The Care and Feeding of Black Children’s Souls

I’ve been thinking about my motherhood options lately. And while I have been thinking about the usual things that come along with parenthood, I’ve been stuck on the matter of church. Not whether or not they would be raised in church (they would), but whether or not I would raise them in an Unitarian Universalist church. I have come to the conclusion that in good conscience, there is no way I can raise any children that come into my life in a Unitarian Universalist church.

I know that a good deal of this stems from my childhood in church. I was raised in a wonderful black church and have more aunts and uncles and grandmothers and grandfathers and cousins [fictive kinship, not blood kinship] than any one girl should have.  That church was a sanctuary to me. It was a place where I saw people who made a way out of no way. These are the people who showed me and my cousins (both blood and fictive) how to navigate being strong black people in a society that often holds us in contempt. These people showed me the varieties of black religious experience. It is because of them, and their love and care, that I came to Unitarian Universalism.

It’s dangerous for black children in America. From criminal justice to education we are being shown time and time again just how little black life is actually valued. I need the church my children grow up in to help them “pull on the full armor of God” in order to face that.

I cannot entrust an Unitarian Universalist church with the care and feeding of my black children’s souls. Most of them are not prepared for it.

The question is….will most of them ever be prepared for it?



3 thoughts on “The Care and Feeding of Black Children’s Souls

  1. I tried to give my children exposure to different spiritual paths during childhood….we once had folk from the Jesus Christ Lightning Amen group in our home for several hours. Gave them exposure to Mahikari–a shinto group in Atlanta in 1988. Interracial churches are another option. If children are exposed to a variety of religious expressions they have a more nuanced view–I would hope–as they mature.

    • This is not what I’m talking about. UU churches actually expose children to varieties of religious expression fairly well, if not perfectly (which could never happen). And the actual number of interracial churches is smaller than most people think, despite the press that they get.

      I am not talking about spiritual paths exposure. I am talking about sanctuary and psychic encouragement to face an often unrelenting assault from the wider society.

      • One of my brothers helped establish an interracial church in Tennessee in the 1970s–it never even appeared on the radar screen of a nearby UU church. Not even in 2015.Hopefully with a growing awareness of the plight of blacks, things may slowly improve. Nonetheless injustice persists.”Power does not separate itself from injustice. Good power is the healthy and careful administration of injustice.” (Albert Camus) Nietzsche probably would concur with Camus, but most of us would not. We would rather wear our rose- colored Philippians 4:8 eyeglasses

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