If things go as planned, I’m going to do something this weekend that I haven’t done in years…..set foot in a UU church on MLK Jr. Sunday. anyway…
I think about movement work a lot.
King is such a overwhelming figure that so often it is overlooked that it was women–Black women–who sustained the Civil Rights Movement. Women like Coretta Scott King (who was an activist in her own right). Ella Baker. Rosa Parks (you know she had a life before refusing to give up that seat on the bus, right?). Fannie Lou Hamer. Pauli Murray. Amelia Boynton. and so many others whose names are only minorly known.
Even more, how about women like Ida B. Wells, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (a Unitarian), Fannie Barrier Williams (a Unitarian), Nannie Burroughs, Mary Church Terrell, Sadie T.M. Alexander; women who are in those generations before the 50s/60s CRM?
So if you are a UU minister still trying to figure out what to say on Sunday, why not try to talk about some of these women. Or talk about how Black women (especially queer and trans Black women) are generally the hardest hit by white supremacy. How, often, Black women are expected to stand up for everybody else yet nobody stands for them when they need it.
Black women have been doing the work of movement making and movement sustaining forever. On this King weekend, while he is getting most of the attention, take some time to remember who was there with him and isn’t getting the attention they deserve. As the title of the book says, (All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men) But Some of Us Are Brave.