S2:E4- I’m Back…Again


By Ally Henny

I’m Back…Again

Season 2, Episode 4

July 30, 2020



HENNY: This is Ally Henny and you’re listening to “Combing the Roots,” powered by The Witness – A Black Christian Collective. I’m back … again! Coronavirus … yeah. Stay tuned!


HENNY: Heeeeyyyy! Coronavirus: stuff is getting real. Y’all, it has been a minute. It’s been a minute since I’ve been able to be on the mic. Thankfully, in all this coronavirus stuff, my family has managed to do very well. We are all staying healthy; we’re all staying strong. I’m so very thankful for all of that, because I know that there are some people who haven’t been quite as fortunate. I hope that for all of you all, that your families are staying healthy, that your families are staying strong; that all of your loved ones, that you’re able to have peace and everything in such a difficult and trying time. 

Who would have known that, whenever 2020 began, whenever I began this season – I never could have imagined that we would be in the throes of a global pandemic. Never, never even foresaw that coming; and in fact, the last episode that aired before this one dropped during the pandemic – dropped as things were shutting down. And so it just has been really surreal. And the virus unfortunately impacted the production of this podcast. Like I said, my family, we’ve stayed healthy, we’ve stayed well. It wasn’t anything like that. But I instantly became – -in the midst of this pandemic, as stuff was shutting down – I became a homeschool parent who was also trying to finish a master’s degree, on top of just a few of the other things that I do. And it became impossible to record this podcast. 

One of the other things – and I guess it’s not really a small thing that I was doing – the way that the timing worked out was just – eh, wow – it was – I don’t even have the words for it, honestly. But my husband and I, we bought a house in Chicago – my family relocated from Missouri to Chicago – and we bought our house literally right as Chicago was shutting down. And so we put in the offer for our house like less than 24 hours from the point when Chicago had shut down, and would remain shut down for several weeks. And so we just happened to be up here. And we knew that we were thinking about relocating to Chicago, but we weren’t sure what the timing and stuff would be. And so we had scheduled a trip for the middle of March, during my daughter’s spring break. We actually had planned on being here for about two weeks, because my kids were on spring break, and my finals week was the same week as that. And then my spring break was the following week. So we thought, well, we’ll be up here for a little bit more than a week; we planned to be up here for like 10 or 12 days, something like that. And we thought, during that time, we’ll go do some of the Chicago stuff. We had gone on a family vacation here last summer, so we thought, oh, well, you know, we’ll go to the Navy Pier, and my oldest had been wanting to go to the Willis Tower again. So we thought, oh, this is going to be a great kind of spring breaky, touristy time; and then in the midst of that, hopefully we’ll be able to look at a few houses. Well, as we were on our way here – as we were driving here – even in the week preparing to come here – stuff started to shut down because of the virus. So stuff went from, “OK, if you’re in a place of 250 people, that’s fine,” to “If it’s 50 people, that should be OK,” to 10 people, and then eventually to just, like, “Everybody stay home. Don’t come out. Don’t do anything. We’re shutting everything down.” 

And so that happened here in Illinois; it also happened in Missouri. And so I went from being everything that I’ve been doing as far as school, as far as activism or whatever – went from doing all of that, all my obligations and stuff; well, some of my obligations thankfully did change – but I went from that to having to do many of those things, still, and having to homeschool my kids, particularly my kindergartener -she’s a kindergartener, now going into first grade. My preschooler, she just kind of was like, “OK, cool, we’re going to color some stuff!” That’s really all the schooling that you’re getting. But that made it so difficult to record. And then we were moving, you know, packing; I wasn’t really doing very much packing, because I was trying to teach my daughter, teach my oldest, and then also do my own school and not flunk out. Thankfully, I didn’t flunk out: I graduated. My degree posted on June 12. So as of June 12, 2020, I have my Master of Divinity, and I’m really thrilled about that. These last two quarters were definitely a challenge, with the virus, with becoming a homeschool parent, with moving; with just all of the different challenges that arose from all of that, my goodness. And I know that y’all probably have some similar type of stories. Y’all probably have some similar types of instances where your 2020 didn’t go, isn’t going, the way that you thought it would. 

