Interview: Q&A Natasha Sistrunk Robinson: Call for the Wailing Women of Color

The editor of “Voices of Lament” on how public injustice demands public sorrow.

In the fall of 2019, author and speaker Natasha Sistrunk Robinson moved to Alabama with her husband and daughter. When the pandemic hit a few months later, she found herself doubly isolated in a new location.

After reading the book of Jeremiah, a particular passage “really jumped out at me,” says Robinson. It was 9:17–21, “where God tells the prophet Jeremiah to call the wailing women to wail until they are exhausted from crying so much. They’re wailing because the men have been taken out of the public square, and the children have been taken out of the streets, and ‘death has climbed in through our windows.’”

The story seemed very relevant to the moment. “Death was a thief climbing into our windows too,” says Robinson. “It was all around us, with the reality of the pandemic on top of all the racial injustice of that year.”

Inspired by the Old Testament model of lament, she started working on a book titled Voices of Lament (Baker Publishing Group, 2022), which features 29 women of color writing on themes of longing, injustice, and suffering.

Robinson, who now lives in North Carolina with her husband and daughter, hosts the podcast A Sojourner’s Truth and runs T3 Leadership Solutions and Leadership Links. She is currently a doctoral candidate in urban leadership ministry through a joint program between North Park and Fuller Theological Seminaries.

CT spoke recently with Robinson about her latest book and the community of women who contributed to it.

During the summer of 2020, you were reading through Jeremiah and the Psalms and thinking about lament and injustice. Tell us more about that journey.

As a Black woman, I was thinking about all the ways that …

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