Written by: Wayne Bugg and Connie Steward, SVdP African American Task Force Co-Chairs
The 2023 theme for Black History Month is “Black Resistance.” What does that mean to you? Is it good or bad? We initially concluded that resistance was not a good thing. We perceived it as negative energy. But, after further thought and reflection, we understand this theme is an acknowledgement that over the years many Black Americans have led the charge to resist the evils of racism, calling for a more just society. Therefore, “Black Resistance” is a good thing, and these individuals should be celebrated.
To resist something is to oppose it or stand firm against it. Just as Vincentians oppose or stand firm against poverty, we should all oppose racism. It is appropriate to celebrate “Black Resistance” during Black History Month because it is a specific time set aside to reflect, relate and release – the three R’s.
As you REFLECT on your thoughts about “Black Resistance” – do you reinforce racism or do you resist racism. Hopefully we can all join hands and resist racism.
How do you RELATE to members of the opposite race. Are you comfortable conversing? Are you honest and transparent? Are you respectful? Strong, genuine relationships make for a more just and equitable society.
RELEASE or let go of racist thoughts or actions. They are toxic and will wear you down.
One might ask – what does this have to do with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul? We are an organization committed to “resisting” the many barriers that keep our vulnerable brothers and sisters in poverty. As we journey together and bring our spirituality and friendship to those we serve, it is imperative that we Reflect, Relate and Release.
Wayne and Connie – Thank you so much for this thoughtful reflection.