FBC – Anti-Racism Resources
We as the Ministerial Staff of First Baptist Church of Savannah, Georgia recognize that we are at a critical turning point in our society where we have the opportunity to once again commit to the commandments we claim to seek to live each day as Christian people: to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. We believe that we cannot fulfill these two commandments if we support implicitly or explicitly racist systems and beliefs. Therefore, we seek to begin with ourselves: our own biases, beliefs, and faith. We endeavor to do the difficult work to begin to reflect on what it means to be anti-racist as an embodiment of our love for our black and brown brothers and sisters. While this is largely an individual endeavor, we resolve to undergo transformation on the communal level in whatever ways we can safely do so in the coming weeks and months.
We hope that these resources are the start of something meaningful for you as they have been for us. This is not an exhaustive list of resources, but rather just the beginning. Included is a list of organizations that are doing the work of combating racism on the systemic level here in Savannah because our journey to dismantle racism is both in our thoughts and in our actions. It is our prayer that we can face this time together with curiosity, courage, and clarity.
Grace and Peace,
Katie, John, and James
Resources for Reflection upon Racism and Faith
Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation, by Jennifer Harvey I Bring the Voices of My People: A Womanist Vision for Racial Reconciliation, by Chanequa Walker-Barnes
The Cross and the Lynching Tree, by James H. Cone
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, by Austin Channing Brown
God of the Oppressed, by James H. Cone
Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US, by Lenny Duncan
We Need to Talk About an Injustice – Bryan Stevenson
“Letter from Birmingham Jail,” by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, in The Christian Century, April 1963.
“Caught Up In God: How My Mind Has Changed,” by Willie James Jennings in The Christian Century, June 2020
“Ahmaud, Breonna, Christian, George, and The Talk Every Black Boy Receives,” by Rev. Willie James Jennings on Baptist News Global, May 29, 2020
“A Lowdown, Dirty Shame: Ahmaud Arbery’s Murder and the Unrenounced Racism of White Christians” by James Ellis III on Baptist News Global, May 15, 2020
“George Floyd: The Modern Day Emmett Till,” by Rev. Casey Jones on the CBF Blog, June 2, 2020.
Savannah Area Interfaith Justice Ministry – While this organization is still new to the area, we are making progress already. In August, we will begin having listening sessions in the congregation about issues we perceive to be plaguing our community. Listening sessions across the 35+ involved congregations will inform where we place our action for the year. At this point, you can get involved with SAIJM through donation.
Family Promise – They serve a largely African American population and are having to reconfigure their entire mode of operation due to COVID-19. At this time, financial help is the best assistance for them.
Emmaus House – This organization will be open from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m., and is accepting donations. Take-out boxes are the biggest need at this point. Any pre-packaged food both perishable and nonperishable, bottled or canned beverages, cutlery packs, paper towels and napkins. If you would like to donate items, please come to the dining hall door (the door facing Bryan street, closest to the Abercorn side). Please do your part by wearing a mask when you come to donate.
Uplift Savannah – This is a listing of African American owned businesses in the Savannah area.