ANTIRACIST ADJUSTMENT FOR THE WEEK of 3/21/2021
“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God” Micah 6:8
The historical narrative of the United States, generally provided in numerous school systems, seems to be slanted in favor of white achievement and perspectives. As noted by Debby Irving, the author of “Waking Up White,” in the following video, the American past is often presented as a whites-only affair with little mention of people of color. The status of our country tends to be linked to the adventurous spirit of white men and to the culmination of a Northern European Protestant destiny. Textbooks present a white-washed history which overlooks the many atrocities inflicted onto people of color by the white majority such as lynching as a terrorist tactic, massacres of entire populations at Wounded Knee and Tulsa and ongoing racially motivated attacks. It also overlooks the many accomplishments and innovations of non-white individuals.
A corrective to our usual storyline is a recent animated musical series, “The History of White People in America.” A venture of the American public broadcast World Channel, the series provides a window into the crafting of whiteness, beginning in the 17th century, which helped to shape our nation’s history. It also highlights the wide-ranging ramifications on social class and life experience to this day.
Jazz singer, Nnenna Freelon, who lends her voice as Sally Hemmings, offers her perspective on the series, its unique presentation style and its alternative historical lens to various events throughout our recorded narrative.
Until all voices are included in the American story, we are destined to have a distorted view of our history and an inaccurate accounting of the consequences of white hostile actions on “the other”.
As you settle your body after this week’s offering, remember to pay attention to the sensations that arise in your body and to where they are located. Do you feel agitation, constriction, release, pressure, energy, numbness, relaxation, warmth, coolness, softness, tightness? Accept any discomfort and notice when it changes. Stay present with your experiences of ambiguity and uncertainty. No judgment or analysis, just observe and then move your body to release any remaining energy if needed. (“My Grandmother’s Hands “ page 168)
Please feel free to forward any thoughts to me at the email listed below or by requesting to join the private Facebook group Antiracist Adjustments with the following link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1819196591561542/?ref=share .
Blessings as you continue your antiracism spiritual practice. (submitted by Pat Deeney, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Trenton NJ, email@example.com)