08-19-2022  1:03 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

‘Wake of Vanport’ to Be Screened August 28

Register for this free event to be held at Open Signal in Northeast Portland

Heat Returns to Pacific Northwest Wednesday, Thursday

Multnomah County, which includes Portland, will offer people places to stay cool Wednesday as temperatures potentially reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit

Basic Guaranteed Income Program to Launch for Black Portlanders

Brown Hope’s Black Resilience Fund argues the impact of direct cash payments. 

Oregon Justice Fires Panel Due to Lack of Public Defenders

Criminal defendants in Oregon who have gone without legal representation due to a shortage of public defenders filed a lawsuit in May that alleges the state is violating their constitutional right to legal counsel and a speedy trial.

NEWS BRIEFS

Reduced Costs for Parks Programs

Portland Parks & Recreation announces new Parks Levy-funded Access Pass to reduce cost as a barrier for Recreation and...

Measure on Portland Government to Appear as-Is on Ballot

Politicians, business leaders and civic activists have called for reshaping Portland’s form of government, which they say...

The Regional Arts & Culture Council Rolls Out New Grant Program

The Arts3C grant program is designed to be fully responsive to what artists and art makers in the community need funding to support ...

OHA Introduces New Monkeypox (hMPXV) Website

As of Aug. 10, 95 people have tested positive for monkeypox in Oregon ...

Wyden, Colleagues Renew Request for FDA to Address Concerns about Dangerous Pulse Oximeter Inaccuracies Affecting Communities of Color

“There are decades of research showing inaccurate results when pulse oximeters are used to monitor people of color” ...

Court: Extraordinary damages OK in 'wrongful life' case

SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington Supreme Court says that under state law, it's OK for judges to award extraordinary damages in so-called “wrongful life” cases where a child has birth defects or disabilities that require extensive care. The unanimous decision Thursday came in the...

GOP lawmaker arrested, accused of disorderly conduct at fair

CANBY, Ore. (AP) — A state lawmaker was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of disorderly conduct and interfering with a peace officer at the Clackamas County Fair in Canby, Oregon. Republican Rep. James Hieb, of Canby, was arrested Wednesday night and told The Oregonian/OregonLive the...

Mizzou full of optimism with new QB, defensive coordinator

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz is on his third defensive coordinator in three years at Missouri, and the Tigers are about to start their fifth different quarterback in the season opener in the last five years. Sounds like a program that should be on shaky ground. ...

Hoosiers looking for a turnaround after dismal 2021 season

Indiana linebacker Cam Jones and quarterback Jack Tuttle took matters into their own hands this offseason. They called their teammates together to discuss the goals and aspirations of the program, the need to always play with an edge and to break down precisely why things went wrong...

OPINION

No One Ever Told You About Black August?

Black America lives in a series of deserts. Many of us live in food deserts, financial deserts, employment deserts, and most of us live in information deserts. ...

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Judge throws out M award over California custody death

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A federal judge has thrown out an million lawsuit award over the death of a Southern California man who was beaten, hogtied and shocked with a stun gun by sheriff’s deputies in 2015. U.S. District Judge Marilyn Huff said Wednesday that the March award by a...

Head of Oregon’s troubled public defense system is fired

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The head of Oregon’s public defenders’ office was fired Thursday in a clash over how to solve a dire shortage of attorneys to represent people too poor to afford a lawyer. Critics for years have said Oregon’s unique public defense system is in crisis, with...

Judge blocks Florida 'woke' law pushed by Gov. DeSantis

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A Florida judge on Thursday declared a Florida law championed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis that restricts race-based conversation and analysis in business and education unconstitutional. Tallahassee U.S. District Judge Mark Walker said in a 44-page...

ENTERTAINMENT

Judge denies bail for Rushdie's attacker, bars interviews

MAYVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — A judge refused to grant bail Thursday to the man accused of trying to kill Salman Rushdie as the acclaimed author prepared to give a talk in western New York. Hadi Matar, 24, appeared in a western New York courtroom after a grand jury indicted him on charges...

Review: 'Three Minutes' a heartbreaking celluloid memorial

What gets you, deep in the gut, are the smiles. The broad, awkward, sometimes silly smiles of people on an unremarkable day in an unremarkable town in 1938 Poland, fascinated by this new thing called a movie camera and oblivious to the fact that one day, this amateur travel movie will become a...

Review: 'Beast,' with Idris Elba, has B-movie bite

Sharks, grizzlies, giant snakes and rampaging apes have traditionally been the go-to choices for animal-kingdom antagonists in survival thrillers. Lions not so much. Maybe the king of the jungle has always been too regal, too majestic — too heroic — to be lowered to the status of mere...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

House Democrats' campaign chief faces tough race of his own

PEEKSKILL, N.Y. (AP) — At a recent rally with union workers and other supporters in the downtown square of this...

Biden bill to help millions escape higher health care costs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Millions of people in the United States will be spared from big increases in health care costs...

