Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Episcopal Church, Slavery & Apology

Expressing "profound regret that the Episcopal Church lent the institution of slavery its support and justification based on Scripture," Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori issued a public apology October 4 for the church's involvement in the institution of transatlantic slavery.

She went on to state that "after slavery was formally abolished, [the church] continued for at least a century to support de jure and de facto segregation and discrimination."

The historic gesture of remorse drew hundreds of Episcopalians, both black and white, to St. Thomas African Episcopal Church in Philadelphia October 3-4 for the Day of Repentance -- a two-day solemn observance which included presentations that examined racism in the past, present, and future.

Read the entire Episcopal News Article here.

Read Presiding Bishop Schori's sermon here.

You can view the video on "Day of Repentance" - Hundreds of Episcopalians journeyed to St. Thomas African Episcopal Church in Philadelphia on October 3 to participate in the first of a two-day solemn observance that will culminate with the Episcopal Church publicly apologizing for its involvement in the institution of transatlantic slavery - view it here.

Traces of the Trade

Northerners like to think they bear less guilt than Southerners for our nation’s ugly history with slavery and the slave trade. They are dead wrong, according to Katrina Browne, a committed Episcopalian from Boston. Browne learned that the hard way. Now she’s spreading the word to compatriots, North and South, in a manner she hopes will help to heal what she describes as our country’s greatest wound.

Brown, 37, has created a documentary film to tell the story of her ancestors from New England, to spell out the legacy white Americans have inherited from the history of slavery. The DeWolf family of Rhode Island was the largest slave-trading family in early America. More than 10,000 Africans – kidnapped, chained, beaten – made the hellish middle passage across the Atlantic in the holds of DeWolf-owned ships. Over the course of three generations, from 1769 to 1820, 47 of these ships made runs, building trade and the family’s fortune. Katrina Browne is refusing to side-step that unsavory history. Instead she is facing it head on in a very public way … with her 80-minute feature film, five years in the making.

Learn more here and here and here.

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