It’s really interesting, because my family, we were going to Baskin Robbins. We don’t get out a whole lot anymore. My kids, especially, don’t get out a whole lot. And so occasionally, as different stuff has opened a little bit – I mean, drive-throughs, I think, more or less, have always been open – so occasionally we will go out for a family drive. And we stay in our car, and we might go to a place that has a drive-through, or maybe someplace where we can pick up food; and then we’ll go – even just being able to be in our car, see some of the scenery and stuff, that’s a way to get out. So we had decided to go out to Baskin Robbins. And on our way back home from Baskin Robbins, I happened to pass a church that had a sign that said something like “Vision 2020” or “Perfect 2020 Vision” – I don’t know what it was. But I remember it was like a banner that was on the church. And as far as I know, churches are not meeting. We’re not going to church, if churches are still meeting; I have no idea. But I don’t think churches are meeting. I think that churches are still shut down, here in Chicago. So this church had this banner that’s been hanging up on the church for goodness knows how long, talking about Perfect Vision or Vision 2020, Perfect 2020 Vision, whatever on earth it was; and I just remember thinking, “Wow.” The person who came up with the motto for this year – and I’m sure there’s a lot of Christians – because Christianity, especially probably Black people, like we get really super extra with some of the stuff that we do. Like always trying to find, like, an acronym for stuff, or, I don’t know, finding some sort of cultural tie-in, whatever. Sometimes we can be like really, really super extra with this stuff. But I was just thinking, man, whoever made that sign; whoever was like, “Oh, yes, ‘Perfect 2020 Vision,’ yeah, that’s going to be the thing for this year” – they are probably feeling some type of way right now. Because I don’t think that 2020 has gone the way that anybody has wanted it to go. And it feels like every single day there’s something new that happens, where it’s just kind of like this outlandish – and everybody’s just sort of like reacting, like “What on earth?”

Like, it reminds me of – now, I’m going to both date myself and shame myself here in the same thing. But I don’t know if y’all ever watched a show called “The Jerry Springer Show.” I watched that show as like a pre-teen, maybe like early teenager. Like there got to be a point where it just got to be the same thing, and you could tell it was fake, and it was whatever. But something that would always happen on “The Jerry Springer Show” is – if you’re not familiar with it, it’s this talk show that, that the whole thing was sensationalism. And so it became very well-known, because people would come out and just start fighting. Like, they would show the previews for these fights. And so I really, truly believe that on “The Jerry Springer Show,” that whenever this first started to happen, that it was real; that there was some verisimilitude, I think is the word for it, to it. And then eventually, like, it just became like, “Yeah, OK, let’s fight. Let’s, whatever, to try to get ratings.” But I remember – because we would watch talk shows and stuff in the afternoon, at my grandma’s house –whenever this kind of first took hold. So there was always some type of like revelation or whatever that the person, that somebody would have. And people would start fighting, or people would get up and like run away, or whatever. And so on the previews they would always show people like, they would be like, “I just wanted to tell you,” and like they wouldn’t show it, but they would show the audience’s reaction. And people would be like, looking at one another – it was so fake, looking back. People would like be gasping, and looking at each other, and looking around, and like, “Oh my goodness.” And that’s how I feel like 2020 is. It’s like 2020 is rolling out here on the stage, on “The Jerry Springer Show,” with the most outlandish revelations that it can come up with. And we’re just like the audience that’s stunned. Like, “What do you mean, you used to be a pirate, that now you” – some of the stuff that was on Jerry Springer, I don’t even feel comfortable saying on the microphone. Because some of the stuff would just be like, “Oh, you slept with somebody; you slept with my brother,” or whatever, or “you slept with my grandpa,” and then – it just got really, really, super weird. Really weird, and really extra. Revelations that now, people would be like, “You really don’t need to,” like, “That’s homophobic,” or transphobic or whatever. But back in the late ‘90s we didn’t know any better, and it was like entertainment, and it was way too much. 

But, honestly, I feel like that’s 2020. It’s – 2020 is just rolling out here, and we are just like clutching our pearls, like “Oh my goodness, what else bad could happen? What else outlandish could be said?” And that’s the time that we’re in right now. And it is a whole entire scene. And I don’t even really know what to do with that. But what I do know is that, in the midst of all of this, that there has been a lot of – even though there’s been difficult times, there’s been things that just seemed outlandish and have seemed, I mean, nuts, frankly; I don’t really like to use that word, but that’s like the best word that I have for it; it’s unbelievable. But even in the midst of 2020 just being unbelievable, there’s been a lot of good stuff – good-ish stuff – that has happened. And so I want to talk a little bit more about some of the good things that I’m seeing coming out of 2020. Stay tuned.


