Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A reflection on Black History Month at Christ Church Cathedral -- by Deborah Nelson Linck

Black history month is drawing to a close and this year’s celebration has been amazing. Thank you to church family for welcoming the “As if we weren’t there” photography exhibit. It has been a source for stimulating conversation, allowing us to share our stories with one another and reflection. Our guest speaker, photojournalist Wiley Price shared some of his personal experiences capturing the St. Louis community and sharing and preserving new stories. The Richard Allen/ Absalom Jones celebration offered opportunities for congregations in the Diocese to gather and share stories of race in their churches and begin to formulate plans of action for insuring that their churches would continue to work towards inclusive places of worship.

The final activity for the month was our annual Pot Luck brunch. This year we were joined by Terence Blanchard and he shared his experiences as a musician, teacher and composer. Mr. Blanchard promoted his new Opera in connection with Opera Theater. This year’s potluck was amazing! A variety of delicious foods, desserts and drinks made for a successful event. Best of all, the potluck brought us together as a Cathedral family. Dedicated women and men manned the kitchen heating dishes, refilling the banquet table, clearing dishes, setting the tables and cleaning afterwards. Lovingly prepared dishes, homemade and carefully shopped for, poured in. The tables were mixtures of visitors, Sunday regulars and special neighbors and guests all enjoying food and fellowship. The event offered us the opportunity to be who we are at our very best. With tired feet, legs, backs and dishpan hands, we deemed the event a huge success.

Black history is the history of ALL of us. It is the story of how all of God’s less than perfect citizens have worked together to create our country. While February is designated Black History Month, each day is an opportunity to celebrate the many accomplishments of all people who work towards equality and speak Truth.

1 comment:

  1. It was such a wonderful celebration, and I felt so blessed to be part of the CCC community! I've had the conversation several times over the past 30 years: why a separate month for Black History? You said it exactly: it is OUR history, and best that it would be taught in the context of the whole of American history, but since we still aren't there, we have these moments to learn touching and exciting stories like that of Emile Griffith. I did both in the classroom: supplemented the textbooks that if we were lucky mentioned Crispus Attucks, but never the free African-Americans who fought in the Revolutionary War, and then celebrated February with more stories. Otherwise we ended up with kids, black and white, who believed that all African-Americans were slaves until Dr. King 'freed' them, and white males were the only ones in the 'real' history books.
    Thank you Debbie, and all the wonderful folks that made this such a memorable and uplifting celebration!