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Let me start by saying I represent no church, and I am writing of my own volition. This Sunday, December 14, 2014, scores of Black churches across the country are wearing black in an effort to protest the killings of Black men by police, the obviously ridiculous court rulings, and unjust treatment Black men are subjected to across the country. Churches from Los Angeles (West Angeles Church of God In Christ) to The a Vision Cathedral (formerly The Vision Church) in Atlanta have urged their congregations to come dressed in black.
I have no problem with this at all. At least these churches are showing a degree of social consciousness. However, wearing all black, on Sunday, inside the church walls is not likely to impact a community or city. These folks will leave church, and immediately go back to their usual routines as soon as the door closes behind them. It has already been noted by church goers and non-church goers that the voice of the church regarding this recent slew of injustices has been absent. There has not been a statement from any mega church pastor, singly, nor a joint consensus.
What about wearing all black for a week? Wearing all black to work every day would likely cause co-workers to question, or at the very least spark dialogue that is long overdue on race relations. In the age of social media, churches have several new avenues that would allow their voice to be heard.
Hopefully, the Black church and the Black community at large are not waiting for another Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There has been too much ground lost since his death and he’s not coming back from the dead. Maybe church folks are like the children of Israel, who kept looking for someone to lead them. Maybe they are like Lois Lane, waiting for Superman to come scoop them up. Maybe even Mighty Mouse will come to save the day.
I urge church folks to not be sheeple and wear black one Sunday to church because the Bishop or pastor said so. Take a stand, grand or small. You make a difference. You are the revolution – the change needed. Complacency will only give way to further unrest. If we thought the pictures, print and videos from the Civil Rights movement of the 60s was brutal, we haven’t seen anything yet.
By Hartsel C. Shirley