HENNY: So in the last segment we talked about how some of my 2020 has been going. First, you know, there’s the pandemic hitting; and buying a house in the middle of the pandemic; and trying to teach my kids in the middle of the pandemic; and trying to get a degree, getting a master’s degree in the middle of a pandemic; and just how outlandish 2020 has been. I used the analogy of kind of, 2020 is like the people coming out on the stage on “The Jerry Springer Show,” and sharing whatever outlandish revelation it is, with us; and we’re all like the audience that are just clutching our pearls and reacting. And there’s been so much in 2020 that has been difficult. You know, I’m going to talk about some of the good things that I see, in this segment; but just in case somehow you haven’t been able to compile or collate some of the things that have been happening:

  • We’ve had the pandemic, and that’s something that’s been, I think, in the front of a lot of people’s minds, honestly, is our safety in the middle of a virus that we don’t quite understand all of it. We kind of are getting lots of different information and ideas and stuff from the government, and so people aren’t really sure who and what to believe; and people have all kinds of conspiracy theories, and there’s all kinds of stuff. So we have that aspect of it.
  • But then in the midst of that, we have the other global pandemic happening, of racism. So we have – in February, before this pandemic hit – I mean, the virus has been here since I think January or February; but before it became like a pandemic – Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed by some vigilantes in Georgia. And if you don’t know – if somehow you managed to miss it – Ahmaud was a young man who was just going out for a jog, and he might have stopped by a construction site, like a housing addition where a house was being built, and might have walked around in there a little bit, looking at this new house being constructed. And he was hunted down by three men in pickup trucks, who drove – chased him, as he was out for his jog – got out of the truck, aimed guns at him. Ahmaud fought back. He was able to wrest one of the guns from one of the men, and then the other man shot. And his death was captured on video.
  • We also have Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery happened in Georgia, in Brunswick, Georgia. In Louisville, Kentucky, we have Breonna Taylor, who was killed in March, who was a paramedic, who was a first responder during this pandemic; and she was at home, with her boyfriend, when cops who were in plainclothes showed up at her door to execute a no-knock warrant; and ended up murdering her as she lay in bed. And so their whole justification was because her boyfriend shot at them. Well, her boyfriend shot at them because they were in plainclothes, and he had a gun, and he thought somebody was robbing their house. And so Breonna is dead. And that happened in March. 
  • And so then in April, toward the end of April, we learned about both of those killings. The video of Ahmaud Arbery’s killing was released. And so we had that. We had the outrage and stuff over that. And then just as – so Ahmaud was in the news cycle first, and his death was in February, and his death, his murder, was revealed toward the end of April; and then Breonna, who, I believe she was killed in March – Ahmaud’s death, of course, brought to light Breonna’s death. Her family was able to get her death, her murder, put in the media. So we were greeted at the beginning of May with Breonna’s death. And then, not very long into Breonna’s news cycle – Ahmaud had sort of started to fall out of the news cycle a little bit, while Breonna was getting a little more traction – and then we get a video from Minneapolis, Minnesota, of George Floyd being executed by the Minneapolis-St. Paul police. Minneapolis police. I don’t think they have the same police department as St. Paul. I don’t think they share with St. Paul, but they’re twin cities. At any rate, we see George Floyd with a police officer with a knee on his neck. And I have not watched the video; I’ve not had the heart to watch the video. I watched Ahmaud’s video, but I did not have the heart to watch George Floyd’s death, and so I haven’t. But we had that death, that was on TV. 
  • So, you know, the deaths of three different Black people, in two of the three cases being revealed, and then George’s death became pretty – I think it happened on a weekend, and we were aware of it by Monday. Or it might have happened on a Monday and we knew about it Monday night, Tuesday – I can’t remember exactly when it happened. And also in the midst of that, too, was the Amy Cooper incident, where Amy Cooper – it was a white woman – called the police on Christian Cooper, no relation, in Central Park, because he had told her to put her dog on a leash, because her dog was supposed to be leashed in the park, and he was a bird watcher. And she called the cops on him because she said that he was threatening her and her dog. And she gave the Academy Award-winning vocal performance. She outdid James Earl Jones both as Darth Vader and Mufasa, in the vocal performance of the century, saying that she had been threatened by a Black man, by an African-American man, in Central Park. And of course, as it goes. Thankfully, Christian is still alive. He videotaped the incident. As soon as she got off the phone, he left; and he was able to leave before the cops got there. So thankfully, he’s alive. So that happened right at the same time as George Floyd. That was, just as the Amy Cooper incident was entering the airwaves, George Floyd happened. 

