Course: Anti-Black Racism in the U.S. and Building a Unified Society (Summer 2021)
Faculty Mentor: Carol Mansour
by Nicola Daniels
One of the west coast participants in our course on Anti-Black Racism emailed the Wilmette Institute some information on community projects arising from the course and from continuing study of materials that the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the US has shared on the topic of racial justice. This community is on the West coast, and consists of about thirty active Bahá’ís. Here are some of the activities they have recently undertaken.
1) A book club to study selected texts on the topic of racial justice.
2) An initiative to regularly include African and African-American music in the devotional portion of 19 day Feasts and other gatherings.
3) A series of slide shows on the lives of some of the early African American Bahá’ís, which are being shared during the consultation portion of 19 day Feasts.
The slide shows were researched and prepared by different community members. An image of one slide from each slide show is shared below. The series features information on Dizzy Gillespie, Dorothy Champ, Elsie Austin, George W. Henderson, Hazel Scott, Louis G. Gregory, Robert Turner, Sadie Oglesby, and Sadie Rebecca Ellis.
According to the participant, these initiatives have led to “deeper conversations on racial justice and a normalizing of the act of talking about race.”