During Black History Month, the Diversity and Reconciliation Commission of the diocese will once again be offering online video presentations on the lives of famous black Episcopalians.
This year we will feature two priest activists and writers, a history-making bishop, and an Anglo-Catholic artist who has a connection to our own St. Augustine’s Church.
Fr. George F. Bragg was born enslaved and went on to a career in journalism and politics before becoming the 12th African American to be ordained a priest in our Church. Fr. Harold Lewis died recently on December 31, 2021. Fr. Lewis spent his priesthood serving parishes here and abroad, working for the inclusion of Black Episcopalians throughout the Church, and writing and teaching. Bishop Barbara Harris was the first woman to be consecrated as a bishop in the Anglican Communion and served as Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Massachusetts. Allan Rohan Crite was an artist who featured black subjects in both secular and religious art. His Anglo-Catholic faith-inspired breathtakingly beautiful artwork can be found in some of the great museums of our nation as well as in one parish of our diocese.
The Commission would also encourage folks to watch a terrific documentary produced this past year on the life of the Rev’d Pauli Murray, one of the great legal minds of the late 20th Century and the first African American woman to be ordained a priest in our Church. “My Name is Pauli Murray” can be found on the Amazon Prime streaming service.
Look for the other videos to be released one per week during the remainder of February.
The Rev. Chas Marks is rector of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City, Transition Missioner on the Bishop’s Staff, and a member of the Diversity and Reconciliation Commission.