February is known as “Black History Month” in the United States and Canada. It is a time for remembering and raising awareness of important figures and events in the history of people of African descent. The annual celebration includes festivals, public forums, and celebrations across North America.
But too often, the contributions of black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and same-gender loving people are left out of the picture. From civil rights leader Bayard Rustin to writer James Baldwin to community and church organizer Mandy Carter, black LGBT people have enriched our nation and all our lives.
During February, ReconcilingWorks will lift up facets of this history as part of our work to create safe space for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and their families to worship and thrive in community. Recounting our shared history helps inform our efforts to dismantle injustice based on the often complex, interrelated combinations sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, ethnicity, and other social categories.
Sadly, we know the divisions, misunderstandings, and injustices within the beloved community are not merely historical. They are all too real in the present day. As a predominantly white organization, working within a North American Lutheran context that is overwhelming white, ReconcilingWorks pledges to stand in solidarity and build coalitions with all those working to create a church and a world where all may worship and thrive.