Black History—Black Futures

Modified on: February 2, 2018

“black history is world history.” (Marlanda Dekine / Sapient Soul)

Throughout 2018, we are thinking together in our Sunday services and throughout our congregational life about social justice—what have we done in the past, what we are doing in the present, and what the future ask of us.

Through our RE program, our children and youth are already far advanced in a year-long curriculum exploring social justice and developing meaningful, impactful projects here at UUCS and in Spartanburg. With the New Year our Social Justice Council formed to reorganize and coordinate our current congregational projects and to discern paths forward for what more we might do.

This month in our Sunday services, in celebration of Black History Month, we will consider again the very painful history of our country and the very strengthening legacy of transformation offered to us by generations of activists, thinkers, and leaders—especially through the lives and teachings of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., and how their very different perspectives drew together in a singular fighter for pride and freedom: Muhammad Ali.

I want to urge you to attend two events at the church this month especially, welcoming guests who have a great deal to say to us today:

  • On Saturday, February 17 from 7:00-9:00 pm in the Fellowship Hall, Marlanda Dekine will headline our monthly coffeehouse. Open mic is 7:00-8:00, with Marlanda performing from 8:00-9:00. A nationally recognized spoken word poet and social justice leader, Dekine is the founder and Executive Director of Speaking Down Barriers ( She is a close friend and colleague of many in our congregation. You will not want to miss her reading: her voice, her presence, and her words. (Sample the power of her work here:
  • On Sunday, February 25 at 11:00 am in the Sanctuary, Dr. Caroline Caldwell-Richmond will be our guest preacher. Founder and Executive Director of New Mind Health & Care, she combats recidivism by offering a holistic approach to reentry after a person has experienced incarceration. Her TEDx presentation on this may be found here: An expert facilitator, she serves as President of Speaking Down Barriers. She will speak with us about finding joy in the midst of struggle. You do not want to miss this presentation.

We study the past to find the future. Many progressive social movements have begun claiming the month of February as both Black History Month and Black Futures Month—propelling us through the past forward to a more just way of life for us all. If we will listen, black leaders past and present have a great deal to teach us about our country and ourselves—about who we have been, who we are, and who we can become.

Let us gather to listen,


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