Walter Rhett’s New Work: “A Portion of Fault:” Gullah Prayer And Faith

The View from Circular Church, looking west. The Unitarian Church (left) and St. John's Lutheran Church in background.

The View from Circular Church, looking west. The Unitarian Church (left) and St. John’s Lutheran Church in background.

graphics-balloons-126913Print Release: Monday, April, 19, 2014.
Full color, FSC certified, acid free coated paper.
Set in Goudy Old Style, a legendary Arts and Crafts font. Historic design.

A Portion of Fault:” An Aesthetic
of African-American Prayer

or (two links; web, pdf)

A Portion of Fault


Ground Breaking


Advance digital preview contains:

  • A rare African-American oral folk tale from slavery, challenging stereotypes involving religion, deception, and African moral intelligence.

  • An excerpt on Spirituals from Sterling A. Brown, one of the most famous scholars of African-American literature and folklore.

  • A historical explanation of Dr. King’s mentor and theologian Howard Thurman’s powerful concept, “the waiting moment.”

  • An oral history example of the African-American rite of visionary prayer called “Seeking.”

  • A list of beatific visions and spirit calls in several Gullah Spirituals.

  • An African-American theology of prayer.

  • The use of African-American folk forms to preserve witness and lessons.

  • The difficulty Gullah poses (the language and its aesthetic) to contemporary research in history, literature, and religion.

  • A new transcription of Dr. Lorenzo Dow Turner’s audio interview in the Library of Congress archives with Ann Scott, recorded on St. Helena Island, South Carolina in 1932, in Gullah.

  • Cover art by Charleston civil war photographer, George Johnson, and American Depression photographer, Dorothea Lange.

  • The use of dialectics and traditional forms of induction as a logic of empirical interpretation.

  • All in short form, digital and print work.

  • Lorenzo Dow Turner’s 1932 Audio Interview with Ann Scott, St Helena Island, South Carolina, in Gullah  

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Walter Rhett specialises in short form writing and its design for net and print. His writing explores voices, whose ideas and stories are alive in his dialogue.


“Religion was neither forced on the slave or accepted naively. In fact, the widespread acceptance of Christ by the enslaved is the biggest conversion experience in the history of Christianity after the birth and death of Jesus.”

"Born Two Years Before The Surrender"

“Born Two Years Before The Surrender”  Dorothea Lange Photograph.

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Griot Reads, Listens, and Views

“Griot reads, listens, and views on Bundlr”


“Once you reach the bundlr, select and click: it displays as an easy-read, ad-free page!”


Links to the best of tradition, invocation, creation, and thinking, near and far. Your service of dreams, information, facts and self-help. Updated daily!

Today’s Feature: 10 Scholarships for African-American Students
With January Deadlines!

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Not Every Minority is in the Affirmative Action Pool

Some seem to think the only admissions for minorities are based on affirmative action. No. /wr 

Do you think affirmative action is used for all minority admissions? Wow! Short answer: no. It is used to select from the pool of near misses of all races, genders, regions, majors and other admission factors. If the standard pool shows a serious shortage of diversity, particular minorities, from the next level of applicants, and the next level is not always grades and test scores–but a high school which is unfamiliar to an admission office could be a reason–an opportunity will be assigned where the need is greatest.


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Books In The Works

A New York Times comment dialogue led to unexpected appreciation. /wr

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Race And College Admissions

Jubilee Hall, Fisk University.

Jubilee Hall, Fisk University.

Any top minority student from an inner city public school can be and is often turned down for admission at top schools, test scores not withstanding, due to the suspect nature of the quality of the high school’s program. 

This happens. It goes unreported. It helped led to affirmative action in admissions in the first place. Affirmative action admissions, contrary to populist myth, do not flunk at at higher rates than other students–in fact their retention rates are higher, showing their willingness to work for success and take advantage of opportunity!

Race counts twice. Once, as individual experience, assumed to be color-blind and built on merit. The second, also color-blind–to bias and subtle injustice experienced by the group. DuBois called it a “two-ness.” Each depends on the other: restrict the group on voting rights and individuals are affected. Create stand your ground and hearing-impaired men hear death threats. Knock on a door and color gets you shot in the face. Not everyone, but the reactions are clearly associated with a group and the consequences affect individuals.
Now race is seen as increasing opportunities for a group that provides a pass for the
unqualified to advance without merit. That’s when a two-sided issue is met with a one-sided view.

If the group is the source of advantage (for the individual), it is important to recognize when that group is the source of disadvantage (for the individual). It is especially important in education, which has been the single most important factor in creating and sustaining a black middle class, a group of independent businesses and entrepreneurs, seven of which (six men, one woman) run Fortune 500 companies (four in the top 100). But those four represent less than one 1% of the 500 CEOs.

Today’s ruling will not really be felt for years to come; its impact is on the future. It takes vision to see how diversity is being reabsorbed, and vision to see how we lose if fail to confront the status quo that rigs life chances–in the name of equal protection.

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The Gods Claim Their Own

Tragedy also wears the face of the absurd: who would have thought that Everest climbs would become the source of labor struggles–a commentary on our values, wealth, and materialism. 

Note: materialism refers to the high dollar climbers, unskilled and unprepared, who pay high end fees for accommodations, and use 3rd parties to stiff the help with the lowest possible wages. I wonder if they give out tip envelopes at the end?

Who is raising money for the sherpa families?


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Easy Pickings

On Charles Blow’s column. /wr

Racially themed cartoon, Harper's.

Racially themed cartoon, Harper’s.

State races are easy picking for the big money that doubles down on local candidates and drives local attitudes. South Carolina has seen a steady drumbeat of political advertising since the Super Bowl, in a state where no race is expected to be close. 

Why the daily drone of ads for Haley, Graham; issue ads against Obamacare, new attack ads designed to draw in women–in a state that conventional politics says doesn’t need the investment?


The state is now a laboratory for testing messages, ads, polling; campaign techniques. If North Carolina is the poster child for draconian legislation, micro-managing every scintilla of government and rights, South Carolina is the benchmark for campaigns aimed at average white people, a way to pre-assess the effect of conservative ads for the fall.

All of this is in keeping with the expansion of AFP chapters, which keep watch on the process and support specific candidates for races down to school boards (last cycle, Iowa, Colorado, and North Carolina). The shadow governments are being built and pieces of the puzzle are being spec’ed.

Two ironies: one, the media directs attitudes and is isolated from criticism; the ads are also shields and act as drones. This has shifted their messaging. Two, the dark money continues the investment in disbelief necessary to disguise the oligarch message as populism. Unable to win on the racial code, they have found it effective to organize on. Its not the care, it’s Obama, The backlash is building.

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