Love is the bridge between you and everything. ~ Rumi
The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return. – Natalie Cole
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. – Lao Tzu
Do love. Don’t just think love, say love, have faith in love, or believe that God is love. Give up the idea that your ideas alone can save you. If you know the right words, then bring those words to life by giving them your own flesh. Put them into practice. Do love, and you will live. — Barbara Brown Taylor
SONGS about LOVE:
- Higher Love cover by Whitney Houston, Kygo (pop/anthem):https://youtu.be/k9olaIio3l8
- Love Song by Sara Bareilles (folk/pop): https://youtu.be/qi7Yh16dA0w
- What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong (blues/rock): https://youtu.be/CWzrABouyeE
- One Day by Matisyahu (Jewish rock): https://youtu.be/WRmBChQjZPs
- Shower the People by James Taylor (pop): https://youtu.be/GfJWqjoekow
- One Love by Bob Marley ft Manu Chao (rock/raggae): https://youtu.be/4xjPODksI08
- Give Love by MC Yoga (rock/rap): https://youtu.be/rpVUih5nY9g
- Will the Circle Be Unbroken by Nitty Gritty Band w/ Johnny Cash & Ricky Skagg (country): https://youtu.be/7bRJLkNqNXI
- The Proof of Your Love by King & Country (Christian): https://youtu.be/b-2dKOfbC9c
- Shine It All Around by Robert Plant & The Strange Sensation (rock): https://youtu.be/fJoarBi19QM
- Forever and Ever, Amen by Randy Travis (country): https://youtu.be/sgJXbIP83A8
- Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher by Jackie Wilson (rock): https://youtu.be/mzDVaKRApcg
- Grateful: A Love Song to the World by Empty Hands Music (rap): https://youtu.be/sO2o98Zpzg8
- Ain’t No Mountain High by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell (rock): https://youtu.be/-C_3eYj-pOM
- Amazed by Lonestar (country): https://youtu.be/x-skFgrV59A
- All of Me by John Legend (pop): https://youtu.be/450p7goxZqg
- Bless the Broken Road by Rascal Flatts (country): https://youtu.be/8-vZlrBYLSU
- All for Love by Bryan Adam, Rod Stewart & Sting (rock):: https://youtu.be/n-AB7RJpOjY
- Love Is My Religion by Ziggy Marley (raggae): https://youtu.be/r-eXYJnV3V4
- We Shall Be Free by Garth Brooks (country): https://fb.watch/dZicIUjBxP/
- Big Love by Tracy Byrd (country): https://youtu.be/QFMcKdmrPvU
- Love Like This by Lauren Daigle (Christian): https://youtu.be/Br1q_i1RHPU
- Can You Feel the Love Tonight by Elton John (ballad): https://youtu.be/lFYBLwb3I84
- Union by Black-Eyed Peas & Sting (rock/rap): https://youtu.be/rT_-Ln7eWpw
- I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner (rock): https://youtu.be/4jA-_g_iSY0
- You Say by Lauren Daigle (Christian): https://youtu.be/sIaT8Jl2zpI
- God Only Knows by The Beach Boys (rock): https://youtu.be/AOMyS78o5YI
- Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel (jazz): https://youtu.be/tJWM5FmZyqU
- It’s Your Love by Tim McGraw & Faith Hill country): https://youtu.be/XRa7lP5–lE
- Best of My Love by The Emotions (soul): https://youtu.be/B-Tb80rmPt4
- Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran (pop): https://youtu.be/lp-EO5I60KA
- We Are Here by Alicia Keyes (pop): https://youtu.be/HrKmDgk8Edg
- I Swear by All-4-One (rock): https://youtu.be/25rL-ooWICU
- I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston (rock): https://youtu.be/3JWTaaS7LdU=
- I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith (rock): https://youtu.be/JkK8g6FMEXE
