Thursday, April 19, 2007

Beautiful Picture of Racial Harmony

Growing up in Mississippi during the 60's and 70's, I saw the very ugly face of racism and felt, in a small way, the hurtfulness of it. We had neighbors in the Ku Klux Klan who wouldn't allow their children to play at our house because my dad taught at the local "black" university. I was called mean names by whites because we had African American friends and had mean things said and done to me by some African Americans because I was white. My dad had to leave a pastoral position because he invited the church's black janitor to attend a service (he was "good enough" to clean the bathrooms, just not "good enough" to worship in the same room ). I've been with a dear African American co-worker at a restaurant and seen how we were given poorer service than all the white patrons and then how the white owner verbally slammed the Black community right to my friend's face.

And of course, we all know of even more horrific acts of violence that went on back then. Its sad and sick and a part of our history that I'm not proud of at all.

We still have our issues and there are still pockets here in the south that are stuck in the past. But I'm proud and pleased to say, that for the most part, we're moving forward. Most of us, blacks and whites alike, are willing to admit that we struggle with prejudice to varying degrees and we need to work to get over it. Inter-racial couples, that used to be NEVER seen in these parts, are now seen almost everytime I go to town. Public schools are no longer legally segregated and even most private schools, many of which started out as "whites only", are now integrated. I no longer know anyone who is in the KKK though as a child, all my neighbors in one particular community BUT 1, were in the klan. White girls have posters of beautifully brown Corbin Bleu hanging in their room. And white rednecks listen to hip hop music. And the most beautiful thing of all to me, is that more and more churches can be found that have people of different ethnic and socio-economic levels worshipping the Lord together.

One of my sweetest homeschool friends is part of an inter-racial family and I recently took a photo of part of their family at our church. When I asked if I could share the photo of them here on the boards, she said "absolutely". I know that many of you struggle either with racist relatives or racism against you and your loved ones personally. I hope that this photo brings some smiles to your heart, hope to your outlook, and is a beautiful reminder that one day EVERY TONGUE AND TRIBE will proclaim He is Lord and that we'll all be unified singing His praises through out eternity! Hallelujah, Praise the Lord!

1 comment:

Drewe Llyn said...

Very beautiful picture! I recall seeing the clan on the courthouse square of Columbia when I was a young teenager. I can still see an elderly black gentleman sitting on a nearby bench. I shouted out the car window, "God loves black people too!" This elderly man looked at me as I rode past and said, "Bless you!" I'm glad we've come such a long way. One of the wonderful things happening in our community, Elysa, is LOCC, Ladies of Clear Branch Praying for Our Community. We generally meet the first Saturday of the month to pray for our area. Who comes? Anyone who wishes to stand in the gap. It is held alternately at Clear Brach BC, Mt. Zion BC, and Brown Hill MBC. (For anyone reading this I'll interpret: Two white and one black congregation!) It is an awesome experience to be among people of color begging the same God to heal our land.

Thanks for sharing that wonderful picture!

P.S. I so love your title: Musings from Graceland!