Sacred Ground Session 4: Transatlantic Slave Trade and Slavery: Exploring Black History

Key Resources for participants to view/read prior to Session 4

  1. Session themes & overview from the author

https://episcopalchurch.org/sacred-ground/session-four

  • Core book: Waking up White Chapter 11; Questions: 1) What’s one “aha” moment from this reading that we can share with our Dialogue Circles? 2) How does it relate to Irving’s question about the ease of attaining tangible and intangible aspects of our lives? (work, sense of belonging, social connections, choice, education, healthy food, legal protection, housing, transportation, medical care)
  • Core book: Jesus & the Disinherited, Chapter 1 (up to paragraph “in the face of these alternatives…” p 17 of 1996 paperback edition) Question: 1) How does Dr Thurman’s description of Jesus as a “poor, Palestinian Jew” resonate with our understanding of who Jesus was/is? 

“The basic fact is that Christianity as it was born in the mind of this Jewish teacher and thinker appears as a technique of survival for the oppressed. That it became, through the intervening years, a religion of the powerful and the dominant, used sometimes as an instrument of oppression, must not tempt us into believing that it was thus in the mind and life of Jesus.” P19

  • Essay: White Man’s Guilt by James Baldwin in Ebony magazine. NOTE: this article doesn’t appear to be printable, so you must read it on-line) Question: What examples from this 1965 essay do we find that resonate with the current state of race relations in our country? With our own feelings of being “impaled”? (connect to Katrina Brown’s description in the Author’s Notes about “wanting to be liked.”) https://episcopalchurch.org/sacred-ground/session-four

Session 4 Agenda

7:00     Opening Prayer acknowledging the Indigenous people on whose land we live.

7:05     SHOW: Truth & Reconciliation Pilgrimage to Ghana: Bishop Curry & Labyrinth 

Whole Group reflection/discussion on Truth & Reconciliation Pilgrimage to Ghana & PBS Documentary“The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr, Episode 1: the Black Atlantic: 1500-1800making connection to the BBC Labyrinth Quadrant of “Telling the Truth” (What emotions did you feel watching these videos? What history did you learn that you hadn’t been aware of? Did any of the history covered tie to your family history in some way?

7:25     SHOW “Truth & Reconciliation Pilgrimage to Ghana: Bishop Waldo

7:40     BREAK-OUT ROOMS: Dialogue Circles

Topic: Understanding Systemic Racism

1) What’s one “aha” moment from the Irving and Baldwin readings that we can share with our Dialogue Circles? 2) How does it relate to Irving’s question about the ease of attaining tangible and intangible aspects of our lives? (work, sense of belonging, social connections, choice, education, healthy food, legal protection, housing, transportation, medical care)

(On-going questions: What stereotypes about people of another race do you recall hearing and believing as a child? Were you ever encouraged to question stereotypes in school, at home or in church? For whom do you feel empathy? Judgement? Why?)

8:10     Whole Group Share-Out from Dialogue Circles

8:15     Instruction & Whole Group Share-Out: Where is Jesus in all of this? Howard Thurman and “Jesus & the Disinherited” (Heather)

8:25     Housekeeping & what’s next

8:30     Closing Prayer

SHOW: Prayer from The Diocesan Commission to End Racism, of West Virginia 

“O God of liberty and justice: we live in a nation in which the institution of human bondage was once a legal and accepted practice. We give thanks for those who worked and fought, at great personal sacrifice, to bring about an end to that cruel and oppressive system in our own land, and we pray that governments and authorities everywhere in the world might be led to make a quick end to the enslavement of any human being, throughout the Earth. Amen.