Black History Month is an Opportunity

by | Feb 4, 2021

It’s early February and I’m already seeing Black History Month advertised on search engines, website banners, and TV commercials. The popular content is predictable. I remember it from last year and every year before that. We see images of Rosa Parks and Dr. King. We see the schools opening and the “Whites Only” signs coming down. The popular level content is celebratory, which can be a problem, or an opportunity.

I am not saying celebrating victories in the struggle for justice is a bad thing. Failing to celebrate robs God of glory and dishonors those who fought long and hard to see change. We celebrated the removal of the Mississippi state flag for these very reasons.

The problem is looking at the history of black people in our country and in our world and having such a one-note response. White Christians like myself should not look at black history and think, “Job well done. I’m glad racism is over.”

We may come to that conclusion if we only read celebratory headlines. But it will not survive a more thorough examination. So let’s see Black History Month as an opportunity to learn.

I encourage my white brothers and sisters to do a little digging. It’s not that hard. Much curating work has been done for us.

Take Dr. King for example. It would be hard to find a more universally applauded figure in America today. But his approval rating, according to public opinion polls, was not always over 90 percent as it is today. In the year of his death, nearly 75 percent of Americans disapproved of him. He was much more provocative than his soundbites might let us believe. We can still learn from him.

This February, why not do some reading and praying beyond the soundbites? Here are a few resources I suggest:

 

Pastor Bobby Scott wrote last year that understanding our history is necessary for charting a way forward. Let us resolve to understand black history, even (or perhaps especially) the parts that make us uncomfortable. Let us not do this as some act of emotional penance, but as a way to understand so we can act in love for our brothers and sisters. We love better when we understand more. The history and context of our brothers and sisters is not an obscure section of a textbook or a symbolic gesture for one month of the year. Taking these steps of self-education will help you learn more about your brothers and sisters without making them your primary resource for that education. As we read, let’s continually go to God, asking Him to show us what He’d have us do to honor all made in His image.

 


Prayer Requests:

  1. Pray that we would have a right understanding of history in a confusing world.
  2. Pray that our knowledge of the world would drive us to love our brothers and sisters better.
  3. Pray that God would more fully establish His justice in our world.
  4. Come, Lord Jesus.

 

Recent POdcasts

Transracial Adoption with Brittany Salmon

Transracial Adoption with Brittany Salmon

Transracial Adoption Brittany Salmon is a scholar and author of It Takes More than Love: A Christian Guide to Navigating the Complexities of Cross-Cultural Adoption (Moody, 2022). She is also the adoptive mother to three children who do not share her ethnicity, so her...

read more
Biblical Theology: Minor Prophets | God’s Mercy

Biblical Theology: Minor Prophets | God’s Mercy

Biblical Theology: Minor Prophets | God's Mercy We're back in our Bible study series with Adrianna Anderson. Today we look at the minor prophets, where we see a fuller picture of God's mercy to His people, Israel, and to the nations. There are plenty of sober warnings...

read more
Raising the Next Generation

Raising the Next Generation

Raising the Next Generation | Parenting Few things are as difficult as parenting. If you desire to raise your kids to be agents of unity among God's people, it is even harder. Josh Chatman, host of the Train 'em Up podcast stops by to talk about parenting. Austin and...

read more

Upcoming Events

Isaac-Adams-United-We-Pray-speaking-at-an-event

Click Here to View Now

Recent Articles

Confidence in the Wrong Place

Confidence in the Wrong Place

In 1908, G.K. Chesterton warned Christian readers that various influences were eroding society’s ability to learn:  But what we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. . . . A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this...

read more
Memorial Day: Remembering vs. Not Forgetting

Memorial Day: Remembering vs. Not Forgetting

What’s the difference between remembering and not forgetting? That’s the question I started asking myself as I thought about Memorial Day. I forget an awful lot of things. For example: usernames and passwords. Ever forget either of these (don’t say you forget both) to...

read more
Presidents’ Day and Godly Authority

Presidents’ Day and Godly Authority

On Monday, our nation observed Presidents’ Day. This holiday gives us an opportunity to honor the role and office of President in our country. It also serves as an opportunity to reflect how we as Christians can pray for those who represent us as citizen servants in...

read more

We’d love to hear what you think about this article. Submit your feedback by clicking here to contact us.

Author

  • Austin Suter

    Austin is the executive director and editor for U?WP. He is a husband, father and seminary student at RTS Charlotte. Austin is a member at Iron City Church in Birmingham, AL. @amsuter

Related Articles

Stay Connected