“Black History Month is not simply asking, 'How can I remember and learn about black people?' It is all of us asking, 'How can we love black people by seeing them, hearing them, and creating a world where black people feel loved, inspired and protected?'”
—Dante Stewart, author of “Shoutin’ In the Fire: An American Epistle”
While we should honor, celebrate, and fight for black lives every month, we are invited to take the month of February to pause and take a moment to listen, to learn, and to expand our minds and hearts about the history of black people and the continued fight for justice and equality that they face. We are also invited to reflect on how we might participate in embodying the reality that black lives do indeed matter to Jesus and to us.
This year’s Black History Month theme—set by the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH)—is “African Americans and the Arts,” which explores the key influence African Americans have had in the fields of “visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary and other forms of cultural expression."
Here are some resources from friends and organizations that we’ve been involved with that can help you along your journey this month. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need more resources or if you’d like to talk further about how you can get more involved in issues of racial justice and reconciliation here at Bethany and beyond. Contact Marisa Gronholz, Director of Formation & Outreach: email@example.com.
- Seattle Met: Readings, panel discussions, and exhibits on Black history for reflection and learning - click here
- Visit Seattle: A guide for how to make the most of Black History Month in the Emerald City - click here
- Parent Map: Kid-friendly Black History Month events in Seattle - click here
If you are wanting to attend one of these events and would like to invite your Bethany family to join you, consider joining our Bethany Family Connections Group on Facebook (not just for families - anyone from our wider Bethany family is welcome to join!).
- Jemar Tisby – Read his recent CNN Op-Ed piece with some practices for making the most out of the resources available during Black History month and understanding the larger flow of history here. Jemar also has an excellent resource in his newsletter and on his social media platforms. Visit his website to become a paid subscriber to his newsletter and get some incredible content. https://linktr.ee/jemartisby | www.jemartisby.com
- Dominique Gilliard – For age-specific resource lists as well as other curated lists to help us to honor and celebrate all black lives this month and throughout the entire year, click here.
- Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil’s work on racial reconciliation has been a guiding force in our racial justice and reconciliation work at Bethany. Her book, “Roadmap to Reconciliation 2.0” and the coaching and training she has done for our Roadmap Steering Committee leadership is foundational to our life-long work as reconcilers here at Bethany. If you have not read her work, this month would be a great time to do that! We recommend “Roadmap to Reconciliation 2.0” and “Becoming Brave: Finding the Courage to Pursue Racial Justice Now.” www.saltermcneil.com
- Be the Bridge, founded by LaTasha Morrison, has offered biblically-grounded racial reconciliation training to our staff and session and continues to be a great resource for us in this work. There are many great resources on their website for continuing education, but they have a specific focus on Black History Month on their social media accounts. www.bethebridge.com | https://linktr.ee/beabridgebuilder
- Black History Month - You'll find tons of great resources on this website about the history of as well as relevant articles for today’s fight for racial equity. www.blackhistorymonth.gov
To further explore the issues around racial injustice and ways to take action, we've compiled an additional list of resources here.