Harmonies of Liberty

February 12th marks the 120th anniversary of the first public performance, by 500 Black school children at the Stanton School in Jacksonville, Florida, of the anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The school principal James Weldon Johnson wrote the words and his brother, Rosamond, set them to … read more.

The Selma Awakening and Unitarian Universalists

My friend and colleague, Mark Morrison-Reed, is a prominent scholar of African-American Unitarian Universalist history. In his book, The Selma Awakening: How the Civil Rights Movement Tested and Changed Unitarian Universalism, Morrison-Reed explores our civil rights activism in Selma, Alabama, in 1965. He feels that this period was a turning point for Unitarian Universalists. “In answering Martin Luther King Jr.’s call to action,” he believes, “they shifted from passing earnest resolutions about racial justice to putting their lives on the line for the cause.” History, in my opinion, is not just a review of the past. When done with an open mind and heart, it places our steps on a trajectory where the past, present, and future compel us forward in some new, determined, and resilient ways. 

The Soul Resilience of Howard Thurman

Howard Thurman was the religious guide for many key figures in the Civil Rights movement and for contemporary spiritually-oriented social activists. His grandmother was enslaved for 20 years, and he considers her one of his most significant teachers because of her resilience and practical wisdom. … read more.