Black Lives Matter

Our Commitment to the Protection and Promotion of Black Lives and Black Rights.

Our church was organized and established on March 23, 1847, by 48 men and women of faith who left the local Presbyterian Church in order to take a stronger stand against “Negro slavery.”   Hence, our Church’s fundamental roots are in protesting the inequitable treatment of Black Americans, while upholding the theological belief that all people are created as equals in God’s holy image. Furthermore, we believe in God, whose love is limitless, who loves justice and righteousness, and who calls us to love and care for “the least, the lost, and the left out.”  Therefore, as a church, we seek to love, serve, and work for freedom, wholeness, and justice for all persons.

Lately, we have been learning that, for far too long, Black Americans have been disproportionately arrested, tried, convicted, given maximum penalties, and have even died at the hands of a justice system that is supposed to protect them and their inalienable rights as Americans. Racism, like a disease, has permeated every corner of our society, often in ways, we simply don’t notice or see.  However, at this time, we see a very clear need for our voice to be loud in condemning the evils of racism and uplifting the truth that Black Lives Matter.

At FCC, we are committed to advocacy and continued education through our faith, through open and frank conversations, through social activism, and through listening and learning. Likewise, we are currently developing programs and opportunities for adults and children specifically geared towards highlighting the problem of racism in our country and what we can do and utilize to be a part of the solution.

Please join us on this journey as we seek to lift up, reach out to, and care for our Black brothers and sisters during this very difficult time.  Our Church’s legacy leaves us no other option!

An Open Letter to The Church by Reverend Robert K. Livingston

Sermon by Reverend Darcy Crain

Resources

As FCC responds in action and prayer to the movement of Black Lives Matter, many have asked for specific responses to help make us better-informed allies and advocates. Here is a brief collection of resources that leaders and lay members of our church family have found helpful. 

Books

I’m Still Here, Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, Austin Channing Brown

White Fragility, Robin DiAngelo 

When They Call You A Terrorist by Patrisse Cullors 

Dear Church: A Love Letter From A Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in America by Lenny Duncan.

Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The New Jim Crow; Mass Incarceration in The Age Of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

Just mercy; A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

White Guilt (How blacks and whites together destroyed the promised of the civil rights era) by Shelby Steele.

Tears We Cannot Stop, A Sermon to White America by Rev Michael Eric Dyson

How to be an Antiracist by Ibram Kendi

Also, memoirs written by black authors are always incredible teachers: 

Becoming, Michelle Obama

My Vanishing Country, Bakari Sellers

Fire Shut Up in My Bones, Charles blow

Negroland: A Memoir, Margo Jefferson

The Yellow House, Sarah Broom

The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed

Writings by Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, James McBride, John Lewis, Frederick Douglas and Martin Luther King, Jr. are also helpful.

Social Media

Not sure where to start? Take each of those author’s names and follow them. Move them to the top of your news feed. Follow black artists, speakers, authors, creators, and musicians. Facebook will continue to suggest people and pages to follow based on your interests and who you already follow. By following black leaders you will have access to learn about more black voices. 

Sharing is caring. If you see posts, videos, or literature on social media from black leaders that inspires you or touches you in some way be sure to widen their reach by sharing their content. Share content that amplifies black voices to keep the conversation and education on going.

Podcasts

Side Effects of White Women Podcast Episode with Amanda Seales 

Code Switch podcast A Decade on Watching Black People Die

Still Processing episode on Kaepernick 

Race and Parenting: Parenting forward (Cindy Wang Brandt) 

Teaching the next generation

A comprehensive website for parents on how to talk about race with your family:

https://www.prettygooddesign.org/blog/

Media

TedX Talks in Ann Arbor, Michigan featuring FCC Member Peri Patterson

Things Not to Say to Someone of Mixed Race

Emailed Equity Challenge

5 Day Equity Challenge is put together by the Washtenaw United Way. You receive an email for 5 days giving you a choice of things to watch or read and takes about 15 minutes.  It examines the history of racism in Washtenaw County and ties it to the Covid pandemic’s impact.  There is also a 21-day challenge on the same site if you want to continue.

https://www.uwwashtenaw.org/equity