- I Just Called to Say I Love You by Stevie Wonder (rock): https://youtu.be/1bGOgY1CmiU
- Tonight I Celebrate My Love for You by Roberta Slack & Peabo Bryson (pop): https://youtu.be/4t0Xo3-Ga_4
- Just the Way Your Are by Billy Joel (rock): https://youtu.be/tJWM5FmZyqU
- I’ll Stand by You by The Pretenders (pop): https://youtu.be/bLpmj059JFA
SONGS about FREEDOM:
- Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round by The Freedom Singers (gospel/protest): https://youtu.be/WPuBGcng6Tw
- Freedom by Pharrell Wiliams (pop): https://youtu.be/LlY90lG_Fuw
- Woke Up This Monring by John Legend (gospel/Christian/protest): https://youtu.be/0pOVElQFNMs
- We Shall Be Free by Garth Brooks (country/Gospel): https://youtu.be/wyZI9HwnAiY
- Chimes of Freedom by Bob Dylan (folk): https://youtu.be/zDOHhx_dk1g
- Ode to Freedom by ABBA (rock/disco/pop): https://youtu.be/YtNJybve8j4
- Freedom by Beyonce (R&B/country/alt): https://youtu.be/7FWF9375hUA
- American Soldier by Toby Keith (country): https://youtu.be/DWrMeBR8W-c
- Freedom by Jon Batiste (R&B/soul): https://youtu.be/3YHVC1DcHmo
- Chainbreaker by Zach Williams (Christian): https://youtu.be/JGYjKR69M6U
- Freedom by Richie Havens (rock/folk): https://youtu.be/rynxqdNMry4
- Born Free by Kid Rock (country): https://youtu.be/bu3rsha1ZtI
- Free Fallin by Tom Petty (rock): https://youtu.be/1lWJXDG2i0A
- I‘m Free by The Who (rock): https://youtu.be/uRD_gIoVOmY
- I Want to Break Free by Queen (rock): https://youtu.be/f4Mc-NYPHaQ
- I’m Set Free by The Velvet Undergorund (rock/indie): https://youtu.be/wfzoyDOXfzY
- Freedom by Anthony Hamilton & Elayna Boynton (country/R&B): https://youtu.be/_bdOTUocn5w
- Free Bird byt Lynnrd Skynnrd (rock): https://youtu.be/CqnU_sJ8V-E
- God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood (country): https://youtu.be/-KoXt9pZLGM
- Freedom by Rage Against the Machine (rock): https://youtu.be/H_vQt_v8Jmw
- Weightless by Natasha Bedingfield (pop): https://youtu.be/AUxLeytLHVk
- Freedom by Pitbull (rap/rock): https://youtu.be/zKKF_vFshMM
- Free Your Mind by En Vogue (rock/pop): https://youtu.be/i7iQbBbMAFE
- Independence Day by Martina McBride (country): https://youtu.be/4VPpAZ9_qAw
LOVE LIBERATES — Maya Angelou
I am grateful to have been loved
and to be loved now
and to be able to love,
because that liberates.
It doesn’t just hold—that’s ego.
When my son was born, I was seventeen.
My mother had a huge house, fourteen-room house,
At seventeen, I went to her and said, “I’m leaving.”
She asked me “you’re leaving my house?” and she had live-in help.
I said “yes. I’ve found a job and I’ve got a room
with cooking privileges down the hall
and the landlady will be the babysitter.
She asked me, “you’re leaving my house?”
I said “Yes, Ma’am,”
“And you’re taking the baby?”
I said yes.
She said “alright, remember this:
when you step over my doorsill, you’ve been raised.
You know the difference between right and wrong.
Don’t let anybody raise you and make you change.
And remember this:
You can always come home.”
I went home every time life slapped me down and made me call it uncle.
I went home with my baby.
My mother never once acted as “I told you so,”
She said, “Oh, baby’s home! Oh my darlin!
Mother’s gonna cook you something,
Mother’s gonna make this for you!”
She liberated me to life.
She continued to do that.
When my son may have been five years old
My mother would pick him up all the time and feed him.
