Black Lives Matter

    Culture

    It is my sincere hope that I could write with honesty and integrity.

    Another black man has been gunned down by a police officer. I am so weary I don’t watch the videos.

    History of Injustice

    Because this is my second year homeschooling, I am learning history anew. Last year, we covered the 1800’s, and this year we cover the 1900’s to present day. At the end of last year, we looked the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. This year, we’ve covered WWI and the Roaring Twenties. The time line is 100 years ago. I’m struck by the racial tension 100 years ago; it is not unlike the racial tension we are experiencing today. This is a thread of hope to me.

    WWI propaganda noted the racial tension in America and made political cartoons that grieve my heart. One in particular was the Nazi party’s attempt to portray Americans as money hungry and racist. I would post the image here, but I really don’t want it associated with my blog. Racism was depicted in the form of our treatment of Native Americans, slaves, rise of KKK, and even antisemitism.

    The Roaring Twenties brought with it prohibition, women’s right to vote (yes, less than 100 years we’ve voted), KKK, the rise of movies, radio, baseball, the Negro League, and the age of Jazz. We watched Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, and the kids wanted to know why I cried. I cried because I couldn’t understand the beauty of the black man playing/singing jazz and the white man wanting to end black lives and something so beautiful. {Just think of blacks rights in the 1920’s and Louis Armstrong singing, What a Wonderful World which was recorded in ’67. It is a powerful thought.}

    Black Lives Matter

    I am driven in all that I do by the belief that all lives matter, yet I am sensitive enough to know that blacks need to specifically know that black lives matter. This is true regardless of whether we agree with all the propaganda behind the Black Lives Matter movement.

    The problem is that I don’t know if my words really matter. Does it matter that I say black lives matter if I don’t have any black friends? And by friend, I mean someone I do life with on a regular, active basis. For all purposes of honesty, I have no one that I do life with at the moment, outside of my family of 5. I know it is unhealthy, but it is where God has me.

    How My Life Work Intersects this Injustice

    My life is small. My social circle is smaller, and on most days, I struggle to believe that I matter. I live in an area among white people. Many days the only humans I see are the ones that live here.

    I wanted my work to be about social justice or missions, and for those I come in contact with, I try to love well. But I don’t think I often hit the mark.

    The work I’ve been given is my kids. Right now the Lord has me cocooned. (I don’t find this an excuse for my lack of black sisters in my life. I am trying to work on it, but it is slow.) Many days I struggle to see the fruit of my labor. He’s called me not to grow weary in doing good, so I do the work. He’s promised me that I will reap a Harvest. (Maybe three kids will grow into people who love people. I can hope.)

    black lives matter

    Hope for Change

    I guess that’s why, ultimately, this white girl in suburban Alabama, in Birmingham of all places, keeps saying black lives matter even though my words feel small and it seems no one is listening or no one cares. It’s not much different than the daily work I do with my kids. So I talk to them about brown skinned folks, and they see me laugh, smile, and love those we meet to the best of my abilities. One little seed.

    I don’t just have faith that change is coming. I know it. History repeats and grows, and in studying it, I know something will come out of this tension. As an engineer, tension causes things to change or break and repairs must be made. Rebuilding will happen.

    I don’t know what it is to be black. I believe Jesus understands the plight of the black man. He was spat upon, belittled, discounted, believed to be less than He was. Battered and bruised, He took the Cross. Slavery ended 150 years ago, and it takes a long time to remove the chains of injustice. But Jesus’s work on the Cross was to set the captives free. If we follow Him, how can this not be part of our work too? That we may be free indeed. The hope of glory. Heart break gone. No more deaths. No more pain and weary bones.

     

    I highly encourage you to read Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

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