According to former UUA president, Rev. Bill Sinkford, “This is a hopeful time to be a Unitarian Universalist of Color. The UU commitment to dismantle the culture of white supremacy within the faith and to work against the persistence of that culture in the world seems real. Yet it is true that many Black UUs still need a survival guide.” Rev. Xolani Kacela, Ph.D., the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Las Cruces, has given us exactly that.
The Black UU Survival Guide: How to Survive as a Black Unitarian Universalist and How Allies Can Keep It 100, provides a roadmap for Black people seeking membership and deep engagement in Unitarian Universalist communities. It also offers details for White allies who want to support Black UUs. Topics include: understanding differences between Black and UU church culture, ways to improve Black's experience in UU churches, navigating race and racism in UU culture, and ways to deepen spirituality and personal growth when you're the only Black person in the room.
In her introduction to The Black UU Survival Guide, Dr. Janice Marie Johnson, Co-Director of Ministries and Faith Development at the UUA, notes that Kacela, “while celebrating our beloved faith,…has taken care to draw attention to the many less than stellar experiences that Blacks continue to share in white supremacy-based places of worship and of faith. As if that were not enough,” Dr. Johnson continues, “Rev. Kacela invites white UUs who yearn for racial wholeness into the conversation to listen keenly, understand, and not question what Black UUs experience.”
According to Kacela, “This book is for all UUs trying to navigate Unitarian Universalist life. It provides keen insight to African American spiritual life and how to merge that experience into UUism. There is a special section on how White UUs and other allies can partner with Black UUs and strengthen Black UU identity. Perhaps, the most important part is the Ten Steps to surviving and keeping it 100.” *
The Black UU Survival Guide: How to Survive as a Black Unitarian Universalist and How Allies Can Keep It 100 is available for online purchase.
*According to Mehak Anwar in Bustle, “Keeping it 100 means to be you, be honest, be true to yourself and the people you love, be unapologetic but respectful at the same time, and be the best at what you do.”