Rebecca Carroll, the author of Surviving the White Gaze, was adopted at a young age by white parents. She grew up in a small town in New Hampshire where she was the only Black child.
In our first essay this week, Diana Hayes reviews Carroll's memoir. Hayes asks: "What is it like to grow up Black in a completely white environment? How does a child develop an awareness of herself as a Black woman when she has no experience of being or being seen as Black, living as Black, nurtured as Black?"
Hayes describes Carroll's work as one that "challenges the reader to listen to and, in some ways, experience the pain and sorrow but also the joy of this young woman's perilous but ultimately successful climb to self-awareness, love and belonging."
You can read the rest of Hayes' review here.
In our second essay this week, and in this month's first Soul Seeing column, Mark Redmond writes about his years at Villanova University. He describes hearing a man named Edward Fischer speak about his time serving in Guatemala, which profoundly changed Redmond's life. "I walked away from the job and the apartment and moved into the Covenant House faith community, helping homeless and runaway teenagers, earning $12 per week, living across from a strip club and a heroin shooting den." Forty years later, and Redmond still does this kind of ministry.
Read the rest of Redmond's essay here.
In our third essay, Christina Traina, a theology professor at Fordham University, writes that Francisco Goya has much to teach our bishops at a time of divisions in our church. "The USCCB's uninformed stances on gender and orientation have alienated thousands. We must continue to face and name these failings, work to correct them and honestly repent our own complicity in them," she writes. "And yet, now as during Goya's time, worship, prayer, service to the poor and sick and justice work continue. As we emerge from the pandemic, we can redouble our efforts to live the Gospel in word, sacrament and action. This is why Goya encourages me."
Read the rest of Traina's essay here.