Friday, September 10, 2010

Uh boy.

I had skimmed this announcement in our weekly diocesan email earlier this week, but a friend of mine pointed out the end, highlighted here for your...enlightenment.

Noted pastor, author, biblical scholar, family man, and Pastor Emeritus, Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL, Dr. Jeremiah Wright will deliver the keynote address, "Living Up To Our Greatness" for the founding celebration of the African American Leadership Commission, East Bay Region. His latest book, "A Sankofa Moment: The History of Trinity United Church of Christ," describes the 48-year journey of building the UCC's largest congregation in the United States. The AALC is part of the national network of the Gamaliel Foundation, Chicago, and a member of its local affiliate, Genesis. Please wear Afro-centric attire, in whole or in part, such as a scarf, a tie, a skirt, a blouse, a dress, or head wrap. Clergy are requested to wear an Afro-centric robe or stole. The program begins with the ISIS women's drumming group leading a procession of clergy and others into the sanctuary.

This is a joke, right? This is just a parody of liberalism that someone snuck into the announcement, right? Please tell me that this is a brilliant prank.


Kirstin said...


Elisabeth said...

I have a friend who calls this "We Are The World Syndrome"... Does this reflect inclusiveness? Does this report "love thy neighbor"? Or does it just make people look bloody ridiculous, if not condescending?

Anonymous said...

Call me crazy, but I am confused - why is it any sillier to ask people to wear Afrocentric colors for this event than it is to ask clergy to wear red stoles for a festive diocesan celebration or musicians to wear black tie for a classical music concert?

LKT said...

Well, for one, the clergy or musicians are part of the performance, not part of the audience. For another, what does "afro-centric attire" mean? A suit and tie? A dashiki? A t-shirt and baggy jeans?

But the main thing for me is that it seems to be a cheap way of earnestly saying "We support you, black people, right on," and I find it inauthentic and embarrassing.

It's not like asking clergy to dress like clergy for a clergy-related event; it's like asking clergy to go to a youth-related event dressed like a teenager in order to show how hip and with it they are.

Anonymous said...

I guess some of the key questions might be who's doing the organizing, who's extending the invitations, and who's accepting them. My initial impression was that the African American Leadership Council would be a group of African Americans, hence more entitled than anyone else to ask for an Afro-centric style at any given public event or community celebration that they were organizing. If this is the case, then honoring their request would show respect rather than condescension, I think.

Scott Gunn said...

I was invited to something not long ago, and the invitation specified "Liturgical color: white or rainbow".