The Maine Conference UCC Anti-Racism Team responds to the recent events in Charlottesville, VA
Civil Rights activist, scholar, and singer Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon once said that the reason “This Little Light of Mine” is such a powerful song in the Black Church tradition is because it is a statement of commitment and recommitment to following Jesus. She called it an “I” song, a song that serves as a declaration of intent to remain dedicated to a cause. Claiming the song means that I am going to walk in hope and justice, loving all whom God loves (which includes everyone). It means that I am going to offer my energy, my well-being, and maybe even my life to do what is right. It means that I will not hide my light in order to get by under the status quo.
This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.
In Charlottesville, Virginia, this past Saturday, when a diverse group of preachers, rabbis, imams, and everyday folks – some were religious, while others claimed no faith tradition at all – wanted to stand up to a group of armed white supremacists, they linked arms and sang “This Little Light of Mine.” They sang their commitment aloud and put their bodies on the line to demonstrate that commitment. Their light would not be overshadowed as it courageously challenged racism, white supremacy, and hate.
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