Friends General Conference

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FGC's Anti-Racism Ministry: May 2021 Update

By Eppchez Yes, Artist and Member of FGC's Institutional Assessment Implementation Committee | 5/19/21

 

For this update, in keeping with the May 2021 Vital Friends eNewsletter theme of Quakers & Art, Friends serving on the Institutional Assessment Implementation Committee wanted to take this opportunity to share some of the art we have made and the art that inspires us. These works of art help us move forward with our charge of supporting FGC in its goal to become an anti-racist faith community.

Regina Renee Ward, our clerk who is also a librarian, has literature recommendations. She shares:

Octavia E. Butler has taught me that I belong in any and every space I can imagine myself. She wrote me, and others like me, into the future. Her visionary fiction inspires me to continue working for social change. Her writing and writing inspired by her challenge me to imagine different futures and build them into existence.

Recommended Reading:

Eppchez Yes, who is a playwright and theater artist, shares:

I have made the filmed version of my solo show Publik Private available to stream for a limited time. This piece is about learning to hold the full horror of what White Supremacy has done in the Americas as illustrated by the lives of two white, gender non-conforming historical figures. You can watch the full film online here.

David Etheridge shares:

Claudia Rankine’s latest book, Just Us: An American Conversation, is a multimedia and many-layered work of art about racism in the United States. Mostly on the pages to the right are poems and essays she has written, based largely on her own experience. On pages that are usually to the left is material that either provides the source for a statement on the right-hand page (performing the function of a scholarly footnote) or an illustration that elaborates on the “conversation” happening on that right-hand page.

Here are two examples: 1) a page from Nelson Mandela’s calendar where he records his daily blood pressure reading including a particularly high reading on a day he had a conversation with the white President of South Africa and 2) a colored-in page from a pre-school Asian boy’s Goldilocks and the Three Bears coloring book together with the text of an email from the publisher of a commercial book on the same story declining the author’s request for permission to use its artwork in her book.

Vanessa Julye, FGC’s Ministry on Racism Coordinator and resident film buff, has some recommendations from various streaming sites to share:

Exterminate All the Brutes -  Reframes the profound meaning of the Native American genocide and American slavery and their fundamental implications for our present. Available through HBO Max.

Kumu Hina -  The story of Hina Wong-Kalu, a mahu, who in addition to being a person who embodies both the masculine and feminine aspects of the gender spectrum, is also a preserver of Hawaiian culture and the traditional dance of hula. Rent or buy on Amazon.

Fast Color - A woman of African and European descent who comes into her own after discovering she has superhuman abilities. Available through Amazon Prime.

How America Invented Race | The History of White People in America - A lyrical and beautifully animated history of how skin became race, and race became power. Watch on YouTube.