Anti-Racism and Racial Justice Task Force
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Lifting Up All Voices
February is Black History Month. There are two TED talks that are worth listening to, in that they look at a whole history that includes voices of the oppressed and allow people to tell their own stories.
The first is a talk on how Black history may be usurped by white people to make a history palatable; the second one focuses on how white historians have erased Black histories.
”The Real Story of Rosa Parks” is given by David Ikard, Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University, explaining how his son’s teacher had gotten the story of Rosa Parks all wrong. His 9-year-old son said he learned that Rosa Parks was a frail, old Black woman from Alabama. She sat down on the bus because she was tired and refused to get up because she was tired. She marched with Martin Luther King, and she believed in nonviolence. Ikard explains in his talk how he told his son the true story of Rosa Parks, how his son delivered the message to his teacher. Ikard continues his talk about how these myths undermine Black history. Watch the video here
The other TED talk is by Dominque Luster, Archivist of the Teenie Harris Photo Collection at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Luster sees that some people never have their histories told because they are not written, they are neglected, or their perspective is undermined. Archivists and historians make choices, and saving records or recording history is a decision which can either uplift or silence. Watch her video here
I know that archivists are looking at their past practices on how they describe records and looking for what may have been left out. American history is much more compelling and truthful when it includes all voices.
The Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (USA), states that Black Lives Matter. Watch the video below.
The mission of Market Square’s Antiracism & Racial Justice Task Force is to identify and seek to dismantle systemic racism in all areas of congregational life—including worship, education, mission, and governance—both within the church and in the communities it serves.
Define antiracism and racial justice as it relates to Market Square's mission statement: "To proclaim and live the Good News of Jesus Christ by welcoming friend & stranger alike into our diverse and inclusive family of faith regardless of race, class, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or worldly condition of any kind as we celebrate our gifts, work for justice, peace, and a sustainable environment, reach out in mission, and witness to God's transforming love."