with MCC Richmond!

During the month of February, we celebrate Black History Month which serves to bring awareness, education, understanding and the journey of persons of African Descent. As people of faith we hope this month will provide an opportunity for us to experience Black History from new perspectives and an understanding that Black History is Everyone’s History.

 

Black History is more than a recognition of past icons in Black Culture: it is an ongoing celebration of all achievements and positive contributions to society. It is also a recognition of the long and painful experience of Black people in America and the obstacles many have endured and overcome.

 

Please join us each Sunday in February as we highlight the ministry and work done by peoples of African descent within our community and throughout our world. Be sure to return to this page in the days ahead for a complete list of honorees.

February 2021

Perspectives on Black History Month 2021

Sunday, February 7, 2021 - Calvin Wills, Jr.

Sunday, February 14, 2021 - Henry Quintana-Branch

Sunday, February 21, 2021 - Georgia Thweatt-Johnson

Sunday, February 28, 2021 - Mo Southall

Sunday, March 7, 2021 - MJ Simmons

Sunday, March 14, 2021 - Georgia Thweatt-Johnson

February 2020

We are blessed to learn from and be empowered by the example and many contributions of our Black siblings within our congregation, our community and the world. As you read the following portions of speeches, teaching, poetry and quotes, celebrate the thoughts, insight, challenges, life and legacy of each author. Allow yourself the freedom to let these words touch your heart and soul. Give thought to the ways God is wanting to bring blessing, healing, new perspective and clearer vision of your life, attitudes and ministry. Be open to the new ways God is present through these words touching your heart and life.

 

Join in giving thanks for the authentic vulnerability, bravery, transparency, wisdom and blessedness of our siblings of African Descent. Thanks be to God!

~ Maya Angelou

Caged Bird

A free bird leaps

on the back of the wind

and floats downstream

till the current ends

and dips his wing

in the orange sun rays

and dares to claim the sky.

 

But a bird that stalks

down his narrow cage

can seldom see through

his bars of rage

his wings are clipped and

his feet are tied

so he opens his throat to sing.

 

The caged bird sings

with a fearful trill

of things unknown

but longed for still

and his tune is heard

on the distant hill

for the caged bird

sings of freedom.

 

The free bird thinks of another breeze

and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees

and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn

and he names the sky his own

 

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams

his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream

his wings are clipped and his feet are tied

so he opens his throat to sing.

 

The caged bird sings

with a fearful trill

of things unknown

but longed for still

and his tune is heard

on the distant hill

for the caged bird

sings of freedom.

 

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. 

~ President Barack Obama, quotes from The Audacity of Hope

 

Hope — Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope! In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation. A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead.

 

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

 

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non­believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth? and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass, that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve, that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself, and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

 

 

~ Ella Fitzgerald

Just don’t give up what you’re trying to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.

 

 

~ Booker T. Washington

 

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.

 

~ Coretta Scott King

 

Hate is too great a burden to bear. It injures the hater more than it injures the hated.

 

~ Rev., Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

The time is always right to do what is right.

 

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

 

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

~ Franklin Thomas, activist, philanthropist, and former president of the Ford Foundation

 

One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.

 

~ Rosa Parks - the United States Congress has called Rosa Parks the first lady of civil rights and the mother of the freedom movement.

 

I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.

 

Each person must live their life as a model for others.

 

I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free... so other people would be also free.

 

All I was doing was trying to get home from work.

 

I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people.

~ Sojourner Truth

Do For me God

Oh, God, you know I have no money, but you can make the people do for me,

and you must make the people do for me. I will never give you peace till you do, God.

Truth is powerful and it prevails.

~ Howard Thurman, from "Meditations of the Heart"

Lord, Lord, Open Unto Me

Open unto me, light for my darkness
Open unto me, courage for my fear
Open unto me, hope for my despair
Open unto me, peace for my turmoil
Open unto me, joy for my sorrow
Open unto me, strength for my weakness
Open unto me, wisdom for my confusion
Open unto me, forgiveness for my sins
Open unto me, tenderness for my toughness
Open unto me, love for my hates
Open unto me, Thy Self for myself
Lord, Lord, open unto me!   -Howard Thurman, from "Meditations of the Heart"
 

~ Nelson Mandela

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

 

~ William Lloyd Garrison

Wherever there is a human being, I see God-given rights inherent in that being, whatever may be the sex or complexion.

 

~ Michelle Obama

 

Our motto is, when they go low, we go high.

 

You’re important in your own right. People need to value you because of who you are, because of your story. Because of your challenges. That's what makes you unique. You know? You wanna be different, you wanna be special. The fact that you’ve been able to overcome challenges - and this is what I’ve always thought - that made me smarter. That made me better because I could overcome things that a lot of people who were in the same position never had to overcome.

 

I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.

 

~ Carol Moseley-Braun, politician and lawyer


Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the most difficult challenges I face.

-Desmond Tutu


My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.

~ W.E.B. Du Bois

 

The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.

 

 

~ Dr. Mae Jemison, first African-American female astronaut

 

Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.

