Segregation & America in 1951

In 1951 (just 66 years ago), this is what America looked like:
– The State of Florida did not allow black and white students to use the same editions of textbooks.
– Interracial boxing matches were prohibited in Texas.
– A white nurse in Alabama was not allowed to take care of a black patient. She literally had to go get someone else to help the person in need.
– Bathrooms were segregated in the factories in North Carolina, the cotton mills in South Carolina, and the mines in four other states.
– In six states, white and black prisoners were not allowed to be chained together.
– In seven states, parks, playgrounds, bathing and fishing and boating facilities, amusement parks, race tracks, pool halls, circuses, theaters and public halls were all segregated.
– Ten states required segregated waiting rooms for public transportation.
– Fourteen states required black travelers to sit in the back of buses and streetcars.
– Fourteen states required separate facilities for black and white mentally ill patients.
– Seventeen states by law required the segregation of public schools.
– Four other states allowed individual communities to choose to segregate their schools if the community wanted to. You can guess where that legislative ambiguity ended up. 

For me, one of the saddest and overtly absurd realizations in this realm was this: in eleven states, separate schools for BLIND KIDS were operating. Essentially, these states were saying: “EVEN IF YOU CAN’T SEE ONE ANOTHER, YOU STILL CAN’T SHARE THE SAME SPACE.”

As a dad, I sit here today and wonder how exactly parents explained this to their kids? However they figured out how to do that, the MINDSET OF SEGREGATION was passed down to the next generation.

The insanity…

I’m going to be continuing to share over the next few months the things I’ve been learning and the realities my eyes have been opened up to.

Not because any of us LIKE to look at this stuff, but because we NEED to look at this stuff.

2016 happened.

And it was NOT a good year for equality and progress. It showed us all (if we’d just open our eyes to see), the mountains of inequality and heaps of injustice still around us today. We may not have segregated schools, but we have divided hearts. And it’s time we stop ignoring the diagnosis and sweeping the filth under the rug.






You Own The Sunday

this past sunday we started a new 4-week series in our student services called “You Own The Sunday”. like so many ideas we try, it was taken from someone else in a different context (josh griffin’s, to be exact) and tweaked to try to fit ours. the series isn’t done yet, so i can’t say yet whether or not it has truly transferred successfully, but there’s been enough “wins” already to think so. there’s a good chance we’ll be doing it every year.

here’s how it works:

our students are given 4 weeks to “own” all elements of the service – from the greeting at the door, to the tech and video elements, right down to the preaching. the goal is to not have a single adult on stage all morning (but they’re adults all over the place to support them and help them succeed in the weeks and months before).  we divided our students into our 4 most attended school clusters and challenged them to unite together to put on the service specifically for the rest of the teens that go to their school. the students putting on the service are challenged to make sure every single student at their school gets at least 1 personal invitation (not just a facebook event invite).

may 1st = Greece Arcadia Titans own the sunday

may 15th = Hilton Cadets & Spencerport Rangers own the Sunday

may 22nd = all the other schools own the sunday

june 5th = Greece Athena Trojans own the sunday

here’s what i’m hoping to see from it: 

  • more relevant communication (because it comes from people “indigenous” to teen culture)
  • more invites (teens are more likely to invite to something they own)
  • more new visitors that don’t go to church anywhere
  • more connection between teens in our ministry that don’t normally connect together (but should)
  • more involvement after the series from students that normally just sit in the seats
so far we’ve seen a lot of what i’ve been hoping to see… and it’s exciting!