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Strange Fruit: Darnell Moore Says, in Advocacy, the 'Work Finds You'

darnell moore
Tamara Fleming

Throughout the month of January, we’re revisiting some of our favorite conversations from the first 100 episodes of our show.

[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/185226233?secret_token=s-ARRHJ" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=true&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]Here's one of our favorites, a conversation with writer and activist Darnell Moore. Darnell co-authors the Huffington Post’s Tongues Untied blog, along with Wade Davis. He was most recently on the show when he co-organized the Black Lives Matter Freedom Ride to Ferguson. But today we’re listening to our very first conversation with Darnell, when he spoke to us about how early experiences in his life lead him to embrace social justice activism and to work against domestic violence.
“I’ve been haunted, and in a very good way, by Audre Lorde’s notion of: What did you come here to do? What is your work?” Darnell says. “And when that work finds you, we have no choice but to respond.”

Some of Darnell’s work focuses on black theology and black Christian thought—particularly as it relates to queer identities. So we also spent some time talking about what it means to be black, gay and Christian. "I remember this evangelist saying she would rather her son be addicted to drugs than to be—she didn't use the word, she just did the broken-wrist type of gesture—than to be gay," he says. "I was mortified."

But he reminds us that the black church is not a monolith, and there are also LGBTQ-affirming spaces within black Christianity. "I got to a point where I said if it means that my truth, the true person that I know myself to be, is something that will lead me to quote-unquote hell, then I would rather go to hell [...] for living in my truth than to go to heaven and live in a lie."

(Photo Credit: Tamara Fleming)

acy, the "Work Finds You"

Laura is LPM's Director of Podcasts & Special Projects. Email Laura at lellis@lpm.org.