I went to her once a month and she would cook for me.
So, one day I went to her house and she had cooked red rice, which I love.
After we finished eating, we walked down the hill and she started across the street and she said
“wait a minute, baby.”
I was twenty-two years old.
She said “wait a minute, baby,
you know, I think you’re the greatest woman I’ve ever met.
Mary McCleod Bethune,
and my mother.
You’re in that category.”
Then she said “give me a kiss”
I gave her a kiss and I got onto the streetcar.
I can remember the way the sun fell on the slats of wooden seats.
I sat there and I thought about her.
Suppose she’s right.
And she says she’s too mean to lie.
So suppose I am gonna be somebody.
She released me.
She freed me.
To say I may have something in me
that would be of value,
maybe not just to me,
When she was in her final sickness,
I went out to San Francisco.
The doctors said she had three weeks to live.
I asked her “would you come to North Carolina?”
She said “yes,”
She had emphysema and lung cancer.
I brought her to my home.
She lived for a year and a half.
And when she was finally, finally, in extremis,
she was on oxygen, fighting cancer for her life,
and I remembered her liberating me.
And I said “I hope I’ll be able to liberate her.”
She deserved that from me.
She deserved a great daughter and she got one.
So, in her last days, I said,
“ now I understand that some people need permission to go.
As I understand it, you may have done what God put you here to do:
You were a great worker.
You must have been a great lover because a lot of men
and, if I’m not wrong, maybe a couple of women risked their lives to love you.
You were a piss poor mother of small children,
but you were a great, great mother of young adults.
and if you need permission to go
I liberate you.
I went back to my house
and something said “go back,”
I was in my pajamas,
I jumped in my car and ran.
And the nurse said,
“she’s just gone.”
You see, love liberates.
It doesn’t bind.
Love says, “I love you,
I love you if you’re in China,
I love you if you’re across town,
I love you if you’re in Harlem,
I love you.
I would like to be near you.
I’d like to have your arms around me,
I’d like to hear your voice in my ear,
but that’s not possible now,
so I love you.
Touched By An Angel— Maya Angelou
We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.
Of Love — Mary Oliver
I have been in love more times than one,
thank the Lord.
Sometimes it was lasting
whether active or not.
Sometimes it was all but ephemeral,
maybe only an afternoon,
but not less real for that.’
They stay in my mind,
these beautiful people,
or anyway beautiful people to me,
of which there are so many.
You and you and you,
whom I have the fortune to meet,
or maybe missed.
Love, love, love, it was the core of my life,
from which of course comes the word for the heart.
And, oh, have I mentioned
that some of them were men and some were women’
and some – now carry my revelation with you –
Or music flying above the names of their makers.
Or clouds, or the sun
which was the first, and the best,
the most loyal for certain,’
who looked so faithfully into my eyes, every morning.
So I imagine such love of the world –
its fervency, its shining,
its innocence and anger to give of itself
I imagine this is how it began.
INVITATION— Mary Oliver
Oh do you have time
to linger for just a little while
out of your busy
and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles
for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,
or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air
as they strive
not for your sake
and not for mine
and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude –
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing
just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in the broken world.
I beg of you,
do not walk by
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.
It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.
