Why We Say Black Lives Matter

We say Black Lives Matter because, in our nation’s history and even before it began, Black Lives did not and do not matter.

Our response: Black Lives Matter

In 1619 a journal entry recorded that “20 and odd” Angolans, kidnapped by the Portuguese, arrived in the British colony of Virginia and were then bought by English colonists, this is why we say,

Black Lives Matter

Slavery built the south and the wealth of the entire nation, men, women and children were counted as possessions, the same as animals and machinery, this is why we say;

Slavery was active in the northern states, here in New Jersey evidence of slavery has been recorded in history but never taught to natives of the state, this is why we say;

President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation which freed  enslaved people within any State, or designated part of a State in rebellion but he did not go so far as to free enslaved people in the border states loyal to the Union, an omission that angered many abolitionists, this is why we say,

After the Civil War, former Confederate states in 1865 and 1866, they enacted a series of laws known as the Black Codes, which were designed to restrict freed Black peoples’ activity and ensure their availability as a labor force, this is why we say,

When black men were given the right to vote with the passage of the 15th Amendment, the white protective societies that arose during this period—the largest of which was the Ku Klux Klan (KKK)—sought to disenfranchise Black voters by using voter suppression and intimidation as well as more extreme violence. This is why we say,

Thirty-five blocks of the original city center of Tulsa, Oklahoma, largely inhabited by African Americans, were burned during acts of racial violence in May and June of 1921; 300 people are believed to have died, this is why we say,

Separate but equal laws, Jim Crow,  all prevented black people from enjoying full citizenship, this is why we see,

The Tuskegee experiment began in 1932, at a time when there was no known treatment for syphilis, a contagious venereal disease. After being recruited by the promise of free medical care, 600 African American men in Macon County, Alabama were enrolled in the project, which aimed to study the full progression of the disease, this is why we say,

Black veterans were not able to reap the benefits of the GI Bill, education was segregated, redlining was and is still in effect, this is why we say,

Black men, women and children have fought for respect and dignity every moment of every day, this is why we say,

Black trans women are killed more than any other group, this is why we say,

Nearly 40% of missing children in America are Black, even though Black children make up just 14% of the U.S. population. Why do missing Black children seem to receive fewer law enforcement resources and less media attention than white children, this is why we say,

Parents of black men must give “the talk”, this is why we say,

Blacks are killed for walking, for driving, for shopping for looking at homes for sale, for sleeping, this is why we say,

For our sisters and brothers in Sophia, in our sister parish in Rochester, all those involved with Pathways to Prosperity and our sisters and brothers in Voice of the Faithful and RAMP, know of our love and care for them.  May they continue to do good as they follow the Way of Jesus, we pray:

For what else shall we pray?  Allow 4 petitions.

May we find the strength to transform ourselves and our world, so that all may truly live together in justice, peace, and in the fullness of life that has been promised to those who follow Jesus. We pray always in the name of Jesus.  


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