February 2019

file-photo-of-rosa-parks-at-medal-ceremo
Sunday, February 3, 2019
Rosa Parks

Selected words from Rosa Parks:

 

I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.

 

Each person must live their life as a model for others.

 

I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free... so other people would be also free.

 

All I was doing was trying to get home from work.

 

I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people.

 

Rosa Parks was an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. By refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus in 1955, Rosa helped initiate the civil rights movement. The leaders of the local black community organized a bus boycott that began the day Rosa was convicted of violating the segregation laws. The boycott lasted more than a year … during which Rosa coincidentally lost her job as a seamstress … and ended only when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional. Over the next half-century, Rosa Parks became a nationally recognized symbol of dignity and strength in the struggle to end entrenched racial segregation.

 

The United States Congress has called her the first lady of civil rights and the mother of the freedom movement.

MAWA_park_portraits.jpg
Sunday, February 10, 2019
Maggie Walker

The Legacy of Maggie Walker changed the fabric of society for people of African descent and for women.

 

Maggie Lena Mitchell was born in Richmond on July 15, 1864. As a young girl she was forced to take on a number of responsibilities after the tragic death of her father. Maggie worked as a delivery woman and babysitter while attending segregated public schools in Richmond and graduated at the very top of her class in 1883. She then taught grade school for three years at the Lancaster School, at the same time she took classes in accounting and business. In 1886, Maggie married Armistead Walker, Jr., they had two sons, Russell and Melvin, whom she took care while her husband worked.

 

At the turn of the century, Maggie Walker was one of the foremost business leaders gaining national prominence when she became the first woman to own a bank in the United States. Her entrepreneurial skills transformed black business practices while also inspiring other women to enter the field.

 

When she was 14, Maggie joined the Independent Order of St. Luke’s, an African American benevolent organization that helped the sick and elderly in Richmond. Within the organization, she held many high-ranking positions. In 1902, she began publishing the organization’s newspaper, The St. Luke Herald. She encouraged African Americans in Richmond to harness their economic power by establishing their own institutions through the newspaper.

 

Maggie Walker’s first business endeavor was a community insurance company for women. In 1903, she founded the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank and was the first woman of any race to charter a bank in the United States. The bank was a powerful representation of black self-help in the segregated South. The Penny Savings Bank not only attracted adults but Maggie Walker worked to appeal to children by passing out banks which encouraged them to save their money.

 

By 1924, the Penny Savings Bank had spread to other parts of Virginia and included more than 50,000 members. While other banks collapsed during the Great Depression St. Luke’s Penny Saving survived. The bank eventually consolidated with two other large banks and moved to downtown Richmond. It is still in operation today.

maya-angelou.jpg
Sunday, February 17, 2019
Maya Angelou

The Legacy of Maggie Walker changed the fabric of society for people of African descent and for women.

 

Maggie Lena Mitchell was born in Richmond on July 15, 1864. As a young girl she was forced to take on a number of responsibilities after the tragic death of her father. Maggie worked as a delivery woman and babysitter while attending segregated public schools in Richmond and graduated at the very top of her class in 1883. She then taught grade school for three years at the Lancaster School, at the same time she took classes in accounting and business. In 1886, Maggie married Armistead Walker, Jr., they had two sons, Russell and Melvin, whom she took care while her husband worked.

 

At the turn of the century, Maggie Walker was one of the foremost business leaders gaining national prominence when she became the first woman to own a bank in the United States. Her entrepreneurial skills transformed black business practices while also inspiring other women to enter the field.

 

When she was 14, Maggie joined the Independent Order of St. Luke’s, an African American benevolent organization that helped the sick and elderly in Richmond. Within the organization, she held many high-ranking positions. In 1902, she began publishing the organization’s newspaper, The St. Luke Herald. She encouraged African Americans in Richmond to harness their economic power by establishing their own institutions through the newspaper.

 

Maggie Walker’s first business endeavor was a community insurance company for women. In 1903, she founded the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank and was the first woman of any race to charter a bank in the United States. The bank was a powerful representation of black self-help in the segregated South. The Penny Savings Bank not only attracted adults but Maggie Walker worked to appeal to children by passing out banks which encouraged them to save their money.

 

By 1924, the Penny Savings Bank had spread to other parts of Virginia and included more than 50,000 members. While other banks collapsed during the Great Depression St. Luke’s Penny Saving survived. The bank eventually consolidated with two other large banks and moved to downtown Richmond. It is still in operation today.

February 2018

Sunday, March 4, 2018
Odette Johnson
First LGBTQ Liaison
for the Richmond Police Department

Click here to view the Odette's bio.
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Dr. Barbara Morris Glenn
Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College
Click here to view the Dr. Glenn's bio.
Sunday, February 18, 2018
Congressman A. Donald McEachin
4th Congressional District of Virginia
Click here to view the Congressman's bio.
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Carol Adams
Founder of the
Carol Adams Foundation
Click here to view Carol's bio.
Sunday, February 4, 2018
Alfred Durham
Chief of Police
Richmond Police Department
Richmond, Virginia
Click here to view Chief Durham's bio.