Ask a Slave

A few years ago, after I graduated New York University, I returned to my home town in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area (or the DMV as it is affectionately termed) to start my life as an actor. The DMV is home to some of the greatest regional theatres in the country. Of course, it is also home to some of the most important sites in American history, which, quite naturally, much of the culture and community is focused on.

In the few years I lived in the DMV, I must have played every black woman of note that ever lived. From Harriet Tubman to Diane Nash to Claudette Colvin to Caroline Branham– Martha Washington’s enslaved Lady’s maid. I liked to call myself the time-traveling black girl. ..

So, I wanted a way to present all of the most interesting, and somewhat infuriating encounters that I had, the feelings that they brought up, and the questions that they left unanswered. I do not think that Ask A Slave is a perfect way to do so, but I think that it is a fun, and a hopefully somewhat enriching start.

-Azie Dungey describing her web series, Ask a Slave.  Here’s the first one; visit her website for another two equally funny and cringe-inducing videos.

A Christian Nation?

Was America founded as a Christian nation?  How you answer this question reveals a certain understanding of American history.  The answer may also say something about your view of the role of religion in American government and public live.  And, for certain Christians, the answer has to do with a theological understanding of America as a nation somehow unique in God’s plans.

This 30 minute video interview with prolific Christian historians Mark Noll and George Marsden addresses America’s founding with important – and often neglected – historical nuance.  I wish all American Christians would take the advice given by Noll and Marsden to acknowledge the messy complexities of America’s religious roots.