Bomb threats put tiny Moldova, Ukraine's neighbor, on edge

CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — For tiny Moldova, an impoverished, landlocked nation that borders war-torn Ukraine but...

In Mexico resort, squatters make a stand against developers

TULUM, Mexico (AP) — Unchecked development has hit this once laid back beach town on Mexico’s Caribbean coast...

Colombian rebels free 5 soldiers, 1 policeman ahead of talks

HAVANA (AP) — A Colombian guerrilla group says it has freed six captive members of the security forces in a...

Stars Coffee, anyone? Starbucks successor opening in Russia

MOSCOW (AP) — People in Moscow who were disappointed when Starbucks closed its coffee shops after Russia sent...

By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer

MACON, Ga.— There are two First Baptist Churches in Macon — one black and one white. They sit almost back-to-back, separated by a small park, in a hilltop historic district overlooking downtown.

About 170 years ago, they were one congregation, albeit a church of masters and slaves. Then the fight over abolition and slavery started tearing badly at religious groups and moving the country toward Civil War. The Macon church, like many others at the time, decided it was time to separate by race.

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Ever since — through Jim Crow, the civil rights movement, desegregation and beyond — the division endured, becoming so deeply rooted it hardly drew notice.

Then, two years ago, the Rev. Scott Dickison, pastor of the white church, and the Rev. James Goolsby, pastor of the black church, met over lunch and an idea took shape: They'd try to find a way the congregations, neighbors for so long, could become friends. They'd try to bridge the stubborn divide of race.

They are taking up this work against a tumultuous backdrop, including the much-publicized deaths of blacks at the hands of law enforcement and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Next month, they will lead joint discussions with church members on racism in the history of the U.S., and also in the history of their congregations.

"This is not a conversation of blame, but of acceptance and moving forward," Goolsby said.

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Like many American institutions, houses of worship have largely been separated by race, to the point that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. called Sunday mornings "one of the most segregated hours." Recently, several denominations, from the Episcopal Church to the Southern Baptist Convention, have tried to look critically at their past actions going back centuries.

In the early 1800s, in Baptist churches of the South, whites and blacks often worshipped together, but blacks were restricted to galleries or the back of the sanctuary. Eventually, black populations started growing faster in many communities. Whites, made uneasy by the imbalance, responded by splitting up the congregations.

This was apparently the case for First Baptist in Macon, which built a separate church for blacks in 1845, then finalized the separation two decades later soon after the Civil War ended.

Goolsby and Dickison said their respective churches were enthusiastic about plans to work together, under the auspices of the New Baptist Covenant, an organization formed by former President Jimmy Carter to unite Baptists.

Yet excitement mixed with apprehension, since the effort would inevitably require "some challenging conversations," Dickison said, including a re-examination of the official church history, which had been recorded in mostly benign terms, with almost no recognition of racism.

"We need to go through this kind of conversion experience of confession, of repentance and of reconciliation. We need to have that when it comes to race, not just in the country but within the church," Dickison said.

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Goolsby recalled that after the massacre last year at the historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina, he was outside a store, awaiting his wife, when Dickison called.

"Scott shared how he felt, how he was struggling with what he would share with his congregation," Goolsby said. Dickson asked how he could show support.

"I said, 'We're already doing it,'" Goolsby said. "The mere fact he thought to call me was huge."

The stakes were even more personal months later, when the white church invited black church members for a youth trip to Orlando.

Goolsby's teenage son was among those invited. But Goolsby had considered Florida a danger ever since Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, black 17-year-old, was fatally shot in Sanford by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who was later acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges.

The pastor could not let his son go on the trip. "If you put a hoodie on him," he said, "he looks just like Trayvon."

The concerns of anxious black parents had been much in the news, but the white church members hadn't had to confront the issue directly until Goolsby raised it.

After reassurances from a white chaperone, Goolsby allowed his son and the other young people to participate.

"The fact that that was so easy to share — we've already made progress," Goolsby said.

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Dickison strode into the basement hall of his church with a box under one arm. Inside, were copies of "Strength to Love," a collection of sermons and writings by King. The book was at the center of classes at the white church that Dickison organized in preparation for the joint talks on racism next month.

This class was held on the Sunday in July after the fatal police shootings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota, and the fatal ambush on white Dallas police officers.

With the stifling humidity of a Georgia summer building outside, Dickison launched into a discussion of King's sermon on the Good Samaritan, about despised groups and showing mercy.

"We have our tribes. We see ourselves over and against others," he said, then asked church members to reflect.

One man said when you reach out to someone from another group, "you're perceived as unpatriotic," or disloyal. A woman said she was upset to see some disrespect of the police. "They rush toward danger when others run," she said.

The next night, the black church hosted the city's Black Lives Matter vigil, marking the tragedies of the preceding week.

Clergy from across the city filled the pulpit. Goolsby and Dickison stood together to speak. Dickison compared racism to "a cancer that roams inside the body of this nation, and yes, even in the body of Christ." Goolsby urged people to maintain hope "in spite of our circumstances," and he added, "We know there will be change."

Then both men said, "Amen."

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