What Has Changed?
Why Has It Changed?
What is the same?  
 What Must/Can We Do?   

November 28, 2022 Antoinette Richardson

On December 3, via zoom, from 10:30 am to noon, we will gather to discuss the above questions. To request the zoom link to join the conversation email racialequitybuddies@fhcpresb.org. Our hosts and leaders for this event are Chiquita Montgomery and ivy tillman.

Maya Angelou’s inspirational poem Still I Rise reminds us that despite the difficult past, and the present difficult times we still rise. Join us on this equity journey and help us rise.

Following are a few pictures that capture the human rights struggle of the 1960s to the present. Collectively, they raise the question of how much this nation has changed; which begs the last question above “what can/must we do”.

After the pictures are excerpts from 1) a speech by Governor George Wallace of Alabama; 2) the Kerner Report; 3) Dr. King’s “Letter From A Birmingham Jail”, and 4) a speech by Malcolm X entitled “The Ballot or The Bullet”. 

African American Woman Being Carried to Police Patrol Wagon During Demonstration, Brooklyn, New York, USA, Dick DeMarsico, World Telegram & Sun, 1963.

Birmingham, AL: Demonstrating students wave a Confederate flag as they chant and jeer outside West End High School. Three Birmingham schools were...

Leeds United Kingdom Jun 2020 Photos Black Lives Matter Protest Stock Image


Demonstrators hold up signs as they participate in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Washington DC, August 28, 1963. Among the visible...

Photograph of Carolyn House, Brenda Officer, Paul Anderson, and other people at an African American Civil Rights sit-in segregation protest at John A...

Free Protesters Holding Signs Stock Photo

1963 Governor George  Wallace: “Segregation Now, Segregation Tomorrow, Segregation Forever” In his 1963 Inaugural Address  Alabama Governor George Wallace made the above infamous declaration.“ Here is a one-minute YOUTUBE clip of Wallace speaking those hateful words. His remarks are chilling.

George Wallace’s “Segregation Forever” Speech – YouTube

1968 Kerner Report 

“Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.” Segregation and poverty have created in the racial ghetto a destructive environment totally unknown to most white Americans.

What white Americans have never fully understood but what the Negro can never forget–is that white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto. White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it, and white society condones it.

It is time now to turn with all the purpose at our command to the major unfinished business of this nation. It is time to adopt strategies for action that will produce quick and visible progress. It is time to make good the promises of American democracy to all citizens-urban and rural, white and black, Spanish-surname, American Indian, and every minority group.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Letter From A Birmingham Jail    We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights. We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”

1963 El Hajj Malik Shabazz, aka, Malcolm X “The Ballot or The Bullet”

“America is the only country in history in a position to bring about a revolution without violence and bloodshed. But America is not morally equipped to do so.

Why is America in a position to bring about a bloodless revolution? Because the Negro in this country holds the balance of power, and if the Negro in this country were given what the Constitution says he is supposed to have, the added power of the Negro in this country would sweep all of the racists and the segregationists out of office. It would change the entire political structure of the country. It would wipe out the Southern segregationism that now controls America’s foreign policy, as well as America’s domestic policy.

And the only way without bloodshed that this can be brought about is that the black man has to be given full use of the ballot in every one of the fifty states. Both the book club and Racial Equity Buddies Program are co-sponsored by The First Congregational Church of Hudson (UCC) and The Ministry of Adult Spiritual Growth (Forest Hill Church, Presbyterian).  Other groups, organizations, and institutions are invited to co-sponsor these events. To do so, please respond to this email: racialequitybuddies@fhcpresb.org.                                                               

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What Are You Waiting For? ~ Jeremiah 33: 14-16, 1 Thessalonians 3: 9-13

December 2, 2018 Peg Weissbrod

The sermon begins around 22 minutes in.

A person is talking to God, and asks “God, how long is a million years?”
God answers, “To me, it’s about a minute.”
“God, how much is a million dollars?”
God says, “To me, it’s a penny.”
Person says, “God, may I have a penny?”
God says, “Wait a minute.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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The Bible ~ 1 Thessalonians 2: 13; 2 Timothy 3: 16-17

July 1, 2018 Peg Weissbrod

The sermon begins at the 23 minute mark.

One evening last week Lisa Vahey told this story at the meeting of those who volunteer their time to be with Leonor, Adan and Louis Mario as they live with us in Sanctuary. She shared with us that often she takes Adan (who is four) to the Stone Oven on Lee for a cookie. So Adan and Lisa enter Stone Oven and apparently there are two tables filled with Forest Hill members and Adan goes right up and says hello, starts working the crowd as only he can. He knows people that Lisa doesn’t. And as she completed this story she became choked up and said: “Adan feels at home in this world, he feels welcomed!” Read the rest of this entry »

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The Voice of the Spirit ~ Acts 2: 14-24, 41-42

June 4, 2017 Peg Weissbrod

I’m very excited to be here – but to be honest, I’m also a little scared. You see, I was taught from a very early age that it was more important to think about what I want to say than say it; it was more valuable to listen than to speak. No wonder I spend my day in a hospital listening. No wonder figuring out what I want to say has been a struggle. Read the rest of this entry »

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Deuteronomy 30:6-14

July 10, 2016 Peg Weissbrod

Today’s sermon is a story of God’s faithfulness to us across space and time through the words of scripture. To be honest with you, I thought a lot about throwing this sermon in the trash. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dependent and Free! ~ 2 Kings 5:1-14

July 3, 2016 Peg Weissbrod

Happy Independence Day weekend! Nothing says celebration like a good Bible story about a leper! By now you probably know enough about my preaching style to know that I’m going to have to unpack this story. It’s a richly evocative one that invites us to find ourselves and God in the telling. So here goes… Read the rest of this entry »

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Prepare the Way ~ Luke 3: 1-6

December 6, 2015 Peg Weissbrod

I come to the task of preaching this morning with a heavy heart. And I want to acknowledge that, because I imagine that you, too, have strong feelings about the violence and chaos that are being unleashed on the world at a terrifying pace. Read the rest of this entry »

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