It's an extremely rare moment in our lives as Black UUs to be in a position to hold space for ourselves and not also have to manage what it means for folks who aren't to share space with us. The persistent questions about who and how we're supposed to be in predominantly white spaces can run laps around our psyches and make really remarkable people remarkably tired. You know what I'm talking about. Ultimately the questions (and critiques) do the work of wearing us down to the point where we either forget who we are altogether, or we get real good knowing ourselves, but also hiding what is most true about ourselves. In either case, the covenantal relationship that we have with our own Blackness gets muddled and lost.
It's part of our work in BLUU to expand the power and capacity of Black UUs. And part of how we do that deeply spiritual work is to offer opportunities for us to let our shoulders down and be motivated, uplifted, and fortified by the full context of our Blackness. We do this work because it matters, at a soul-deep level, that we be reminded of what it's like and what it means to only be accountable to one another as Black people first and foremost and not encumbered by what centering whiteness far too often requires of us, from both white folks and from non-Black people of color. We also do this work because white supremacy is specifically grounded in anti-blackness and the insidiousness of anti-blackness in our everyday lives and in American culture more broadly makes Explicitly Black spaces a critical point of healing.
To be clear, this has less to do with who we love and are in relationship with and more to do with what it takes to bring us into fully loving all of ourselves. We'd be here all day if we had to tell you all the times we and other Black UUs have said that we just want a space where all the beautiful magic of being black and UU can be wholly realized and manifested. Folks are hungry for it; so Explicitly Black spaces are the spaces we cultivate and make meaning out of, and RECLAIM will be one of those spaces.
As part of the preparation for this event, we're inviting congregations and communities, individuals and, yes, families, to do a most uncommon thing: to center Blackness in the spiritual groundedness of our Unitarian Universalism. And to get creative doing it! For a congregation, UU or otherwise, to be honest, that may look like sponsoring a Black UU to be able to go to Kansas City for the weekend of revival. For multiracial families, maybe that looks like escorting your black family members to revival and then meeting up with folks from other multiracial families, grateful both for the building of community and for the rare opportunity you've loved your folks into. The sky's the limit!
It can't be up to BLUU or the Regional Revival Team to decide what will work best and make the most sense for everyone because all of us have different needs. How we decide to show up for one another and ourselves in this moment will only come with open and honest dialogue, both about what may be hard and what can be exceptionally joy-filled in these moments. And BLUU and the Revival Team will do our best to support you in the undertaking and invite you to think about how the forthcoming schedule can work for you. There will likely be opportunities for Black children & youth or young adults to gather. There will be a specific gathering or two that are not Explicitly Black spaces. All of this is unfolding as we speak.
In the meantime, prepare your hearts, minds and spirits for something really special. RECLAIM will be a time for us to come alive in ways that, perhaps, we've never come alive before...maybe didn’t even know was possible. And it is our sincerest hope that everyone who can be with us will be. Registration and sponsorship information is right around the corner, so be on the lookout for it. Register!! And if you’re a congregation or a person not attending, sponsor an individual or a family to go! You’ll be glad you did.
See you in Kansas City!
Your Regional Revival Team