February is the beginning of Black History Month. Over the course of this month, we will explore the contributions of Blacks to our religious life. These contributions take many forms; breaching, biblical scholarship, liturgy, music, and social and spiritual transformation (now known as social justice). Frederick Douglass has been recognized, both during his life and ever since, as one of the greatest Americans. He was one of the most photographed people during the 19th century.
In addition, he was one of the most active voices against slavery. He understood that abolition was freeing black bodies and white souls. Slavery enslaves both the slave and the master. This idea was picked up by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. Their goal was to save the very soul of America. America could not reach her full potential until slavery was abolished and all her citizens had full civil rights. While we had studied how slavery limited blacks, we have not studied how it limited and distorted the self esteem of whites. Low self -esteem can lead to over-compensating and delusions of grandeur (I am a genius/rich/famous).
Do we know anyone like that? This leads us to people who believe in white privilege and white supremacy. Until it is recognized, it can not be changed. We are still carrying on Douglass and King’s mission, saving the soul of America. This is not traditional mission work but progressive, saving one nation at a time, starting with our own. We still have work to do. We are the salt of the earth. Salt saves! Be salty!