I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.

I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.

I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.

I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I’ve known rivers:

Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”

Hughes’ poem is a powerful reflection of the journey of the “souls of Black folks.”

The rivers are still flowing in currents of resistance, resistance to policies and systemic evil that threaten to block the mighty rivers of righteous indignation that flow against white hegemony and supremacy.

Psalm 46:4 says, “There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.”

The rivers are still flowing.

This week we have experienced the rivers of economic fairness and worker justice in the flowing of Black Labor Week. Workers from all over the United States gathered in Gary last week.

We thank Ephrin “EJ” Jenkins and his team of labor soldiers for yet another year of showing the strength of Black labor. The rivers are still flowing.

This week we saw the gathering of serious lay people, preachers, pastors and theologians come together for the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference in Chicago. This is the only social justice, African-centered, and praxis purposed gathering of Black people of faith in this nation.

It was organized by Dr. Iva E. Carruthers, Dr. Frederick D. Haynes, III, who pastors the Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, and who is the new president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, and lastly founded by the pastor emeritus of Trinity UCC in Chicago Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. The rivers are still flowing.

Finally, this Sunday February 25, at Trinity UCC-Gary, The United Afrikan Movement, Black Lives Matter-Gary and Trinity United Church of Christ-Gary present a viewing of the film “Global Assignment, the Life and Times of Dr. Runoko Rashidi.”

The late Dr. Runoko Rashidi passed away too soon, in August 2021. Dr. Rashidi used to come to Gary each year for almost 10 years to share his global travels documenting the Black African presence in each corner of this globe at Trinity UCC-Gary.

The event this year will begin on Sunday, August 25, at 2:30 p.m. at Trinity UCC-Gary, 1276 W. 20th Ave., Gary.

“There is a River…” and the rivers are still flowing with fresh waves flowing full of nourishment for the soul and steel to the backbone.

Please, come join us!

Knowing The Truth - Part I
Rev. John E. Jackson
Senior Pastor at | + posts

Rev. Dr. John E. Jackson, Sr. is the Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ-Gary, 1276 W. 20th Ave. in Gary. “We are not just another church but we are a culturally conscious, Christ-centered church, committed to the community; we are unashamedly Black and unapologetically Christian.”

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