The civil rights movement was propelled by the blatant portrayal, yet denial, of America’s systemic racism. The refusal to recognize the grave social injustices levied upon the African-American community, compelled the church to respond.
Clergy, Rabbis, community activists, Black and White activists led nationwide protests here in America. The Negro had been denied access to American Dream and this needed to be remedied. No honest historian can ever claim that religion played no part in the process. Quite to the contrary: The church was the chief launching pad of the movement and activists of all colors were primarily recruited from the house of God.
One of the strongest tenets of the case the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King made to the nation, was personhood. That stone struck down Jim Crow ideology as un-American and unconstitutional. Dr. King said, “Never before has a sociopolitical document so profoundly and eloquently expressed the sacredness of human personality …”
The document Dr. King was referring to is The Declaration of Independence which states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all Men are created equal and endowed by the creator with certain inalienable rights among these are life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” It is the chief cornerstone.
“I am a man” was the phrase of solidarity of the Memphis Sanitation Workers in their struggle for wages and against poor working conditions and racism. “We felt we would have to let the city know that because we were sanitation workers, we were human beings. The signs we were carrying said, ‘I Am a Man,’” stated James Douglas, a sanitation worker in Memphis.
What better person to call to elevate their protest than the man who staked his claim to social justice on the bases of personhood than the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. This would be one of Dr. King’s finest moments, but sorrowfully, his final assignment. Tragically, a sniper’s bullet would find its mark on April 4, 1968 in Memphis while he was there on the Sanitation Workers’ behalf.
Dr. King had a protege who understood the importance of recognizing the humanity of others based on the understood fact they were creations of God as the Declaration of Independence declared. That mentee’s name was the Rev. Jessie Jackson. He stated, “That is why the Constitution called us three-fifths human and then whites further dehumanized us by calling us ‘n**g**s.’”
It was part of the dehumanizing process. The first step was to distort the image of us as human beings in order to justify that which they wanted to do and not even feel like they had done anything wrong. Those advocates of taking life prior to birth do not call it killing or murder; they call it abortion. They further never talk about aborting a baby because that would imply something human. Rather, they talk about aborting the fetus. Fetus sounds less than human and therefore can be justified.
The civil rights movement leaders were once again primarily clergy. The scriptures were not foreign to them but well read by the strategists and planners. The late Wyatt T. Walker, pastor-emeritus of the Canaan Baptist Church of Harlem, was a chief instructor of the students that sat-in at lunch counters in Woolworths in defiance of the Jim Crow laws of the early 1960s. And Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, one of the founding members of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), was quite frankly the catalyst of both.
These were institutions that played major roles in ending segregation in the South. Rev. Ralph Abernathy was a pastor and mentored Dr. King in Montgomery, Alabama when Dr. King answered the call to pastor the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery. They strongly collaborated to create the Montgomery Improvement Association which soon led the historic Montgomery bus boycott.
All of these great men, and many more like them, understood the value of life, the sacredness of personhood and therefore they legitimately could be called civil rights leaders. These men understood it would be intellectually and morally dishonest to claim a right for themselves, and in so doing, take away the rights of someone else. As stated, they were scripturally astute and fully embraced the prophet Jeremiah’s revelation of personhood. Jeremiah 1:6 states:
“Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou came forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and, I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”
The church that was the foundation of the movement had leadership who realized before they were placed in their mother’s womb, they were a person, had an ordination service, installed into the role they would play on earth and people they would touch.
1. Before you were fearfully and wonderfully made in the womb, you were a person.
2. God knew or intimately had relationship with your person, the who that you are.
3. Sanctified or set you apart for that specific role in life you are to play.
4. God has the people you are to reach and the harvest you are to reap already ordained.
The understanding of personhood would have prevented slavery, Jim Crow laws, World Wars I, and II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and every conflict we have domestically and globally. The one conflict I left out is the conflict which has surpassed all the conflicts mentioned by name above. Abortion. How is it that “The most dangerous place for an African American to be is in the womb of their African-American mother?” How?
Today’s activists who support the pro-choice position, disqualify themselves as social activists because they claim a right for themselves they take away from someone else via abortion. Pro-choice was a term coined during slavery! If you elected to own slaves, it was a “choice” that could be afforded you even though there would be others who would be in opposition and would choose not to. Thus, those who supported slavery were considered pro-choice and those who did not were Abolitionists. Do you support abortion? If so, you are pro-choice, and I hope you connect the dots.
Are you Woke yet? Are you Woke to this social injustice? Breitbart News has reported that surgical abortions account for 61% of all deaths combined in the African-American community. A disproportionate 36% of all abortions are performed on African-American women, even though they make up only 12.4 percent of the population. Of all African-American pregnancies, 52 percent end in abortion. Planned Parenthood is the leading provider of abortions in America — 75% of all of their abortion clinics are in minority neighborhoods.
The founder Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist (racist) and was recently denounced by Planned Parenthood themselves. The New York Chapter of Planned Parenthood produced this statement, “The removal of Margaret Sanger’s name from our building is both a necessary and overdue step to reckon with our legacy and acknowledge Planned Parenthood’s contributions to historical reproductive harm within communities of color.” Karen Seltzer, chair of the board at Planned Parenthood of Greater New York, said in a statement. “Margaret Sanger’s concerns and advocacy for reproductive health have been clearly documented, but so too has her racist legacy.”
Are you Woke to the decimation and racism of the abortion industry?
• Rev. Clenard H. Childress Jr. is the foremost African-American conservative activist against abortion.