racial justice church - what's next

We are now a Racial Justice Church based on our vote in June. That vote will be submitted to the UCC and, we hope, recognized after their review. Thank you all for voting in our annual meeting on June 6th!

There are other UCC churches in New Hampshire that are also undertaking the process of study, contemplation and awareness that we have completed. We appreciate the attention, commitment and discovery that the vote of our church community has bestowed on First Church. Thank you all so much for your vision, your attention and your fundamental belief in justice for all people!

The summer is a time of rest and contemplation. We are adding some things to this web page that I hope you will consider and learn from, but we are also not asking for the level of commitment right now that guided us to our vote in June.

The Racial Justice Team is considering “next steps”, a future path forward, and the addition of new materials that we hope will engage and inspire. This summer we hope, however, you will consider listening to some of the Seeing White podcasts. We hope to convene a monthly group discussion and will schedule it through the church bulletin. The link is: https://www.sceneonradio.org/seeing-white/

Educational Recommendations

articles about racism in New Hampshire and elsewhere
Podcasts and other Web-based Opportunities
  • Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson
  • The Cross and the Lynching Tree, by James H. Cone
  • White Too Long, by Robert P Jones
  • How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi
  • The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, by Heather McGhee
  • The Lessons of Ubuntu, by Mark Mathabane
  • My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, by Resmaa Menakem
  • My Vanishing Country: A Memoir, by Bakari Sellers
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander
  • Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race, by Derald Wing Sue
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds
  • Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race, by Debby Irving
  • The Warmth of Other Suns, by Isabel Wilkerson
  • White Fragility , by Robin DiAngelo
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum
  • 13th – Combining archival footage with testimony from activists and scholars, director Ava DuVernay’s examination of the U.S. prison system looks at how the country’s history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America.
  • Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer – This is a new National Geographic Film documenting events in 1919-1921, the racial unrest and multiple massacres that tore our country apart and have subsequently almost been lost to history and covered up by lack of subsequent attention.
  • The Color of Fear – Eight North American men, two African American, two Latinos, two Asian American and two Caucasian were gathered by director Lee Mun Wah, for a dialog about the state of race relations in America as seen through their eyes. The exchanges are sometimes dramatic, and put in plain light the pain caused by racism in North America.
  • Freedom Riders – Freedom Riders is the powerful harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws in order to test and challenge a segregated interstate travel system, the Freedom Riders met with bitter racism and mob violence along the way, sorely testing their belief in nonviolent activism.
  • Just Mercy – A powerful true story that follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his battle for justice as he defends a man sentenced to death despite evidence proving his innocence.
  • Selma – 2014 historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay, based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches.
  • Gather – Gather is an intimate portrait of the growing movement amongst Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food sovereignty, while battling the trauma of centuries of genocide.
  • Suppressed – Suppressed weaves together personal stories from voters across the state of Georgia to paint an undeniable picture of voter suppression in the 2018 midterm election. Stacey Abrams fought to become the first Black female governor in the U.S. while her opponent, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, was in charge of running the election. In a race that was ultimately decided by 54,723 votes, the film exposes that the basic constitutional right to vote continues to be under siege in America.
  • Shadows Fall North – A documentary exploring how a state with the motto “Live Free or Die” and a celebrated history of abolitionism confronts and understands its participation in slavery, segregation and neglect.
  • High on the Hog – This Netflix series tapped years of scholarship and the life experience of its creators to chart how African Americans have shaped the country’s cuisine. Chef and writer Stephen Satterfield traces the delicious, moving throughlines from Africa to Texas in this docuseries.
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