Quakers and African Americans

Their not always FRIENDLY relations

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African-Quaker Connection
Bayard Rustin
bayard rustin
Brother Outsider

Blacks, having so closely involved with Friends during abolitionism, drifted away

The early days of Quakerism, so filled with the fire and passion of the high idealism of their "good news" (evangelical fervor), somehow cooled. During the ninetenth century, African Americans, for so long so closely involved with Quaker friends and allies during the long struggle of abolition, needed a "living religion" according to their own testimony. Why might this have occurred?

The Decline of Quakerism, and other elitist intellectual faiths
Abraham Maslow speculates on the lukewarmness that religion often becomes: "A rather bleak, boring, unexciting, unemotional, cool philosophy of life which fails to do what the traditional religions have tried to do when they were at their best, to inspire, to awe, to comfort, to fulfill, to guide in the value of choices, and to discriminate between higher and lower, better and worse, not to mention to produce [Dionysiac and Pentecostal experiences, wildness, rejoicing, impulsiveness."

One man's junk is another man's treasure
If the West has tossed away its spiritual heritage, the way Esau lightly esteemed his birthright, it is not surprising that others have seen the treasure for what it is, a priceless inheritance. While religion has declined in the affluent West, self-satisfied with its elitist "superiority," much of the rest of the world is eagerly taking it up. Currently, the largest concentration of Quakers is in Kenya, where the faith is 130,000 members strong. . African Friends make up around 46% of Friends internationally, the largest proportion in any one continent. Kenya has the largest number of Quakers in a single nation.

See Zablon Isaac Malenge. (Quakerism in the Perspective of Friends Church in Kenya)

History: quakerism in east Africa On April 23, 1902 three Friends -- Arthur Chilson, Edgar Hole, and Willis Hotchkiss -- set sail from New York to Mombasa, Kenya. They went on behalf of the Cleveland Friends Meeting. From there they made their way across by rail to Kisumu and then by foot to Kaimosi and set up a mission there on August 17. They came from the programmed tradition of Five Years Meeting (now Friends United Meeting)

From that small beginning, Quakerism grew and spread throughout Kenya during the twentieth century, although it is still concentrated in the western area. A mission hospital (Kaimosi Hospital) was founded in 1941. The Friends Bible Institute opened in 1942. Friends gradually spread into other areas of Kenya, with another hospital (in Lugulu), an epilepsy colony, an agricultural college and a college of technology all being established, as well as many new churches. It also spread to the neighboring countries of Uganda and Tanzania. Due to the size, the original East Africa Yearly Meeting split into several smaller Yearly Meetings, some of these splits have been painful. There is now one umbrella organisation - Friends Church in Kenya (FCK) - which brings together all fourteen Yearly Meetings in Kenya. [thanks to wiki]

Quakers Spread Across East Africa

Quakers and African Americans

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As far back as 1737, Benjamin Lay, one of many Friends who worked to free the Society of Friends of slaveholding, said that "Negroes were incapable of assimilation ..." Even Anthony Benezet, A Friend who devoted his life to educating free African Americans, like most other 18th Century Quakers, "believed time and Providence would fit them for freedom, preferably to be enjoyed in some other place than the South." West of the Alleghenies was his idea of "a suitable settlement." Thomas E. Drake, Quakers and Slavery, p. 121.

"...we have been led to believe that white abolitionists generally and Quakers specifically extended all aid to runaway slaves. This involvement however, has been grossly exaggerated. Only a minority of this religious community ... participated in the struggle to transport slaves to freedom.

"The overemphasis on the Quakers' role has led to ignorance about the participation of other religious groups, however. The Wesleyan Methodists, the Jews, the Dunkers, the Unitarians, the Covenanters, and Roman Catholics probably have as legitimate a claim to consistent Railroad activity as the Quakers." Charles Blockson, The Underground Railroad, p 3.

[This overemphasis also] "led to the unfortunate neglect of the importance of the free Negroes in the historical drama [of the Underground Railroad]. Larry Gara, "Friends and the Underground Railroad," Quaker History, Vol. 51, No. 1 (Spring 1962) p. 9. One such free Negro was William Still, who indeed worked with Quakers such as Thomas Garrett.

"We have just learned that the [Media Friends] School has admitted as a pupil a child who is Negro. We regret this change in policy was made without sufficient consultation with the parents of children already enrolled ... No one of us has the slightest prejudice against the Negro race, but on the other hand we believe it unwise and unnecessary to have our children thrown in close daily association with Negro children. Once the door is opened it is inevitable that others will follow." Letter of February 20, 1937, Signed by 39 Media Friends School parents.

"I have frequently heard my mother say that very many of our people inclined to Friends' mode of worship; she lamented the unchristian conduct that kept them out. Some have gone out from 'Friends,' not because they prefer their own meetings where they regularly hear 'singing and preaching,' but because they could not bear the cross of sitting on the 'black bench.' Ah, there are many poor stray starving sheep, wandering in this world's wilderness, who would gladly come to your green pastures, and repose them by your Stillwater; did not prejudice bar the entrance! I am persuaded the Lord has a controversy with Friends on this account. Let them see to it." Quoted in: Margaret Hope Bacon, Sarah Mapps Douglass, Faithful Attender of Quaker Meeting: View from the Back Bench, p. 21.

Reporting in 1839 to British Friends about racism in the U.S., Sarah Grimké wrote of a conversation with another Quaker woman (from Massachusetts) who "admitted that in her household the black hired hand was given separate dishes. The family 'would no more have thought of using them, than if a cat or dog had eaten with them -- such she said are the prejudices I was educated in, I have found it hard to overcome them.'" Jean Fagan Yellin and John C. Van Horne, editors. The Abolitionist Sisterhood: Women's Political Culture in Antebellum America, p. 167.