Where there is love there is life. – Mahatma Gandhi
The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. – Dalai Lama
Love is more than a noun – it is a verb; it is more than a feeling – it is caring, sharing, helping, sacrificing. – William Arthur Ward
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. ~ Rumi
Love is not really an action that you do. Love is what and who you are, in your deepest essence. Love is a place that already exists inside of you, but is also greater than you. That’s the paradox. It’s within you and yet beyond you. This creates a sense of abundance and more-than-enoughness, which is precisely the satisfaction and deep peace of the True Self. You know you’ve found a well that will never go dry, as Jesus says (see John 4:13-14). Your True Self, God’s Love in you, cannot be exhausted. — Richard Rohr
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. — Martin Luther King Jr. Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all. ― Toni Morrison, Beloved
When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.― Jimi Hendrix
The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves. — Victor Hugo
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” & “I believe God loves the world through us—through you and me.” — St Mother Teresa
There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met. — William Butler Yeats
Many can give money to those in need, but to personally serve the needy readily, out of love, and in a fraternal spirit, requires a truly great soul. — Saint John Chrysostom
… the action and behavior produced by love is distinctly countercultural. … In a society where so much is presented in terms of “self”—self-awareness, self-esteem, self-acceptance, self-image, self-realization—to present a way of existence in which a person lives for the other in a life of loving self-sacrifice will be highly provocative. Following the one who gave his life as a sacrifice for us will be humbling and undoubtedly costly in terms of human recognition and progress in life as secular society defines it.— zondervanacademic.com
Love, in the New Testament, is not something you feel; it is something you do….Love seeks the well-being of others and is embodied in concrete efforts in their behalf. — Francis Taylor Gench
DANCE — Wendell Berry
… And I love you
as I love the dance that brings you
out of the multitude
in which you come and go.
Love changes, and in change is true.
I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out. – Elizabeth Barrett Browning
In the end we discover that to love and let go can be the same thing.— Jack Kornfield
Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. – Rumi
You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, Love like you’ll never be hurt, Sing like there’s nobody listening, And live like it’s heaven on earth. – William W. Purkey
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. – Martin Luther King Jr.
Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart. – Washington Irving
Life is the first gift, love is the second, and understanding the third. – Marge Piercy
Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place. – Zora Neale Hurston
The chance to love and be loved exists no matter where you are. – Oprah Winfrey
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another. – Charles Dickens, Dr. Marigold
What this day means and how we observe it in NH
- Juneteenth Block Party
Noon-7pm • Hop Knot, Manhcester, NH
More infi: https://ww.facebook.com/events/534864181701559/
- Farm-A-Q:A Juneteenth Celebration
Noon, • Lee, NH
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/374078121410155
- Uproar: A Celebration of African AMercian Creativity
2-5pm • Portsmouth, NH
More info: https://blackheritagetrailnh.org/juneteenth-celebration-2022/
Through June 20:
- NH Black Heritage Trail – A week of celebration
Seacoast area & Cornish
More info:: https://blackheritagetrailnh.org/juneteenth-celebration-2022/
SONGS for JUNETEENTH:
- Rise Up by Andra Day (anthem/soul): https://youtu.be/lwgr_IMeEgA
- Alright by Kendrick Lamar (rap): https://youtu.be/Z-48u_uWMHY
- Freedom by Beyonce (country/R&B//soul): https://youtu.be/7FWF9375hUA
- I Knew I Could Fly by Our Native Daughters (folk/R&B/gospel): https://youtu.be/3GXTcm87cos
- Somos Iguales by Sech (rap/urabn latin): https://youtu.be/7WQntkNaazo
- Never Gonna Break My Faith by Aretha Franklin(gospel/soul): https://youtu.be/ZLbHi92YOhE
- We Are Everywhere by Vivian Greene (R&B/soul):https://youtu.be/iNLIUIZfHyk
- Optimistic by Brandy (pop/rap): https://youtu.be/YE2lgI5nnQE
- Black Parade by Beyonce (country/hiphop/soul): :https://youtu.be/Qly8NeoQSSw
- Brown Skin by Indie-Arie (acoustic soul): https://youtu.be/12kMTnObZcM
- Golden by Sarah Hill (r&B/soul): https://youtu.be/4QCXr79Rkcw
- Feel the Vibe by BJ the CHicago Kid (hiphop/rap): https://youtu.be/BEXlezLx30I
- Approximately Free by Black Thopught ft. Shavona Antoinette & Ray Angry (rap): https://youtu.be/47NPWEnqiww
- I Can’t Breathe by H.E.R. (R&B/.soul): https://youtu.be/IRZWiqBHYaY
- Juneteenth by Fyutch & Alphabet Rockers (family music): https://youtu.be
Fury & Faith — Amanda Gorman
You will be told this is not a problem,
Not your problem.
