By Andrew Wilkes,
At the table of communion (insert Eucharist, Lord’s table if that’s your Christian tradition), where divine justice, human compassion, and theological difference without theological dominance are guiding virtues that bring together black gay and trans folks working, somehow or another, along with black folks who view abortion and gay marriage differently, we can work with full power.
We may not, do not, and will not all agree. But we can love each other in action, not only speech.
What I am saying below is figurative, please don’t take this as name-calling in a bad way. It is a historical metaphor. I repeat, a metaphor. It is not literal. For the folks who read statuses too briefly, a metaphor. For the very real hurts on both sides, this is a metaphor.
– We need Jamal Bryant and Darnell Moore
– We need Bishop Yvette Flunder and Bishop Noel Jones
– We need the Proctor Conference and the WomanPreach Conference and the Hampton Minister’s Conference
– We need atheists, agnostics, and the tongue-talking Pentecostals.
– We need Muslims, Yorubas, Hindus, and so on
– We need capitalists and socialists.
– And whoever else, we need them too to build towards a deep democracy.
This isn’t for everybody. Let each black lover of freedom and genuine equality be convinced – without being shamed or villianized – in their own mind.
The Civil Rights movement did this. The Labor movement did this. Imperfectly, fleetingly, but did it all the same. If this is news to you, your library may be too small and is, in a significant respect, inaccurate. In the words of Bishop DJ Khaled, this is a MAJOR KEY of the Civil Rights Movement for our time.
This isn’t a shame thing. It’s a what would happen if we had an ethic of boundary-crossing love, while holding space for varieties of theological and ethical vision?
This is what Martin Luther King and Ella Baker are calling us too.
This is what Maria Stewart and Frederick Douglass are begging us to see
This is what Bayard Rustin and James Baldwin are gesturing towards
This is what Audre Lorde and Priscilla Schrirer are pushing for
This is what TD Jakes and Daddy J, Jeremiah Wright might do together
This is what laity and clergy might do
I feel the Holy Ghost moving. And see the dry bones rattling. Let’s work, family. Let’s work.
Tag your neighbor. Say ALL black lives, indeed matter. ALL black labor, has dignity. ALL black voices are welcome at the table.
#DangeousUnselfishness #LowEgoHighImpact #BlackLoveLetters
Andrew Wilkes is the associate pastor of young adults and social justice at the Greater Allen AME Cathedral of New York. An alum of Hampton University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the Coro Foundation’s Fellowship in Public Affairs, his writing has been featured in the Washington Post, BET.com, and the Huffington Post. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @andrewjwilkes