You are here

Black Lives Matter

For God has made from one blood all the families of earth. (Acts 17:26)

Working Groups


Old South Church in Boston has two informal working groups gathered around race:

Reading Race

Reading, discussion, and action co-facilitated by Old South Church's Theologian in the City, the Reverend June R. Cooper, and Senior Minister, the Reverend Nancy S. Taylor.


An Old South Church initiative for listening and learning about race, racism, and diversity as a theological undertaking, facilitated by Theologian in the City, the Reverend June R. Cooper.


Get on the Bus: A conversation with Ted Landsmark

Ted is the subject of the 1977 Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph The Soiling of Old Glory. In the photo he is seen being assaulted by a man who has weaponized the American flag during an anti-busing demonstration in Boston City Hall Plaza. Photo Gallery

Credit: Stanley Forman, 1976




The Fierce Urgency of Now
A psalm of lament

On the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of Trayvon Martin.
I get the fierce urgency of now

so I’m asking with fierce urgency about how

racial tensions and courtroom dissentions

and scraps of evidence (and where’s the heartfelt penitence?)

and the slimmest suspicion becomes percussive permission

(add a vigilante’s derision)

turning chambered bullet into bully pulpit


The sword is mightier than the pen

when it renders a young man dead.


He didn’t even get to taste the rainbow Skittles

before the jury pronounced acquittal

Tart lime, orange, yellow, purple and red

pooled blood, just seventeen, oh GOD, Trayvon’s dead


But The concrete sidewalk is a deadly weapon

I swear the defense said this deadpan


and my heart is in explosion


I get the fierce urgency of now

so I’m asking with fierce urgency about how (and when and why)

stand your ground became the law of that land

and Zimmerman an Uberman

And did you read the Ten Commandments?

did I miss some amendments?

because the one pronounced not guilty

broke at least three


and the altar boy is free

-Rev. Nancy S. Taylor, July 2013, Boston, MA


A Saturday Evening Prayer for Mother Emanuel

Dearest God,
For those whose Sunday-go-to-meeting will dawn with a hard new truth;
Whose memories replay an unfathomable encounter with hatred;
Whose church floorboards are stained with blood;
Whose days to come shall be a heavy march of funerals:
Hear our prayers.
Dearest God,
For those whose bright faith in the promise of equality has dimmed;
Whose homeland is strewn with landmines of terror and bounded by the razor-wire of racism;
For whom every excursion and every meeting carries risk:
Hear our prayers.
Dearest God, for a nation inured to the savagery and ubiquity of firearms;
For those too proud of an emblem that cannot but herald an unconscionable past;
For a racism so deep and high and wide as to contaminate everything:
Hear our prayers.
Dearest God,
Come to our aid right quickly
And teach us a kind of repentance that will do some good.

-Rev. Nancy S. Taylor, June 2015, Boston, MA






Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Department of Justice report on the Ferguson, Mo. Police Department

Toxic Charity, by Robert D. Lupton

How To Be Black, by American comedian Baratunde Thurston


Facing America’s Original Sin, by Otis Moss III

John Hope Franklin: Race and the Meaning of America

White Debt, by Eula Biss (New York Times)

Buddhism, the Beats and Loving Blackness, by George Yancy and Bell Hooks

272 Slaves Were Sold to Save Georgetown. What Does It Owe Their Descendants? (New York Times)

Curriculum - announced

UCC curriculum on White Privilege engages and encourages sacred conversations on race via UCC News (5/23/16)