Anthony Manousos

Racism, Housing, and Cities

Eight years ago, I married Jill Shook, a housing justice advocate and Evangelical Christian who loves Jesus and justice. She also loves Quakers and attends Orange Grove Meeting (and the Methodist Church). The more I walk or drive around Pasadena with her, the more I see a side of this city that I never even imagined before.

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“Amost Right” is Not “Right”

Dear Editor: I deeply appreciate your publishing my poem “On Garbage” in the Nov/Dec 2017 issue of Western Friend, but I was disappointed that a word was omitted from the penultimate line. It should have read:

Only love matters. Only love turns junk into jewelry,

A crown of thorns into a crown of light.

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Celebration of Garbage (corrected)

I sing and celebrate garbage,
the rejected, the refugee,
The “wretched refuse yearning to breathe free.”
I lift up in the Light those treated like trash,
Those living in the junk yards of history.

Out of blackened wood from a bombed out church,
A black Southern artist made a mobile that took my breath away
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The Airtight Cage of Poverty

“We are tired of smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society,” said Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., in his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (1963). To address this crisis, Dr. King (along with Quaker activist Bayard Rustin) launched the Poor People’s Campaign, focusing on economic justice, especially around jobs and housing.

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Importance of Quaker History

On October 26 I took part in an interesting phone workshop on Quaker history sponsored by the Western Friend. It was the first online workshop I have ever taken part in, and I want to commend Mary Klein for organizing it and for providing excellent background readings and good questions to ponder. It worked extremely well. I was able to hear and see everyone clearly.  

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