November 2020 Not Church

A look at Privilege–an important and powerful gathering.  We are grateful to all who participated and shared their experiences and thoughts from various perspectives on privilege…Erin, Bene, Gina, Zee, Nadine, and Rhonda who gave us a peek into just a few of her experiences coming up against privilege…traveling across country in the 60s, to the workplace, car-buying, apartment renting, applying for home loans and more.  A lot to think about and consider.

Here’s the video…We’re new at this and there’s a lot of “fiddling” and dead space in the beginning…so we recommend you start at around 18 minutes when we actually start the gathering!

Here’s a link from Zee… to the poem she shared  by Nikki Acquah: https://theonlywayisegham.wordpress.com/2018/01/18/privilege/ It was thought-provoking, as was the 10-finger exercise!

If you wish to pursue the idea of privilege and investigate further…here’s an excellent article, UNDERSTANDING WHITE PRIVILEGE.

If you’d like to “slide off those shoes of privilege” and “take a little journey with Taiwo Adesina, here’s the full poem from Medium, called “Re: i can’t imagine”

Take a journey with me, all who say you can’t imagine this
Take a journey with me, so our feelings you can no longer dismiss

Close your eyes for a second, maybe for a minute or two
Slide off those shoes of privilege, and force yourself to see anew
You can imagine what it’s like, you don’t need my assist
You can see through my eyes, you can picture the twist

You are a woman or man, a girl, or a boy,
A citizen of your country, one that should bring you joy
With dreams and goals, striving for a life without lack
But just for a second, imagine you are Black

Imagine living in a world where you must constantly explain
The reason for your existence, the reason for your name
The texture of your hair – and why you buy it or not
The reason for your success – whether you took their spot

Imagine a world, where you are literally forgotten
Until it is time, to gather the cotton
Your art goes unpraised, unless to them it can speak
“I don’t get it,” they say, as another agent you seek

Imagine a world where you fear for your kin
Not the normal fear of a parent, but one amplified within
So you sit them down, your children, so round and so cute,
and demonstrate with your spouse, “hands up, don’t shoot”

Yes, yes, I know you will never know how it is
I’m not trying to trick you, this is no pop quiz
I just want you to discuss with us, then keep your internal dialogue alive
Because any human can imagine how to want to survive

So, try. Just try
Yes you can, yes you can
Take off those shoes and
Imagine you’re a Black man

Imagine what it means to constantly be a suspect
To walk through the world always harassed, always checked
Think of what it means to be a Black girl who goes unfound
And no one mounts a search, no one makes a sound

Imagine what it’s like to have your contributions set aside
Earning significantly less, always aware of the divide
No recognition in board rooms, your accolades seized
So you’re constantly under stress, susceptible to disease

Disparity, disparity, clinging desperately to your cloak
Never owning the wealth, working the most till you croak
Stress burrows its way, to rest within you,
And you pass it to your children, and their children too

Do not be deceived, God cannot be mocked
He sees it all, even when we pretend we cannot

How will I be perceived?, you’re constantly having to ask
your reflection in the mirror, before you put on your mask
I must not raise my voice, I must be diplomatic
Where they can lose their cool, I’d be perceived as dramatic

Imagine the fear that comes with walking late at night
You can’t wear dark colors, you must always wear white
Imagine your heart rate increase when you hear the police
Praying today isn’t your last, or your nephews’ or niece

I know you can imagine because you’ve imagined it all
You’re a creative people, who never seem to fall

You’ve imagined a world, where man can stand on the moon
You’ve imagined technologies, you imagined Zoom
You imagined pussy riots and gay marriage too
You imagined bicycle lanes and Starbucks cold brew

You imagined futures for your daughters, and wives for your sons
You imagined that coveted career and to you it was flung
You imagined lavish vacations, and sleeping under the stars
You imagined true love, world travel, fast cars

So, the next time a Black woman or man is murdered in our streets
don’t tell me you can’t imagine, just tell me you don’t want to see