I had a nice conversation today with another UUCJ member about Patricia Ice’s talk on Black Pioneers in a White Denomination last Sunday. The other member didn’t go with the Lunch Bunch last week, but knew that I did. She asked “Well, did her talk stimulate any discussion at lunch?” and I had to admit that it didn’t. At the time, I was too focused on my Aladdin‘s gyro and Lebna to notice, but in retrospect I don’t remember anyone–including me–saying a word about it. Why?
The stories of Ethelred Brown and Lewis A. McGee are thrilling and inspiring to me. I’d made a special point of coming that day to hear Patricia’s talk, but at lunch I didn’t even think to bring it up. Why?
I’m in the hood, I’m in the block
N1gg3rs you can suck my cock!
Maybe I felt that showing up at service and just hearing someone else talking about something I care about was enough to pacify my mind into a kind of smug complacency. Maybe as one of the handful of Black members at the church, I didn’t want to bring it up for fear of having to assume the burden of being some kind of racial hall monitor for our congregation. Even so, I should have said something. I should have thought to say something. Brown and McGee cared enough about the Unitarian church and its principles to risk everything to come start a congregation in a foreign country and to violate federal law, respectively. Couldn’t I have stopped chewing for long enough to get a conversation started?