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Black History

Lift Every Voice and Sing
Sweet Magnolia proudly emphasizes the contributions and encourages the liberation of Black people in the Statesboro - Bulloch County community 366 days (it's a leap year) this year. 
BHM2023
Black History 366

#BHM2024 | Black History Month is a time to celebrate the fullness of African American history and culture, but that cannot be contained in one month alone.

We follow the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture Calendar, uplifting African American artists' humanity, innovation, and vision. Throughout February, take a journey organized around five weekly focus areas that celebrate the Black people who have used art as their platform for social justice.

Social justice has historically developed visual and literary arts to capture the spirit and platforms of resistance and disseminate those messages to audiences outside mainstream methods. 

Art as a platform for social justice was seeded in the soil of abolitionist treatise from Phillis Wheatley, tilled through the performances of Sweet Honey in the Rock and 1980s breakdancers, pruned by the commentary shears of James Baldwin, watered in the paintings and photographs of Elizabeth Catlett and Gordon Parks, and harvested within the futuristic tales of Octavia Butler. 

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ARTIST IN FOCUS | “Broom Jumpers” by Bisa Butler 2019 (quilted and appliquéd cotton, wool, and chiffon. Black artists have shaped the visual culture of the United States. Often channeling their familial backgrounds and personal experiences in our work, these creative figures have influenced and inspired much of American art's evolution. Discover 14 Groundbreaking African American Artists That Shaped History.

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Throughout February, the candles on the Altar symbolize our history as Africans and people of African descent in the Americas. In honor of #BHM2024, our Youth & College Ministry will present special tributes each week. We recognize that God has been with us in our past, which has been filled with trials and tumultuous times. We believe that God is with us now as we seek to preserve and retell our story. We trust that God will be with us as we shape our story in the days ahead. During this time, we paid homage to the legacies of Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Mary McLeod Bethune.

“Our deepest, most painful wounds not only leave us with scars that we bear forever, but also, if we make our peace with them, leave us wiser, stronger, more sensitive than we otherwise would have been had we not been afflicted with them.”
― Renita J. Weems, Listening For God: A Minister's Journey Through Silence And Doubt
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A LITANY ON AFFIRMING OUR HISTORY

Leader: Source of our being, manifested in Word and Spirit, we enter ever more deeply into Your presence, calling on You, because You are our stronghold and our deliverer; You are our rock in a weary land; You are our balm in Gilead, and we praise You. We worship You for Your great majesty and Your overwhelming love, and we thank You for Your great faithfulness unto us.

All: We glorify You, for You have kept us in the midst of it all. Aṣẹ.**

Leader: Morning by morning new mercies we see, we ask for Your mercy on our souls for every way that we consciously, subconsciously, and unconsciously forget you. Show mercy on our ignorance in Your sight. We ask mercy for the desecration of earth and space, for the desecration of our bodies, minds, and spirits. We ask mercy for worshipping the false gods of materialism, colonialism, classism, colorism, racism, sexism, heterosexism, and all other forms of egoism. We ask mercy for believing and perpetuating lies that hurt us and others, confusing the beauty of Your harmonious nature.

All: Have Mercy on us and strengthen us by Your Spirit. Lead us to Zion. Aṣẹ.

Leader: Lest we forget, we remember all who have perished in the struggle for justice. We remember all who perished in the middle passage, dying shackled, laying in their own excrement. We remember those who sacrificed themselves to the sea.

All: Lest we forget, we remember the enslavement, the torture, the beatings, the lynching, the vandalism, the rapes, the murders, the massacres, the genocide. We remember the psychological and physical abuse and trauma.

[Moment of Silence]

All: But You are our help. You are our lily of the valley. We know that our redeemer lives, and that You empower us by Your Spirit. Your blood never loses its power, and so here, we stand as intercessors bearing Your image. We are Your peace, and we worship You. Aṣẹ.

**Aṣẹ. comes from the Yoruba tradition of West Africa and is likened to “Amen” and “And so it is.” It expresses the power to manifest.

© 2020 Jabriel Hasan.

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