Mavis Still Takes You There

At eighty-two, Staples asked God why she was still alive. “The only reason I could see is to sing my songs,” she said.Photograph by Paola Kudacki for The New Yorker

In the New Yorker, David Remnick recounts the time he spent with Mavis Staples in her Chicago home base.

At 82, she shares her history as a part of a family band that brought gospel to the masses and emerged as an important voice in the civil rights movement.

As an early teen, I was introduced to The Staple Singers’ and their song “I’ll Take You There” on Soul Train. At the weekly post-show Teen Center visit, the song was on heavy rotation as well as the politically charged “Respect Yourself. “

I was lucky enough to see her open for Bonnie Raitt a few years ago. As a regular touring partner, Raitt says, “She’s never cranky. She has an abiding belief in God and His plan and believes the world is moving toward a higher and more loving world.”

James Fallows:

A Lucky Country, on Thin Ice

Where we stand, June 30, 2022

In his latest, Fallows presents the case that our rules for governing are stuck in a time that we are very far from. Smarter-than-us countries have continuously updated and evolved their way of operating. He writes:

“But in governmental terms, this “young” country is not just mature but geriatric. I’m talking about the branches themselves, under the shaggy balance-of-powers, evolving-democracy system set up in 1787″

I guess we have come to this moment when the rules for our three branches of our government have been stretched too thin, giving the courts the chance to run wild. He suggests the court’s motto could be switched up to:

l’etat, c’est nous

Intentionnaly mis-translated: We Are The Law

James Fallows


Find the Way to Hope

Rebecca Traister in The Cut writes:

It means doing the thing that people have always done on the arduous path to greater justice: Find the way to hope, not as feel-good anesthetic but as tactical necessity.

The prison abolitionist Mariame Kaba reminds us that “hope is a discipline.” It is also a political strategy and a survival mechanism. As Kaba has said, “It’s less about ‘how you feel’ and more about the practice of making a decision every day that you’re still gonna put one foot in front of the other, that you’re still going to get up in the morning. And you’re still going to struggle … It’s work to be hopeful.”

Rebecca Traister is a writer-at-large for New York Magazine and the Cut and the author of Good and Mad, about the history and political power of women’s anger.