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Reflecting On The Legacy

Today, we as a country along with many across the world recognize the work and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

From my vantage point, I think it's appropriate to note the many positive changes that have occurred since his lifetime.

This article notes changes in the status of Black America from 1968 to 2018.

On positive notes, areas such as high school graduation rates, college graduation rates, homeownership, median income, poverty rates, and life expectancy have all improved.

There is much to be excited about as we have seen major events and changes all across America towards a better experience for those of African descent.

Yet, the article also notes that the black incarceration rate has tripled since 1968.

This article continues the comparison into how black households have changed along with noting the income differences in black and white wage earnings and wealth. While things have improved since 1968, comparably we are still far behind in reaching equal statuses or "catching up" to whites.

Now, as a Pastor, I'm also concerned about our church experience. It's almost surprising to hear statements like "There shouldn't be a 'black church'" when white-led segregation started the practice by not allowing blacks to attend worship services. Thinking back to President Trump's run for the White House and how politics overwhelmed the American Church, it showed just how easily it could be divided and just how many in Christianity still believe in White Supremacy. While I don’t personally have data on the number of blacks who left white churches, the sentiment became realized as black issues are rarely mentioned or addressed by white churches. It seems there's still a great need for all that Dr. King wrote in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail (

Article “The Church’s Black Exodus”

Article “A Quiet Exodus: Why Black Worshipers Are Leaving White Evangelical Churches”

Article on the Desegregation of the UMC

Article on Black Leaders leaving the SBC

While much has improved it seems we still have a long journey ahead of us. As we reflect on Dr. King’s Legacy, I am hopeful, optimistic, and thankful as I see the beauty of the progress that has been achieved. Yet I am also prayerful as I think of Dr. King’s immortal words that say “The time is always right to do what is right.”

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