Racism and White Privilege
On the weekend of May 4-6 the Committee invited Christopher D. Sims, poet, activist, and lay minister to speak to the community about the importance of supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. This event was the culmination of a great many efforts on the part of Committee members to address the issue of racism, here in town, at the high school and in the state. The Marblehead Racial Justice Team, which includes many members from the Committee, has organized several educational events at the high school. Three members of the Committee have led monthly discussions about race at the library for close to a year which continue to be well attended.
It was decided by the Social Action Committee that we should display a Black Lives Matter banner on our church. The church's Board of Trustees invited feedback and discussion within the church community and ultimately a congregational meeting voted to display the banner. On the 6th, the banner was dedicated with participation from Rev. Andre Bennett from Zion Baptist Church in Lynn, Rev. Ross Johnson of the Marblehead Methodist Church, Fuwaz Abusharckh of the Islamic Society of Salem, in addition to Rev. Wendy and Nikki Moore. Many members of the Essex County Community Organization attended. Afterwards Christopher D. Sims led us in a conversation about the meanings, public and private, of displaying the banner on our church.
Several members of our church community were involved in the Marblehead Racial Justice Team and were responsible for several events including a town wide showing of the documentary Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North wherein filmmaker Katrina Browne discovers that her New England ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. She and nine cousins retrace the Triangle Trade and gain powerful new perspectives on the black/white divide. Also, the Team prepared for a second showing of Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible with conversation facilitated by Rev. Wendy and Nikki Moore. The Team also coordinated an event where Debby Irving, author of Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race made a presentation at Marblehead High School.