And so George Floyd’s murder by the state touched off a bunch of civil unrest. And so there were riots, there were protests; there were a lot more protests, there are, there have been, a lot more protests than there were riots, but, you know, certain people don’t know the difference between a protest and a riot. It’s touched off all kinds of stuff. But in the midst of that – I said all that bad – but I see some things that are good, that have happened. 

So, first of all, we’re seeing – for the first time in a long time – a racial reckoning that’s happening. And I actually want to talk about that, hopefully in another episode, to talk a little bit more in depth about some of this racial reckoning. But what I’m seeing is that – and to be fair, it does happen every time we enter into this national stage of grief, where a Black person is killed, or multiple Black people are killed, and we find out about their deaths within weeks of one another — there gets to be a mounting of outrage, and then there’s an outpouring of frustration, an outpouring of grief, an outpouring of all sorts of different things, and it sparks a national conversation. And everybody has something to say about it, and it’s a whole entire thing, or whatever. And that’s the way that it’s been. I feel like that’s been a cycle that’s been happening for the last six years; but the cycle keeps getting faster and faster, and going by faster and faster. 

So admittedly, we have seen these moments of reckoning before. But this moment of reckoning feels a little bit different than some of these other moments of reckoning, because we have so much of it on film. Breonna Taylor – we don’t have that on film, or the film hasn’t been released. I think that the cops went in there without bodycams on. So I don’t know if we even have that on film – not that it matters, or not that anybody should or would want to see it. But we have this type of thing on film, and it’s being distributed widely. And we can say a whole lot – I have a whole lot of feelings about how easily we show and share Black death. I have a whole lot of feelings about that. But I’m trying to keep it positive right now.

And so I see that there’s this moment where – for the first time I’m seeing it in my own circles – where people are listening; where you have, like, somebody is on camera for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, getting choked out, and they’re not resisting. They’re not doing anything wrong. And the thing that they did – they tried to pass a $20 bill, and it might – I think it wasn’t even counterfeit to begin with – they’re only accused of that; and you see like this is, the punishment does not match the crime. I mean, we can talk about punishment, we can talk about crime. Anyway, like I said, I am trying to keep it positive right now.

So we see, oh my goodness, the punishment – this man does not deserve to be choked out. He does not deserve this. And people recognizing, “Wow” – so basically saying that Black people, we’re not experiencing some sort of collective hysteria. The things that we have been saying are happening to us, are happening. And it’s there, and you have this ironclad evidence that it happened. It takes only the most callous of person to try to deny that, or to try to deflect it. And so as wrong as it is, as problematic as it is, that it takes this – and once again, I’m trying to stay positive – but as much as it is, people are finally recognizing that there’s something wrong. Never have we seen a time when The New York Times’ top 10 best-sellers have all been books about race. Yes, there are some things that we could say about that. We could talk about who was the top person that week? But instead, I choose to look at it like: OK. People are at least willing to pay $14.50 for a book that they may or may not read; but they are putting money in pockets of Black authors to hear about this.

My good friend Jemar Tisby, who wrote the book The Color of Compromise, was on The New York Times best-seller list for at least three weeks. I’m not sure if he’s still on the list. I need to touch base with him on that to see. But he was a New York Times best seller. The Color of Compromise is a book that, if you haven’t read it, is about the white Christian church’s complicity in racism. I highly recommend that even if you are not a Christian, that you read this book; because it helps to explain a lot of how the history – because Jemar is a historian; he is a doctoral candidate; he has everything done but his dissertation, at the University of Mississippi, a.k.a. Ole Miss. He writes in this book, and it’s fantastic, just talking about the church, and talking about some of the history of racism within the white Christian context. And he does a great job of elucidating that. So even if you aren’t a Christian, I think that it goes into speaking to some of the mentality that white Christians espouse. And like I said, even if you aren’t a Christian, it’s a revelation into, I think, a lot of our current political climate, in terms of the things that undergird some of the Christian right, some of their values and their principles. He’s talking about history, he’s talking about things that happened in the 1700s and 1800s, and I think even as late as the early 1900s, and he’s talking about those things; but that is the spiritual heritage of a lot of the folks who, today, are voting a certain way and are espousing certain ideologies. And so it’s definitely worth the read. It’s most definitely instructive, even if you’re somebody that doesn’t come from that type of spiritual background. 

