The transfiguration is the literal depiction of how love, personified in Jesus, rises above the limitations of the law, and removes the veil of political correctness, racial tolerance, indifference, race, religion, gender, and all the other things that influence the way we view and treat ‘other’ people. That, dear sisters and brothers in Christ, is the connection between Jesus’ transfiguration and the stories we tell during Black History Month.
Storytelling can be hard. It is uncomfortable to recount the acts of injustice, the cruelty of slavery and the complex issues of race relations. It is important to tell the story of Black people as it is intertwined with the story of all of us here in North America. And yes, telling the story of slavery is still relevant as we are living with the legacy of slavery.
The shameful history of racism against Black people in the Worldwide Anglican Church is well documented. The Anglican Church was part of the oppressive colonial government institutions and made no attempt prior to the early to mid-19th century to declare abhorrence of slavery and racial discrimination. It was only in 2006, less than 20 years ago, that the Anglican Church through the Archbishop of Canterbury finally faced the truth of its history and issued a formal apology for the role it played in slavery and the consequent oppression of Black people in the Caribbean.
Many of us find it very uncomfortable to listen to the facts and take action to redress racism. Sometimes guilt, pain and personal agendas are involved in the positions taken. Focus on solutions to make the world a better place by providing comfortable spaces for all of us.