The theological reflection this month is a short excerpt from Stand Your Ground: Black bodies and the justice of God by Kelly Brown Douglas.
Choose one or more of the following:
Book of the Month: Passionate for Justice: Ida B. Wells As Prophet for Our Time by Catherine Meeks and Nibs Stroupe
“35 Queens of Black History Who Deserve Much More Glory” (article) The revolutionary words Angela Davis spoke, the record-breaking feats of Wilma Rudolph and the glass ceiling-shattering efforts of Shirley Chisolm paved the way for black women and girls across the country to dream big and act courageously.
Visit the Black Past website to learn about several prominent African American Women in U.S. history.
African American History and Women: (timeline) Online timeline detailing some of what African American women have contributed to American history and how they been affected by historical events.
“Black Mothers Keep Dying After Giving Birth.” Shalon Irving's story explains why (article)
Thus a Black Woman Speaks: (15 min) a poem by actress Beah Richards (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner). A searing call to awareness and action to white women written decades ago and still fully relevant today.
The Danger of a Single Story: (19:16 min) Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.
Podcast on Mary Jackson. Jackson is most well known as the first black woman to become an engineer at NASA. But she also worked to clear the way for other underrepresented people at NASA, in particular black women.
Podcast on Shirley Chisolm. From her college years, Chisolm was politically active. Her drive and desire to make positive change led her to many political firsts, including being the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress.
Who are your ten closest friends? What is the racial mix in this group?
Consider the words of 1973 Presidential Candidate, Shirley Chisholm: “If you don’t have a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” What instances can you think of your life where white women or women of color were not provided with access. This could refer to conversations, opportunities, jobs, support, etc. Think of examples that you have witnessed in your personal life.
Where do you experience a “single story” in your world view?
Learn who is working in your county or city on issues that pertain to women of color. Are there meetings or a mailing list you can be a part of?
Choose one of these woman of color from Iowa’s history (Ruth Bluford Anderson, Sue M Wilson Brown, Charlotta Pyles, Willie Stevenson Glanton) do some research, and share about her with your church family.
What stood out to you the most?
How are you feeling?
What action will you take?
Who in your family/community may want to take action with you?
O God, you have bound us together in a common life.
Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth,
to confront one another without hatred or bitterness,
and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer by the Rt. Rev. Barbara Harris, first female bishop in The Episcopal Church