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Updated: Apr 10, 2018

Our Second Conversation - March 25, 2018

Thank you for joining The Conversation in Black and White. Our desire is to have honest conversations about race in a safe and friendly environment. Thankfully, the conversation is warming up rather than heating up!

In this blog you'll find some current events and discussions on race.

During the process please remember that we are moving toward our goal. We have not reached it but we are on the way and the process is a significant part of the strategy.

Our ICEBREAKER discussion on March 25th was a good conversation and good for the CONVERSATION. I've often heard in the secular realm to begin the conversation. I agree with that. Beginning the conversation is an important part of moving toward unity - and when it comes to Christians, racial reconciliation. Watching the movie SELMA together proved to be a good icebreaker and the responses to the questions that were provided made for a good CONVERSATION for our March gathering. We welcome those who joined the CONVERSATION in March. The CONVERSATION is a nine month conversation and there are some life-changing, transformational gems for those who stay the course.

You've got to be taught to hate and fear,

You've got to be taught from year to year,

It's git to be drummed in your dear little ear,

You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid,

Of people whose eyes are oddly made,

And people whose skin is a different shade,

You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late,

Before you are six or seven or eight,

To hate all those people your relatives hate,

You've got to be carefully taught!

"You've Got To Be Carefully Taught" from the 1949 Rogers & Hammerstein musical SOUTH PACIFIC.

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Dr. W. Charles Lewis speaks Wednesday about breaking down racial barriers in the community. Lewis, senior pastor of Dothan community Church, was the keynote speaker at Macedonia Missionary Baptist church’s event. [PATTI BLAKE/THE NEWS HERALD]

“We have to stop looking and seeing in black and white,” Pastor W. Charles Lewis said. “We have to see in color.”

PANAMA CITY BEACH — Whites, blacks, Christians, Muslims and others gathered at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church on Wednesday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and to mark the 50th anniversary of his slaying. The attendees shared different backgrounds but the same dream as King: racial reconciliation.

They all had come together for “Breaking Down Barriers in Bay County,” a service put in place to encourage just that kind of togetherness.

“Those of us here today can be a part of that catalyst for racial reconciliation,” Jesse Nelson, Macedonia senior pastor, said to the audience. Nelson, one of the main organizers, said Breaking Down Barriers was just the start of many more racial integration ceremonies to come.

On Wednesday, Nelson brought in W. Charles Lewis, senior pastor of Dothan Community Church in Alabama. Lewis long has been active in solidifying the bond between all races and backgrounds.

“God sees color,” Lewis said. “He wants us to see the black man. He wants us to see the white man. He wants us to see the yellow person. Perhaps there’s someone you didn’t like; maybe you can turn things around. I encourage you to do that racially and cross-culturally.”

Lewis also used scriptures and messages from the Book of John to convey the message of a peaceful bond. He said to achieve racial harmony, people have to go against the status quo.

“We must do what the status quo does not do,” he said. “We have to see what the status quo doesn’t see. In order to do that, we have to stop looking and seeing in black and white. We have to see in color. We must learn to do some things our parents wouldn’t do, and couldn’t do. We can’t hate because our parents hate.”

Bryan Taylor was among the attendees invited to the gathering by friends or colleagues.

“It’s a historical day,” he said. “I hope it will strengthen existing relationships and build some that will benefit our community.”

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Updated: Mar 24, 2018

For our beginning Conversation in Black and White, Chester and I made opening statements and we watched the movie SELMA as an icebreaker. icebreaker it was. Here are some comments as a result of our first session:

  • "I had not seen the movie. It was certainly straight forward. Thanks for the initiative."

  • "It was a powerful movie. I haven't seen it before."

  • "Selma makes me think of Isaiah 5:23. Woe to those who acquit the guilty for a bribe and deprive the innocent of his right."

  • "I loved the time."

  • "We are glad we attended tonight. So glad that Charles was able to attend."

We look forward to our next session this Sunday at 6:00 PM. We will discuss our icebreaker and begin the conversation.

A friend sent me this article. It's worth the read:

Race relations was in the national news again this week as a twenty-two-year-old was fatally shot on March 19.

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