By Marsha DuCille

In 2016 alone, there were 385 mass shootings in the United States, and 3,788 children were killed due to gun violence. Negrophobia, xenophobia, homophobia, Hispanophobia … fears of every kind have ravaged our communities and slaughtered our sons and daughters. On many days, I have wondered, “Where are the spiritual mothers and fathers? Are they all gone? Where are the voices of light that once steered previous generations?” As I spoke with the legendary gospel singer Shirley Caesar, I heard the voice of a spiritual mother crying out to a lost generation. During her interview, there were pockets of silence because I just listened. Like a dry sponge, I soaked up her words and wisdom.