Black men, women and children are dying in our communities. Sometimes it’s at the hands of law enforcement officials. Sometimes it’s in jails. And sometimes it’s just from walking down the street. But it’s got to stop. As we witnessed the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement, FUSD felt called to take action. In Feb 2015, the congregation voted to put a Black Lives Matter banner on the side of our building to show our solidarity with the movement.
Eighteen First Unitarians participated in the first discussion of Ta-Nahesi Coate's 2014 essay "The Case for Reparations," Parts 1-3, on October 3. Considered a seminal document bringing the idea of black reparations into the 21st century, the discussion was lively, and included comments on the use of the story of Clyde Ross as the center of the article, the historical efforts toward reparations in the US since the late 1700’s, and the concept of Contract Buying. In addition, the conversation included consideration of Native American oppression and the possible inclusion of land acknowledgements at all FUSD events. The essay discussion followed Rev. Mike Morran’s Sunday service sermon on September 26 describing the focus of Operations Atonement on reparations for black African Americans.
o Discussion: Parts 4-7; October 17th from 1:00p to 2:30p.
o Discussion: Parts 8-10; October 31st from 1:00p to 2:30p.
The essay can be accessed here, where an audio link is also available.
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Meeting ID: 814 6185 8266
Operation Atonement: Additional Resources
Upon completion of reading “The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, four books will be offered to congregational readers as additional and varied ways to inform ourselves on black reparations. All four books are written by black authors; they include a biography, a novel, a memoir, and social science research. Each will be discussed during a facilitated book talk scheduled during November.
There is no expectation to read any or all of these offerings, but rather to offer alternative avenues to access information, and enhance understanding. Facilitators have been secured for these discussions. The books are available through the library, Amazon, and Tattered Cover. Dates and times will be announced at a later time.
The books are:
My Face is Black Is True, by historian Mary Frances Berry, a biography/history of a post-Civil War reparations organization run by black activist Callie House.
The Street, by Anne Petry, a powerful novel about a woman's life with her young son 1940’s Harlem.
When the Stars Begin to Fall, Overcoming Racism and Renewing the Promise of America by Theodore R. Johnson, a former US Navy commander and currently at the Brennan Center for Justice.
The Sum Of Us, What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee, economist and sociologist formerly with the think-tank Demos.
From the Brookings Institute: Why We Need Reparations for Black Americans
The next regularly scheduled Racial Project Meeting is scheduled for November 9 at 6:30p.
This project will be updated here, in First Announce, on a regular basis, and also available on the church website under the Racial Justice link. Questions? Contact Patrick Whorton at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Racial Justice Project strives to help our congregants educate themselves about current issues of race, racism, white privilege and racial justice and to share with them opportunities to become activists around these issues. We also endeavor to engage our neighboring communities in racial justice work. If you are interested in getting in on the ground floor of this effort, please contact us.
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