And so, anyway, we’re seeing, now, this time of reckoning, where for the first time, you know, Mississippi changed its state flag! The canton in their state flag, for years, had the Confederate flag in it. And it’s been removed now. And that flag has been discontinued. And that was something – that was a stronghold, y’all, and it got broken down! These Confederate statues – the statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia – that joint’s coming down. If it ain’t already came down, it’s coming down. People tore down the statue of Jefferson Davis. All of these monuments to white supremacy and oppression are coming down. 

And a lot of the things that I named here are symbolic victories; and so I don’t want to seem like I’m putting an undue amount of weight on some of these symbolic things. But oftentimes it takes the symbolic things to happen first. You’ve got to get rid of the things that people are going to rally around, the things that they’re going to rally behind, the things that they use, in order to break down some of these larger systems. And so even though – as I’m saying some of these things, like, you know, yeah, this happened, but hey, there’s also this other ratchet component to it; there’s also this other component that’s really difficult. There are – I have a sense of hope. I have a sense of hope. It’s not that I think, like, suddenly, in two weeks racism is going to be completely over, or that it’s going to be solved. No. But what it’s doing is, I see that all of the work that I’ve been doing for the past six years has been able to move the needle a little bit, and that there have been some victories that, while symbolic, are still significant. 

And so I don’t want us to miss the moment because we’re not where we need to be. It can be very easy to miss a moment and say, “Well, this is a transitional time. This is a time where there was a shift.” Now, I think that we can’t just park in that transitional time. We can’t just park on the victories from now. So in the next segment, I’m going to talk about what I think needs to happen next.


HENNY: In the last segment I talked about some of the ratchetness, but also some of the good that I’ve been seeing in this cultural moment. And so now, as I wrap up, I want to share some thoughts on what I think that we can do in this moment; what I think kind of some of our next steps are, and things that we can begin to think about and dream about, and all that. 

So the first thing is that we have to take care of ourselves. And in fact, the episode before this, “Wear Your Bonnet! Grease Your Scalp!” talks about that. Self-care is so important. We are in this moment where there’s lots of civil unrest; there are lots of protests. People are still protesting, y’all. People are still having gatherings where they’re seeking justice. It sort of has fallen out of vogue; it’s sort of fallen off the map in the media. Because people aren’t burning stuff down; we’ve gotten past the point where there’s rage. I mean, people still are mad, but we’ve gotten kind of past the point where there’s been that unrest aspect of it. But people are still protesting. People are stlll resisting what’s going on. So don’t let what you see or don’t see in the media sway you, and kind of sway what you think on this point. Because people are still out in the streets. In fact, I get notifications almost every day of different actions that are happening here in Chicago. Now, of course, you know, you might be in a city that’s a little bit smaller, and you might be in a small town, even; you might be in a rural context; and so there might not be as many things going on. But please know that we’re still out here. People are still out here, and we are still demanding justice. 

We are still seeking justice. So it’s important that in the midst of that, if you’re somebody that you’re out here – whether you are out here in the physical streets, doing stuff; whether you’re organizing behind the scenes; whether you are an activist in kind of a social media setting, in more virtual settings; whether you’re teaching classes doing that type of work, doing activism; it is so important that you take care of yourself. It’s so important that you take time away, that you take time off. You take time to kick off your shoes and relax your feet. That you take time – if taking a bath, if soaking in a bathtub is your thing, that you do it; whether it’s watching Netflix, if it’s playing video games; whatever it is that you do: please do that thing. Take care of yourself.

The thing about the work is that there’s always work to do. And that’s any kind of work. In activism, there’s always work to do. But I’ve found that, as somebody that works in the home – and I’m loath to call myself a homemaker, because I feel like that comes with like a lot of weird connotations –  but as somebody that, you know, I have a family, am raising a family, all that type of stuff; and there is always something to do. Like, I’m unpacking a house, setting up a new household, and there is always something to do. There’s always stuff on Amazon to be bought. There’s always cleaning that has to happen. And if you get too caught up in that, you can start to feel discouraged because there’s so much stuff to do. Well, it’s the same thing with activism: there’s always going to be something that you could do. There’s always going to be a point that you could make. There’s always going to be a course that you can teach. There’s always going to be a protest. There’s always going to be something that you could do, that you could be out in the streets. And so you have to take a little bit of time for yourself. You have to take a little bit of time to just sit back and relax, and to take your mind – as much as you possibly can – off of the stuff that’s happening. There’s times whenever you might have to disconnect, that you might have to unplug; that you might have to say “No more” to social media, or to reading the news, or to listening to things; and to just be able to take care of yourself, and to tend to your own garden. That is something that is so important. 

