Juneteenth Ancestral Writing: Rooted - I Choose To Be Hope And Embody Faith

This post is dedicated to my Aunts Faith and Hope for all of the

wealth of family history they embody and pass on to

the next generation of elders and ancestors.




SOULjourner, today is Juneteenth and my lift every voice and sing melody is: I'm still here!


This declaration, invocation and lament fuels my resolve to honorably acknowledge my earthly and my heavenly inheritance and lineage. And it's also part of the title of Austin Channing Brown's bestseller.


I can not sing the praises loud enough about how Jemar Tisby has done an absolutely scholarly and profound work to discuss Juneteenth—it's a celebration of Black triumph and tragedy. As usual, all links are provided at the end of the article to minimize your reading distractions.


Today is also the launch for my annual summer writing project—Rooted (consider today the prologue release, sorta speak). I am publicly documenting my family's genealogy, which I've been at for over twenty years.


If you plan to stay current with my summer writing project, make sure you join my email list and spread the word, as I take you through my research and story gathering process.


I'm watching how my journey unfolds to reveal to me the intertwining of my spiritual divine roots in Jesus, as I continue to trace my biological family roots,


Jesus is my heavenly ancestor through my spiritual new birth.


Equally so, my Great-Grandmother on my dad's side, Idell A. Simpson, is my earthly ancestor through my physical birth as her fifth great-grandchild.




Graduating From Cosmetology School Together in Arkansas

Great-Grandmother, Idell A. Simpson (R)

Grandmother, Johnnie Ruth Coleman (L)



Equally so, my Grandfather on my mom's side, Leodis Warren, a sharecropper and preacher is my earthly ancestor through my physical birth. Oh, how I now look back and appreciate working out in the farm in the sweltering Arkansas heat on summer breaks.


It was a win for our family that he and my Grandmother, Goldie, were able to leave sharecropping and own their land on their terms.


 Big Daddy and Big Momma Warren


Our family history, on my dad's side is partially narrated in my Great-Grandmother's Bible. It now resides with my Aunt Hope in her home in Colorado.


 Great-Grandmother Idell and Aunt Hope


Family Bible of

Great-Grandmother Idell



I'm grandchild number five

(My name is misspelled, Andery)


I Choose To Be Hope and Embody Faith


Bitterness and distrust are understandable reactions in light of the discrimination, terror and marginalization people of color have received over the centuries, yet I continue to choose my holy, embodied healing.


The way I see it, as I partner with the God of my Faith and Hope, I also choose to be hope and embody faith. This approach is more embodied and connected and less detached and distant than the sole act of hoping. Jesus calls each child of the Father of Lights to be a light. And to be a light is to be a hope—they are inextricable, as far as I'm concerned.


I chose to put my hope in the LORD for there is faithful love with the LORD and with Him there is redemption in abundance (Psalm 130:7). And in so doing, I will also chose to be hope and embody faith, in order to reflect the image of the Faithful One.


I choose to be hope and embody faith with a sense of determined realism.


I choose to be hope and embody faith and not to be dismayed by racism, although I regularly lament due to it's ongoing effects about me in my community, my relationships and my government.


I choose to be hope and embody faith and remain sobered by the reality of racism as I continue to dig deep into my family's history—American history.


I choose to be hope and embody faith as I unpack all my wounds by the grace of Jesus and not suppress them or dismiss them.


I choose to entrust my soul to the Stone that the builders rejected (Psalm 118:22; Acts 4:11).


Prayer of The Day By Sojourners Verse & Voice


Oh Christ, guide us away from the weaponized stones of old institutions. Let us center our work around the stones which the builders have rejected. Help us to create a new thing this very day. Amen.



I choose to be hope and and embody faith as I celebrate my brilliance and creativity.




I choose to be hope and embody faith in my sanctified curiosity and resolve, which leads me on a steady conviction to continue the ministry of reconciliation work—the kingdom work that begins with my inner work and informs my outer work as I look to the Author and Perfecter of the faith (Hebrews 12:2).


The Holy Spirit-filled inner work begins with you, too—it's an inside out work—and it must be a deliberate and honest work where you go beyond the surface beliefs and paradigms and examine their alignment to Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. It's a disruptive work, indeed. It isn't meant to be a warm and comfortable bubble bath, it's more like a steaming, stinging salt bath that detoxes and heals (excerpt, Healing & Held devotional, Week 16).


I choose to be hope and embody faith as a therapeutic and prophetic voice as I lean into my ministry of reconciliation work, which takes on many forms:


in my fearfully and wonderfully embodied, brown-skinned womanhood


in the research of my family genealogy


in my soul care and self-care


in my writings


in my friendships


in my speaking


in my marriage


in my parenting


in my prayers


in my preaching


in my vocation


in the authors I read


in corporate worship


in the mentors I choose


in the mentees I choose


in my entrepreneurial pursuits


in the difficult conversations


in the businesses I support


in my relationship boundaries


in the conversations I engage


The Ministry of Reconciliation


You get the idea. The ministry of reconciliation, literally the service of atonement, is about allowing every square inch of our lives to be permeated with a holy, incessant and intentional propensity of restoration (Romans 5:11; 2 Corinthians 5:18, 19). And to that I say, "Hallelujah, I'm still here to witness the unbroken circle of God's grace and truth through my family roots!"




Mohawkmomma Soul Podcast Episode:


— Subscribe & Listen to my Soul Care Podcasts: Mohawkmomma Soul &  Miseducation of Mom. Listen wherever you enjoy podcasts (also available on Anchor FM). 


Links For Further Discovery


Why Juneteenth Should Be a National Holiday by Jemar Tisby


Go support see the movie Emanuel - Last day in theaters TODAY.


Reading list:


Although not exhaustive, these books represent some of the best of contemporary thinking on the topic of anti-racism and African-American contemplative living.


An Unbroken Circle: Linking Ancient African Christianity to the African-American Experience

Jemar Tisby

The Color of Compromise


Dr. Barbara Holmes

Joy Unspeakable


Andrea L. Palmer

Healing & Held


Dr. Kendi’s

Stamped from the Beginning


Austin Channing Brown

I'm Still Here


Elizabeth Hinton

From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime


Daniel Hill

White Awake


Clint Smith

Counting Descent


More Reading Resources



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