Welcome to my web log! (blog) I hope that these entries will give you a glimpse into my world and the spirit I bring to my ministry. I write new entries every week, so check out the archives and check in again soon. Looking forward to beginning ministry with UUCFM in the fall!

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 Last night I had the great pleasure of hosting a screening of the film Traces of the Trade.  The film is about a white American woman, Katrina Browne, who traces her ancestor’s instrumental roles in the triangle trade.  With other close and extended family, she journeys from Bristol, Rhode Island to Ghana then to Cuba to trace the trade.  

It is a powerful film which is being supported by our Unitarian Universalist Allies for Racial Equity, an affiliated organization in the UUA that is accountable to DRUUMM (Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Ministries), the organization for UU people of color and those who identify as Latina/o or Hispanic.

The family is interviewed during the journey, and one of the women comments about how seeing the reality of what her ancestors did, well…she touches her heart and then cannot speak.  I am so appreciative of this film becasue it is thoughtful.  Hannah Arendt, in her reflections on Nazi Germany after WWII, laments the thoughlessness of the people.  Tirelessly following a skewed logic, the people of Germany participated in genocide.  Arendt, in her own processing, begins by calling what the Nazis did a radical evil.  But as she understood more and wrote more over the years, she then more aptly called this brand of evil banal.

Over the Atlantic ocean, 11 million Africans were stolen away in ships and 1 million did not survive the journey.  Their lives were for the sake of someone’s profit, a profit that still benefits whites today.   And we as Unitarian Universalists have a history here.  Universalists and Unitarians have a proud history of abolitionists like Theodore Parker and Samuel May.  However, we also know that Unitarians, the wealthy elite of Boston, were profiting from the slave trade.

What are the things we are wrapped up in these days that could be a form of banal evil?  Back in the times of Katrina Browne’s ancestors, the common working family was a part of this slave trade enterprise by buying coffee and sugar, some scraping together enough cash to buy a share and invest in the trade itself.  Take time this week to be thoughtful about the larger systems of which you are  part.  You can check out more information on the film at http://www.tracesof thetrade.org

I will get a copy of this film to share when I come in the fall.

Cheers,

Allison

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