black history, black lives matter, Christian, faith, freedom, Godliness, gratitude, hope, hope in Christ, hurt, kindness, Kingdom Service, Prejudice, racism, Serving, sonship, the gospel, trusting God, unconditional love
My education of Black History came from those who lived it. I will eternally be thankful for them. My understanding of the events of today is seen through what I know. What I learned most of the kids at school next to me never did, and that is such a shame.
Here’s what I know: we have moved forward, but progress isn’t the same thing as equality. If you think it’s okay to stay silent so others can be comfortable and not have to struggle with inequality, you are wrong. We all have a voice. We all have the ability to challenge the status quo and push toward change.
Joseph Lucas taught me so much. He taught us about his son integrating the Dairy King in Big Lake. He taught us about what it was like to be in the military as a black man and the disparity there. He loved his country, but the whole country he served did not love him. He taught me what it meant to be the new principal at a desegregated school and a black man. He taught me what grace it took to work twice as hard for half as much respect you are due.
Alice Lucas taught me grace. She exuded grace in every smile and word. To this day I remember and love the sound of her voice. She taught me what allies are. Rose McWilliams was the reason she was able to be trained as a nurse. Without her, it wouldn’t have happened. Alice Lucas deserved the opportunity, but without Rose McWilliams, she would not have had it.
Margaret Woodard taught me what it was like to be the first black student to attend the high school in Big Lake; because she was first, I could go too. She was scared and nervous, but she took her place in a moment in history that demanded her courage.
Reverend Hoyle Samuel Smith taught me what it meant to overcome in a time that did not create space for him to succeed. He woke up blind one morning as a child, and had to learn to navigate the world without sight all while still being seen. Watching him love everyone without being able to see them for anything but who they were, showed me what love could be.
These people were kind and loving. They were welcoming to all. Despite that, they were not immune to being seen for their skin color though.
They were called Ni——- and every other slur you can think of. They were not immune from intimidation and racism. They were not safe from the danger of just being alive. They were not allowed to just be the wonderful people they were everywhere they went.
Year after year they taught me a history I would not have known. They challenged us to learn about those who came before and contributed great things to the world. You will not find these names in history books.
Many of you may know the same few names you heard year after year. There’s more. There are more stories that we all need to know. No one should be relegated to anonymity just because of their skin color. So many of my ancestors were over and over again.
I’m proud of the example and education they gave me. I know what I know because of these people who loved me and sang hymns next to me. They loved Jesus and the people around them.
It wounds me so deeply that they weren’t always free to worship next to the people and families they loved and served. They couldn’t join white friends for church or lunch at a restaurant after the services. They couldn’t eat a meal in a restaurant next to the white coworkers they prayed for. They couldn’t just be alive.
I will always deeply love them and be thankful. I will always be thankful for who they were to me. Some of these people didn’t know full equality in their lifetime. I hope to know it in mine.
When people were protesting mandatory quarantine, they did it while screaming in officer’s faces. They did it with AR-15s. They did it with anger over being asked to do what was best to slow a global pandemic. They never saw a drop of tear gas or a rubber bullet. Someday we’ll all have the same right, and that will actually mean something more than a sentiment.