Quote of the month: "Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise. I rise. I rise." ~ Maya Angelou
God's Word on Equality
The Bible says in Genesis 1:27 that "God created humankind in God's own image, in the image of God, created them male and female." Later in Genesis 1:31 the Bible says, "God saw all that was created, and it was very good." When we combine these two essential passages from Genesis, there is no basis for racism. Racial justice is a moral problem - it is a spiritual problem.
Monthly Devotional on Race
Black History Month: We Still Have Far to Go
by TJ Harper, Racial Justice Associate
February is a special month as we celebrate Black History. And my traditional posts usually have an essay that I write, but this month I only post these facts and figures in relation to the video discussion.
2017 marks where we are, but reminds us how far we still have to go.
- In the 1950s, “redlining” suppressed people of color from owning property.
- Today, JP Morgan settled a $55 million lawsuit for denying qualified blacks a mortgage and also for overcharging blacks who did, in fact, qualify for the loan.
- In the 1950s, when Brown v. Board “desegregated” public schools and abolished the Separate but Equal doctrine, places such as Prince Edward County, Virginia closed its entire public school system and built an exclusively white, private school, Prince Edward Academy, that did not admit students of color for 30 years.
- Even though the Separate but Equal Doctrine no longer exists, when cities such as my hometown Chicago closed 50 schools; and 88% of the affected students are black and Hispanic, I question the equality of education. It sounds to me like a modern-day version of Prince Edward Academy.
- 102 unarmed black people were killed at the hands of police officers in 2016.
- In 1965, Rev. Dr. King said, “We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.”
- The black unemployment rate in 2016 was 10%; and the white unemployment rate about 4.9%, which is on par with the employment tradition of 1960.
- African Americans make up 13% of the population (US Census Bureau) and account for 40% of the US prison population (Prison Policy Initiative).
Where is My Church on Racial Justice?
Instructions for Doodle poll:
- Access the poll through the link above.
- Click the “show all options” button.
- Type your email address in the name category.
- Choose one date that works well for you.
- Click the “save” button.
February Discussion Questions:
- Sam Cooke’s song “A Change is Gonna Come” was written and performed in 1964 as a way to show the optimism about the future for the plight of African Americans. Based on the facts above, in what areas has progress been made for African Americans, and where has progress been stalled?
- "Somebody keep telling me don’t hang around”; what is it that Cooke means? Why would he not be able to enjoy himself? What is this metaphor?
- What can the Church do to get involved in being the catalyst for this change? How can the Church mobilize its parishioners to become more involved? What is your role in being in solidarity with your brothers and sisters of color?