Chalice Lighting: Celebrating The Perseverance of Black People
We light this chalice to celebrate the perseverance of black people. February is black history month and we honor this. I’ve got to ask – though – If February is black history month – Which month is White history month? Depending on who you ask, every month is white history month. Every second of every day is permeated with whiteness. White beauty is the standard. White ideas and perspectives are the norm. White historical figures are the focus on most pages on our school history books. We celebrate whiteness and the achievements of white people every day, whether we realize it or not. All of this makes white history month unnecessary. This is why we light the chalice this February to celebrate Black history month.
Black people, black opinions, black accomplishments, black everything is underrepresented in our day to day lives. Underrepresented in our history books. Not only is it underrepresented, but it is also almost always Misrepresented and inaccurate. Or it just doesn’t say the whole truth. Why are the bad guys in movies almost always the darker skinned character? Even in cartons – the bad character is always drawn darker. Why are black women usually characterized as angry or aggressive? Why are black men often portrayed as dangerous, mystical, or animalistic?
Celebrating black history gives black people an opportunity to tell our own story. To speak up against mischaracterization and stereotypes. To remind and point out our contributions to society.
We need to stop blinding ourselves to the fact that black and white people started the race in different spots. How can black people make any progress when we were chained? Once the chains of slavery were removed, the grip of fear continued to keep us from progressing. When our determination overcame our fear, law and policies were put in place to keep black people out of prosperity even if they had the audacity to try.
This month we light our chalice to celebrate black history and the perseverance of a people who REFUSE to submit quietly to inhumanity. Who REFUSE to be silenced. Who REFUSE the lie that they are not worthy. Black people – Who continue to rise, despite obstacles and assaults against their inherent value and dignity. Amen.