Usually in February, for Black History Month; or in March, as Reeb was killed on March 9, 19653 and Young died on March 11, 1971. This service is an opportunity for many congregations to address social justice, racial justice, white privilege, racial identity. Whitney Young (1921-1971) was an African American Unitarian Universalist (UU) who was executive director of the National Urban League and an activist in the civil rights movement. James Reeb (1927-1965) was a white UU minister who was killed in Selma, Alabama, while supporting the civil rights movement there.

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  • This ritual is written for a congregation to bless a Black Lives Matter banner and raise it on their church building. It could easily be adapted for rededication of a banner, or for other banners that a congregation might display on their building to declare their values.
    Ritual | By Allison Palm | June 6, 2024 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Anti-Oppression, Black History / Whitney Young / James Reeb, Community, Conscience, Human Rights, Inclusion, Juneteenth, Justice, Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday, Power, Pride Sunday, Race/Ethnicity, Solidarity, WorshipWeb, Worship
  • I rise on the shoulders of ancestors whose names I can not know.
    Reflection | By Glen Thomas Rideout | September 14, 2022 | From Braver/Wiser
    Tagged as: #8thPrinciple, #BlackHistoryMonth, #BlackLivesMatter, 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), America, Anti-Oppression, Black History / Whitney Young / James Reeb, Direct Experience, Family, Generations, History, Oppression, Race/Ethnicity, Secular, Self-Respect, Unitarian Universalism, Worship
  • There’s never been a time in the United States history when black rebellions did not spark existential fear among white people.
    Reading | By Michelle Alexander, Leslie Alexander | May 12, 2022 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: #BlackLivesMatter, 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 2nd Principle (Justice, Equity, & Compassion), 6th Principle (World Community), America, Black History / Whitney Young / James Reeb, Freedom, History, Juneteenth, Race/Ethnicity, Secular, WorshipWeb, Worship
  • I've adopted the practice of spiritual reconnection with my ancestors to heal intergenerational trauma.
    Reflection | By Jabari S. Jones | February 10, 2021 | From Braver/Wiser
    Tagged as: #BlackLivesMatter, 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 2nd Principle (Justice, Equity, & Compassion), 3rd Principle (Acceptance & Spiritual Growth), 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), America, Anti-Oppression, Black History / Whitney Young / James Reeb, Direct Experience, Diversity, Generations, Healing, History, International, Prophetic Words & Deeds, Race/Ethnicity, Transformation, Trauma, Worship
  • On August 25, 1619, the ship the White Lion arrived at Point Comfort, now known as Fort Monroe National Monument in Hampton, Virginia. The ship contained enslaved Africans. This is the first recorded arrival of Africans in America....
    Affirmation | By Kristen L. Harper | October 10, 2019 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: #BlackLivesMatter, 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), America, Black History / Whitney Young / James Reeb, Direct Experience, History, Juneteenth, Oppression, Prophetic Words & Deeds, Race/Ethnicity
  • Yesterday, a new employee—a white guy—walked into the bakery where I work. “Hi,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve met you yet.” He told me his name. “I’m Jabari,” I replied. “Are you American?,” he asked. I hesitated. “Yeaaaaaaaaaah.” “Well, it’s just that your name is...
    Reading | By Jabari S. Jones | July 31, 2017 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: #BlackLivesMatter, 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), America, Anti-Oppression, Black History / Whitney Young / James Reeb, Direct Experience, Humanism, Identity, Multiculturalism, Race/Ethnicity, Secular
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a time when particular songs get sung; one of them is "Lift Every Voice and Sing." It gets sung in school, in church, and at various MLK day celebrations or over the course of Black History Month....
    Reflection | By Aisha Ansano | February 27, 2017 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), America, Anti-Oppression, Arts & Music, Black History / Whitney Young / James Reeb, Direct Experience, History, Juneteenth, Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday, Pain, Privilege, Prophetic Words & Deeds, Race/Ethnicity
  • The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a radical. He was called “the most dangerous man in America” by the FBI and had a 17,000 page FBI file at the time of his death. It wasn’t just KKK members or those in positions of power who disagreed with him or hated him. As Cornel West explains in...
    Reading | By Aisha Ansano | February 27, 2017 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: #BlackLivesMatter, 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 2nd Principle (Justice, Equity, & Compassion), 3rd Principle (Acceptance & Spiritual Growth), 6th Principle (World Community), Activism, America, Anti-Oppression, Black History / Whitney Young / James Reeb, Direct Experience, History, Humanism, Justice, Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday, Multiculturalism, Prophetic Words & Deeds, Race/Ethnicity
  • I got out of bed this morning because of all those who had to get out of bed before me: Martin and Coretta, the day after his home was bombed. (What did they tell the children?) My father, every day of his young life in Lowndes County, Alabama....
    Meditation | By Theresa Hardy | November 10, 2016 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Activism, America, Anti-Oppression, Black History / Whitney Young / James Reeb, Despair, Disaster or Crisis, Generations, History, Hope, Humanism, Prophetic Words & Deeds, Race/Ethnicity, Responsibility, Secular, Self-Respect
  • To become an anti-racist faith community, the key question for a white/white majority community is not “How do we get people of color to join our faith community?” It is, instead, “How can we make a prolonged, spiritually-rooted, engaged commitment to uprooting white supremacy within our...
    Reading | By Chris Crass | May 9, 2016 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: #BlackLivesMatter, Anti-Oppression, Black History / Whitney Young / James Reeb, Direct Experience, Freedom, Justice, Living Our Faith, Purpose, Race/Ethnicity, Secular, Seven Principles, Solidarity, Unity
  • Bruises are a part of roller derby — a celebrated part. It’s not uncommon for players to take pictures of their biggest, most colorful shaped bruises: bruises that go deep into your tissue, and come out in amazing blues, purples, and blacks that eventually fade to greens, browns and yellows. A...
