Race and Jesus on This American Life

NPR reporter Sonari Glinton recalls how Sr. Rosemary Brennan, the principal of St. Philip Neri Catholic school in Chicago, helped to show students how Jesus related to them on an episode of This American Life:

Sonari Glinton tells the story of how a Catholic nun teaches an entire school on Chicago's South Side that we are all truly made in God's image.

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Sr. Rosemary, recognizing that the students in the once white neighborhood were now predominantly black, sought to make some images in the classrooms more relatable to the students.

Click here to listen to the story.

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VINCENT CUSHING JR
6 years ago
I am a white teacher who taught grades 6-8 in an all black school outside Washington, DC in 1994.  I remember a student who ridiculed the Pledge of Allegiance , especially the line about liberty and justice for all. And I didn't have an answer for him. But I also brought in a manger scene during Advent to put on my desk.  I had painted all the faces dark brown.  One of the students picked up the baby Jesus in amazement-"Look!  A black Jesus!"  And I also answered, "I'm sure Jesus looked more like you than like me."  I hope it had an impact on that young man and the others who witnessed the exchange. 
6 years ago
Brilliant and beautiful. I listened to this, by chance, just after reading a poem by Langston Hughes, ''Children's Rhymes.'' 

    By what sends / the white kids / I ain't sent: / I know I can't / be President.
    What don't bug / them white kids / sure bugs me: / 
    We know everybody / ain't free. 

    Lies written down / for white folks / ain't for us a-tall: / 
    Liberty and Justice - Huh! - For All?

This story reminds me that hope lives in the small things, in Christ's love shared and witnessed - more in small deeds than in big words! - from person to person.

Thank you for posting Michael.
Cody Serra
6 years ago
"Use words only when necessary".  The sister's action had all the meaning in the world. Kids could understand the message. We are all created in the image of God.

Full of grace.
Jim McCrea
6 years ago
We all know that Jesus was a blond-haired, blue-eyed neo-Nazi Nordic Aryan!  Every piece of painted artwork shows us that.  Would our betters lie to us?

The good sister is just preaching pinko commie trash.

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