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"Faith and Struggle: A Black Pioneer in a White Denomination"
With Rev. Rebekah Montgomery. Our UU history sermon will be about the somewhat tragic story of the Rev. E. Ethelred Brown. The Rev. Mark Morrison-Read included Rev. Brown’s story in his book, Black Pioneers in a White Denomination - naming the uncomfortable history of our Black fore-bearers who struggled to find their way even in our liberal communities where race played a significant role in perpetuating discrimination and prejudice. When Rev. Brown wrote to the American Unitarian Association in 1895 declaring his interest in the ministry, the response came back that there was no Unitarian Church in America for colored people and that white Unitarians required a white minister and therefore his future in the Unitarian ministry would be doubtful. Despite this discouragement, Rev Brown struck out to become a Unitarian, holding fast to our shared theological beliefs despite the lack of a welcoming response. His story is a fascinating one that sheds light on our past and the uncomfortable tensions that still persist in our tradition.