    Reading | By Dawn Skjei Cooley | February 23, 2016 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: #BlackLivesMatter, 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 2nd Principle (Justice, Equity, & Compassion), 6th Principle (World Community), Anti-Oppression, Black History / Whitney Young / James Reeb, Body, Commitment, Direct Experience, Healing, Justice, Multiculturalism, Privilege, Race/Ethnicity, Secular
  • Let us wake up. Not just from the Sunday morning exhaustion, from the wish for a few more drowsy minutes in bed. Let us wake up to this world we live in: to its beauty and wonder, and also to its tragedy and pain. We must wake up to this reality: that not all in our world have what we do, however...
    Opening | By Christian Schmidt | October 29, 2015 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: #BlackLivesMatter, 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 2nd Principle (Justice, Equity, & Compassion), 6th Principle (World Community), 7th Principle (Interconnected Web), Activism, Anti-Oppression, Black History / Whitney Young / James Reeb, Challenge, Direct Experience, Justice, Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday, Privilege, Race/Ethnicity, Unitarian Universalism
  • #‎BlackLivesMatter Let the only burning be the fire of commitment in our hearts, minds, hands, spirits in our community of faith. Live solidarity. Use your voice. Demand justice... better, live it into being. Cry out for others to join you. Name hate as hate—without shrinking back without...
    Poetry | By Jeannie Shero | August 11, 2015 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: #BlackLivesMatter, 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 2nd Principle (Justice, Equity, & Compassion), 3rd Principle (Acceptance & Spiritual Growth), 6th Principle (World Community), 7th Principle (Interconnected Web), Anti-Oppression, Black History / Whitney Young / James Reeb, Change, Direct Experience, Honesty, Humanism, Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday, Oppression, Power, Privilege, Prophetic Words & Deeds, Race/Ethnicity, Solidarity, Unitarian Universalism
  • Today, the congregation will be singing hymns from our hymnals which are particularly precious to us as Unitarian Universalists. But today, being the last Sunday in February, is also part of Black History Month....
    Time for All Ages | By Martha Dallas | May 12, 2015 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 2nd Principle (Justice, Equity, & Compassion), 6th Principle (World Community), Anti-Oppression, Arts & Music, Black History / Whitney Young / James Reeb, Direct Experience, Freedom, Juneteenth, Justice Sunday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday, Oppression, Prophetic Words & Deeds, Race/Ethnicity, Six Sources
  • Once upon a time there was a little girl named Rosa, who loved to read her Bible. One of her favorite stories was the story of Moses, and how he helped the Hebrew slaves gain freedom. Moses was a young man who lived in Egypt. He knew it wasn’t right for the Hebrew people to be the slaves of the...
    Story | By Christopher Buice | April 14, 2015 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: Anti-Oppression, Black History / Whitney Young / James Reeb, Freedom, Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday
  • This story was created collaboratively by several religious educators. As you prepare to share it, read the 1966 Ware Lecture "Don't Sleep Through the Revolution," by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered at the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly in Hollywood, Florida, May 18, 1966.
    Story | By Gail Forsyth-Vail | January 29, 2015 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 2nd Principle (Justice, Equity, & Compassion), 3rd Principle (Acceptance & Spiritual Growth), 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), Anti-Oppression, Black History / Whitney Young / James Reeb, Humanism, Juneteenth, Justice, Justice Sunday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday, Prophetic Words & Deeds, Race/Ethnicity, Responsibility
  • This is adapted from a litany by Gail Forsyth-Vail, who suggests the following to maximize the reading's power: Identify seventeen people who will come forward to represent the generations of African Americans in the British colonies and in the United States. As you name the first generation,...
    Reading | By James (Jay) C Leach | January 29, 2015 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 2nd Principle (Justice, Equity, & Compassion), 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), 6th Principle (World Community), Anti-Oppression, Black History / Whitney Young / James Reeb, History, Humanism, Juneteenth, Justice, Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday, Prophetic Words & Deeds, Race/Ethnicity
  • This reading requires seventeen people who are able to come forward and represent the generations of African Americans in the British colonies and in the United States. As you name the first generation, indicate to a person that they should stand. Each time you call a new generation, you indicate...
    Reading | By Gail Forsyth-Vail | January 29, 2015 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 2nd Principle (Justice, Equity, & Compassion), 4th Principle (Truth & Meaning), 6th Principle (World Community), Anti-Oppression, Black History / Whitney Young / James Reeb, History, Humanism, Juneteenth, Justice, Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday, Prophetic Words & Deeds, Race/Ethnicity
  • Frances, an African American woman: To be African-American in this country is to face racism throughout life, however subtle. The love of one’s family is paramount in reducing the damage of racism on one’s wholeness. Unitarian Universalism is splendid as an affirming church family. Its primary...
    Reading | By Mark Hicks | January 21, 2015 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 2nd Principle (Justice, Equity, & Compassion), 3rd Principle (Acceptance & Spiritual Growth), 6th Principle (World Community), Anti-Oppression, Black History / Whitney Young / James Reeb, Diversity, Kwanzaa, Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday, Multiculturalism, Race/Ethnicity, Unitarian Universalism, Multiculturalism
  • On the cusp of this new day in our nation’s history, seems like everyone has something to say. I have been deluged with emails from the various groups I try to pay attention to: Planned Parenthood, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture,...
    Sermon | By Melissa Carvill-Ziemer | January 21, 2015 | From WorshipWeb
    Tagged as: 1st Principle (Worth & Dignity), 7th Principle (Interconnected Web), Anti-Oppression, Black History / Whitney Young / James Reeb, Identity, Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday, Multiculturalism, Race/Ethnicity, Unity