The next thing is building revolutionary communities. And so this kind of goes into self-care, but it’s also another aspect: you need to get around Black people. And yeah, this is something that’s really important. It’s really – it’s kind of like, what does that have to do with this moment? What does that have to do with forwarding things? But let me tell you. Like, during the civil rights movement – I wasn’t there, but reading about the civil rights movement, listening to the first-hand testimonies of the people in the civil rights movement – those people existed in community. They weren’t just kind of individuals that were just kind of there. They existed within their communities, and they existed with one another; and they shared their lives in a very intimate and significant way, that gave them the strength then to be able to fight another day. And I am part of a few of these types of communities, and honestly, it’s refreshing. It’s great to be able to be in a space where you can just kind of go, and you can be Black. And you can be with Black people, and you can talk about whatever thing it is of the day. You can unload, you can vent, you can whatever. But then also, it’s a place where your soul can be nurtured. You create these spaces with other Black folks where a soul can be nurtured. And I think that it’s so important, because we need to have spaces where we can imagine something different; where we can imagine, “What would life look like? What would the world look like? What kind of world are we trying to build?” You can dream and strategize about the actions that you want to take; about whatever it is, whatever your bag is! If it’s creativity; being able to be with other Black creatives, and to be able to dream about the art that you’re going to create. All of that is so important; and as you have that, you’re able to build and live into the resistance. You’re able to live into the revolution that we’re building here, because you are with other people, and you have things in your life that are going to help to undergird you and to sustain you, and to help you live another day. We cannot afford to adopt the rugged individualism of our oppressors. 

I’m going to say that again. We cannot afford to adopt the rugged individualism of our oppressors. We are a collectivist culture. We are a collective culture. We believe in community; community is something that is important to our flourishing. And whenever we decide that we’re going to be just, like, this lone wolf out here, doing our own thing, it’s much easier for us to get picked off by white supremacy. And so it’s so important that you have people that you can talk to, that you don’t have to fake the funk with; that you can say, “You know what? I have been having a terrible day. I’ve been experiencing whatever.” I have several groups of friends that are like this, that I have the ability to just be able to go and be able to sit, and be able to be, and be able to exist. And so that is something that is critical for us during this time. 

And finally, you need to be bold. This is something that, again, is crucial: being bold. Speaking the truth about what is happening. Telling your story. Giving your word, your testimony, whatever it is that you want to call it. It is so important for you, in this time, to say those things; to say the things that other people around you might be afraid to say. Now, whenever I say that, I don’t mean that you kind of commodify yourself and put yourself out there, and make your life for consumption in a way that white people can sit and kind of eat it up, and it becomes this feeding frenzy of Black pain and trauma; and you’re not putting yourself out there as like a form of trauma porn or whatever. That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is, whenever you’re being bold, and you’re speaking truth to power, and you’re speaking those things that you have experienced: that’s something that is crucial. Recently a good friend of mine shared her truth about something that happened to her, in her worship community; in fact, I actually shared about it on the first episode of this season, if you’re interested in going back and listening. But it’s something that – I know that her sharing her truth, at least for me, it was empowering. It was a way to take back something that had been so horrible. But I feel like – you know, there’s a Scripture that talks about a group of people who overcame their enemy by Jesus, by the blood of Jesus, but also by the word of their testimony. And that’s something, that’s an aspect, that in my faith journey, that I really live by. I think that there’s power in being able to share what we’ve come through, and how we have gotten over. And I think that that is something that is critical. So I encourage you to name the things, to name your oppression. 

And there’s certainly – I want to acknowledge that there can be costs, that it can be retraumatizing; there’s a whole bunch of stuff that can come with it. And maybe it’s not telling about something bad that happened to you. Maybe it’s being bold in other ways. Maybe you have revelation on things, it’s like, “OK, this would be something that would be difficult to do, and it might cost me,” but you might be feeling nudged to take that step. And so whatever it is that has been revealed to you, that is bold, that is going to advance the freedom and liberation of Black people: take those steps. 


“Combing the Roots” is powered by The Witness – A Black Christian Collective. Special thanks to executive producers Tyler Burns and Beau York. Catch up with what I’m doing on these internet streets by visiting allyhenny.com. There you’ll be able to connect to my Twitter feed, my Instagram, and my Facebook writer’s page. I’m your host, Ally Henny. Peace.


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