Take and Read: The Autobiography of Malcolm X

Take and Read: Reading Malcolm X's biography taught me seriousness of purpose, black pride, love of black history -- and resistance, resolve, and daring. He led me to black consciousness.

Book Review

A woman of courage, fortitude and hope

The 2009 book Holiness and the Feminine Spirit: The Art of Janet McKenzie, edited by Susan Perry, features McKenzie’s religious art accompanied by essays by noted contemporary women writers. In the following excerpt, Boston College theologian M. Shawn Copeland reflects on the life of St. Josephine Bakhita, a Canossian Daughter of Charity, who is depicted in a portrait by McKenzie.

On Oct. 1, 2000, John Paul II canonized Josephine Bakhita, a Sudanese woman, freed slave, Canossian Daughter of Charity, “flower of the African desert,” “patron of Sudan,” and, by her own self-designation, “a daughter of God.” Janet McKenzie’s oil painting of Bakhita suggests a sentry, a woman composed, fiercely and lovingly guarding the children of her native Darfur. While her biographer focuses on Bakhita’s practice of the virtues of humility and meekness, McKenzie depicts courage, fortitude and hope -- virtues Bakhita surely needed throughout her life.