When Affirmative Action Was White…or, Nothing’s Changing Until White People Do the Basic Reading

I have some speaking engagements coming up and I’m re-reading some writings that matter to me as a way of setting my mind in the direction I need to go. This re-reading got me to thinking.

Dismantling white supremacy takes some basic knowledge. The longer I am around liberal/progressive whites, one thing becomes patently clear: white people haven’t done the basic reading. And nothing is going to change until that changes.

Why? Because the ignorance of basic history gets in the way of proper analysis of the current situation.

Take the book that is the title of this post. How many of you have read it?

How many of you have read How the Irish Became White?

(for those of you who are part of one of my religious affiliations) How many of you have read Frances Ellen Watkins Harper? And why is she talked about more in non-liberal religious circles than she is within?

Do you know who Anna Julia Cooper is without going to Google?

(and for God’s sake) Have you read Du Bois?

Nothing is going to change until the majority of white people (especially those who say they are liberal/progressive) do the basic reading. Otherwise, we will continue to stay in the “Anti-Racism 101” loop.

This is not the last time I’ll talk about the basic reading, but that’s it for now.

Can White Congregations Honor Black History Month Authentically?

Happy Black History Month everybody.

Unlike King Sunday in January where I know that white ministers and congregations are going to at least nominally acknowledge the day, I don’t hear about white ministers or congregations doing much  in the way of recognizing Black History Month. And it makes me wonder…..

Can white congregations honor Black History Month authentically?

And by authentically I mean anything other than (badly) singing a gospel song or two.

‘Cuz let’s be honest….how many denominations in the U.S. split (or nearly split) because of slavery and the Civil War? How many denominations only stayed together because they completely avoided the issues? How many white congregations had “Negro sections” in their sanctuaries?

How many white religious people know why Black denominations (AME, AMEZion, CME, NBC, etc.) exist?

How many white religious people know about the pioneering Black religious people in their denominations?

How often are any of these subjects brought up from the pulpit?

So I”m back at my question…can white congregations honor Black History Month authentically?