Happy Black History Month!
February 1st marks the beginning of Black History Month. I always think it is appropriate that it often closely precedes, or syncs with the Christian observance of Lent. Lent is a time in the Christian calendar devoted to deep inward reflection, and repentance. It is also the season when we walk with our Jesus, an oppressed body of color, killed by the Empire/those in power. This path is the heart of the very heart of it all in Christianity. Acutely so this year as we mourn the murder of Tyre Nichols. To follow Jesus IS to proclaim Black Lives Matter.
Many of our congregations then choose this season of Lent and BHM to do the work of learning, engaging in sacred conversations on race, and thinking about what repentance, or reparation looks like for historically white faith communities. These are sacred journeys that go hand-in-hand. If done well, they will change our communities at our core. Thanks be to God.
Across February, we will be sharing resources that sit at the intersection of faith, Black Lives, and our work to dismantle white supremacy as we enter into this time. We often get asked for suggestions for book groups, or small group discussion. Each of these would be a powerful book study for BHM, or Lent, or individual read. All of them offer a word for the Church at this moment.
1. Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Church in America by Lenny Duncan
2. I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
3. Parable of the Brown Girl: The Sacred Lives of Girls of Color by Khristi Lauren Adams
4. Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God by Kelly Brown Douglas
5. May We Forever Stand: A History of the Black National Anthem by Imani Perry
Keep an eye on our social media this month for additional suggested reads, resources, and conversations. Read on for a call to join us at the State House next week.