Celebrating Black History Month

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
– George Santayana, Spanish and American philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist.

What is Black History Month? 

In 1976, President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Click here for an explanation from Gail Bindley-Taylor about Black History Month in general and how St. Paul’s is recognizing these accomplishments this year. 

Reflections from Parishioners 

  • “What do we even mean when we say “Black History?”  Whose history? How many Black historians and scholars have written the ‘American History’ that students study today?  Why is so much of that actual history – the parts not in the history books – so completely unfamiliar to so many people like myself at St. Paul’s?  Paul Carling
  • “… learning from history should help prepare us for what might lie in the future. Learning from our past mistakes should make us better people. But what if the history you have been taught is biased and full of convenient omissions?” Dulce Weigel

Learning the History of St. Paul’s

The St. Paul’s History Project is meeting regularly to discover the whole history of the parish. Use this link to learn more. 

Learning the History of the Larger Church

The archives of the Episcopal Church offer us many resources for learning more about the African American experience and contribution to the Episcopal Church in the United States:

The Union of Black Episcopalians –  one of the organizations that has made, and continues to make, a contribution to the life of the Episcopal Church and has built a tradition of Black leadership in the Episcopal Church for more than 200 years. 

Celebrating History Together
The Racial Healing, Justice & Reconciliation Network of the Episcopal Church in CT hosted  a worship service celebrating the life and legacy of the first African-American Episcopal priest. Click the picture below for more about this wonderful service.

Joining Our Neighbors

  •  All area youth  are invited to  with community leaders for three sessions on Wednesday evenings in March 2023 to learn about slavery in New England.  Click the image below for more details.                                 
  • Click here for information Black History Month offerings from The First Congregational Church on the Green

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Addressing racism and dismantling white privilege

Please, Stop with the Outrage – a blog by The Rev. Gayle Fisher-Stewart

Resources for students:

American Addiction Centers, A Guide to Addiction and Recovery for African Americans
The Summit Wellness Group, mental health and substance use resources for the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community
Mental Health Issues Facing the Black Community
The Episcopal Church’s Lost Causism, recommended by Wally Frey
Black Owned Business Guide support Black owned Businesses in CT
Racial Justice Bookshelf: buy antiracist resources from Black-owned bookstores
Becoming Less Defensive About White Privilege, by Peter W. Marty, recommended by Mother Louise
I’m white, I’m privileged, and I’m a Christian. Now what? by Vance Morgan, recommended by Mother Louise
Co-Creating a New America: Getting Beyond Racism by Remaking Religion by Ilia Delio, recommended by Lilian Revel
Racism is the temptation white people have yet to overcome by Joan Chittister, recommended by Mother Louise
Instead of ‘we can no longer be silent,’ try ‘we got it wrong’ by Marc Antoine Lavarin, recommended by Mother Louise
Where Do We Go from Here? 
with Oprah Winfrey, Part 1 and Part 2, recommended by the Race and Social Justice Coalition
Performative allyship is deadly (here’s what to do instead) by Holiday Phillips
“Be wary of things that are purely symbolic”: How to join the conversation on race, a conversation with Ijeoma Oluo
A reflection on dismantling white supremacy and racism by Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis
Social Justice Curricular Resources for K-12
Resources and Organizations to Support from the Episcopal Church in Connecticut
Uncomfortable conversations with a black man on YouTube, recommended by Barb Mortimer
Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources recommended by Fr. Daniel
75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice by Corinne Shutack, recommended by Fr. Daniel
The assumptions of white privilege and what we can do about it by Bryan Massingale, recommended by Mthr. Louise
For our white friends desiring to be allies by Courtney Ariel, recommended by Mthr. Louise
There Is No Such Thing as a ‘White Ally’, by Catherine Pugh, Esq.

This list has been created by the members of St. Paul’s and reflects their personal interests. St. Paul’s reserves the right to curate this list’s contents to best reflect the general perspective and needs of the St. Paul’s community. If you would like to submit something to this list, please send it to resources@stpaulsnorwalk.org.

“We can only work for a better future if we truly understand our past and one of the things Black
History Month offers us is an opportunity to do just that. With this in mind we are offering to
our community resources which you can explore for yourself to learn what you do not know and
to reflect on how that can influence how you walk in the world”.  – The National Church

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