The poet Nikki Giovanni wrote in her poem “BLK History Month,” “If Black History Month is not viable then wind does not carry the seeds and drop them on fertile ground.” (See the complete poem at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/90179/blk-history-month)
We are kicking off a month celebrating Black History Month at UUI. Look for stories in the eblast and during services throughout the month telling of the contributions of African-Americans to Unitarian Universalism from the past up to the present day.
In the meantime, here are a few things you can check out:
Listen to Dr. Sofia Betancourt’s address at General Assembly 2018 (about 15 minutes) on creating a theology of liberation for the future of Unitarian Universalism. Dr. Betancourt is a professor at Starr King Seminary and was our first woman president of the UUA. She says, “Our first principle calls us to learn a language of resilience and liberation in response to the pain of the world that we have inherited.” https://www.uua.org/uuagovernance/committees/commission-institutional-change/blog/centering-theology-conversation-about
Listen to the Rev. Dr. William Sinkford’s sermon at General Assembly 2016. Dr. Sinkford is a former president of the Unitarian Universalist Association and Senior Minister at First Unitarian, Portland. His sermon begins with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech to the UUA in 1966 and discusses our denomination’s mixed history of successes and failures around racial justice work since. Seeing in the present moment a chance to start anew, he asks, “Are we willing to live as if the Beloved Community is more than just an idle dream?” (Dr. Sinkford’s sermon starts at about 1:29 in the video.) https://www.uua.org/ga/past/2016/worship/slt
Read the book Centering, edited by Mitra Rahnema, about the experiences of religious professionals of color in Unitarian Universalism. https://www.amazon.com/Centering-Navigating-Authenticity-Power-Ministry/dp/1558967990
Check out the website for Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism: http://www.blacklivesuu.com
It’s going to be a wonderful month exploring our African-American Unitarian Universalist heritage and celebrating the voice and vision of African-American UUs today. See you on Sunday!