You will be told now is not the time
For change to begin,
Told that we cannot win.
But the point of protest isn’t winning;
It’s holding fast to the promise of freedom,
Even when fast victory is not promised.
Meaning, we cannot stand up to police
If we cannot cease policing our imagination,
Convincing our communities that this won’t work,
When the work hasn’t even begun,
That this can wait,
When we’ve already waited out a thousand suns.
By now, we understand
That white supremacy
& the despair it demands
Are as destructive as any disease.
So when you’re told that your rage is reactionary,
Remind yourself that rage is our right.
It teaches us it is time to fight.
In the face of injustice,
Not only is anger natural, but necessary,
Because it helps carry us to our destination.
Our goal is never revenge, just restoration.
Not dominace, just dignity.
Not fear, just freedom.
Whether we prevail is not detemined
By all the challenges that are present,
But by all the change that is possible.
& though we are unstoppable,
If we ever feel we might fail,
If we be fatigued & frail,
When our fire can no longer be fueled by fury,
We will always be fortified by this faith,
Found in the anthem, the vow:
Black lives matter,
No matter what.
Black lives are worth living,
Worth every struggle.
We owe it to the fallen to fight,
But we owe it to ourselves to never stay kneeling
When the day calls us to stand.
Together, we envision a land that is liberated, not lawless.
We create a future that is free, not flawless.
Again & again, over & over,
We will stride up every mountainside,
Magnanimous & modest.
We will be protected & served
By a force that is honored & honest.
This is more than protest
It’s a promise.
Articles and information about Juneteenth:
- Concord Monitor about Juneteenth: https://www.concordmonitor.com/juneteenth-holiday-new-hampshire-46840513
- Video from History about What You Need to Know about Juneteent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MR3WqYI6wco
- SoJo article: https://sojo.net/articles/juneteenth-how-beautiful-are-feet-those-who-bring-good-news
- Additional songs recommended through Maine NPR: https://www.npr.org/sections/pictureshow/2022/06/16/1105224652/songs-to-believe-in-a-juneteenth-playlist
- National Geographic’s coverage of Juneteenth: https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/juneteenth
- History‘s coverage of Juneteenth: https://www.history.com/news/what-is-juneteenth
- Poet Amanda Gorman for Juneteenth: https://www.npr.org/2022/06/17/1105790840/poet-amanda-gorman-reflects-on-what-lies-beneath-the-celebrations-of-juneteenth
Statement from NH UCC’s Racial Justice Group:
Our Purpose in Celebrating Juneteenth in New Hampshire is based upon our desire for greater visibility, education, and alliance in a state and geographic region that is historically perceived as demographically white. This misperception is perpetuated through the mainstream and local media; socially, culturally, and politically governed institutions; and lack of cultural awareness manifested in expressions of implicit bias. On Wednesday, June 19, 2019, Governor Chris Sununu signed a bill proclaiming an annual observance Juneteenth as an officially recognized state holiday. This act ended many decades of oversight.
Juneteenth Commemorates the End of Slavery and the Beginning of a Journey into Freedom – It recalls how the states of Louisiana and Texas heard that President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Slavery continued in those two states for more than two years after the proclamation was signed due to active resistance. News of Emancipation had not been fully shared until June 19, 1865. Hence this is the origin of the Juneteenth holiday which is still celebrated in many communities of African American descent. Americans, this is our collective history and a narrative that deserves to be shared. Remember that in NH, slaves were not legally freed until the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, though many NH people fought on the side of the Union. NH was not a free state.
The truth is that people of African heritage have always been part of New Hampshire history. The narrative of enslaved African people and their descendants is far too often untold and denied. We appreciate the ongoing efforts of our allies to preserve these stories. We embrace Juneteenth as an opportunity to request that EVERYONE participate and join us in celebration for the whole month of June.