Quakers, the Peace Testimony, Abolitionism, and the Civil War ~ By Lynn "Rise now for Freedom! Not in strife." Whittier naively hoped slavery might end peaceably ... without "strife." The Alexandria blog essay. Quaker pacifists faced a terrible dilemma between their deep antagonism to racism and slavery, on the one hand, and their anti-war principles, on the other.

Quaker "racial superiority" attitudes exhibited "In Richmond, Indiana in the 1920s, 6.6 percent of the Ku Klux Klan were Quakers." Dwight W. Hosmer, "Daisy Douglas Barr: From Quaker to Klan 'Kluckeress,'" Indiana Magazine of History, June 1991. See Elisha Tyson and Friends Meeting House .

The Cape Verde Islanders

Cape Verde Islanders arrive at whaling town of New Bedford, Massachusetts

Quakers in the Whaling Industry

Quakers dominated the whaling industry in Nantucket and New Bedford, Massachusetts, for 150 years. Pictured above, these black folk from the Cape Verde Islands came and many of the men joined in the rough, tough (but at the time, lucrative) business.

Because of the dependence on the oil (and other products of the whale), industrial scale whaling by Quakers on Nantucket Island and the adjacent Massachusetts town of New Bedford lasted approximately 150 years. Vast fortunes were made as whale ships ranged the whaling grounds from the South Atlantic to Greenland, and from the coast of Chile to the South Seas. Their target was the sperm whale whose oil and spermaceti fetched high prices in the growing industrial centres of America and Europe.

Many black sailors, including Cape Verde Islanders, found work on the whale ships, some even as ships' captains. For example Captain Paul Cuffee. His African name had been Kofi. Captain Cuffee built a lucrative shipping empire and established the first racially integrated school in Westport, Massachusetts. He was a Quaker.

Quakers first moved to Nantucket and the New England shores in the 1650s to avoid persecution in England. Additionally, southern Massachusetts saw widescale conversions to Quakerism which alarmed the orthodox Puritanism of the Boston Church. My own Nichols family of Rhode Island were among these. Of Welsh ancestry, they pursued shipping in Rhode Island, but alas, were involved in the slave trade which offered very high returns as a way to offset the losses inherent in so much of the shipping industry.


Corridor of Courage
Thomas Garrett was one of the most prominent figures in the history of the Underground Railroad. He has been called Delaware's greatest humanitarian and is credited with helping more than 2,700 slaves escape to freedom in a forty year career as a Station Master. The whispersofangels.com site has much valuable historical information.

John Woolman, Quintessential Quaker (abolitionist forerunner). Ahead of his times, ahead of both England and America, Woolman's pen transformed attitudes not only among Friends, but in denominational churches on both sides of the Atlantic.

Quakers and slavery - thanks to Woodward Family genealogy

The Underground Railroad - blurb on Isaac Mendenhall and Dinah Mendenhall. Hicksite Friends were far more likely to support the Underground Railroad. It was the Philadelphia Antislavery Society that seems to have been pivotal. One Philadelphia Abolition Society member, Isaac T. Hopper, is credited by some as being the father of the Underground Railroad.

Abolitionism was the forerunner of the Women's Rights Movement, and Quakers, black and white, were at the heart of both. In fact, feminism and abolitionism were intimately intertwined, and the linking strand was the religious society of friends, aided and abetted by socalled brushfire evangelicalism. Quaker Daniel Anthony, father of Susan B. Anthony, was a noted abolitionist. Lucretia Mott (with her husband James Mott) were deeply committed Hicksite Quakers inspired by abolitionism and tireless in behalf of black man's freedom -- who soon came to see that citizenship for women goes hand-in-hand with the rights and equality of the Negro. Lucretia Mott has been called the Mother of the Feminist Movement. Of course her close friend and ally, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, also played a prominent and indispensable role.

This is why Louise Michele Newman 's new book says the feminist movement owes so much to the fight for black man's freedom.

Anthony Benezet - one of the earliest Quakers to speak out on the slavery. It has been said of Benezet that he was "the single most prolific antislavery writer and the most influential advocate of the Negro's rights on either side of the Atlantic."

See Whisper of Angels - Biographies of leading individuals of Abolition and the Underground Railroad. Many were Quakers, but there were non-Quakers as well.

Benjamin Lundy: Pioneer Quaker Abolitionist - Lundy established several anti-slavery newspapers and worked for many others. He traveled widely seeking to limit the expansion of slavery, and in seeking to establish a colony to which freed slaves might be located, outside of the United States.

Sarah Mapps Douglass, Whether as abolitionist leader, bakery owner, teacher, writer, or faithful Meeting House attender, Sarah Mapps Douglass wanted only to do God's will. Oh the pain she felt encountering racial prejudice among her beloved fellow Friends.

Prudence Crandall, a committed Quaker, established a school which in 1833, became the first Black female academy in New England at Canterbury, Connecticut. This later action resulted in her arrest and imprisonment for violating the "Black Law."

Frederick Douglass - abolitionist prophet - recruited and taught black kids, still in slavery, how to read the Bible and pray for the coming freedom. Not a Quaker, he was drawn to the church perhaps closest to Quakers -- the methodists. After fleeing slavery in 1838 Douglass became a preacher at the A.M.E. zion church. John Stauffer writes of the importance of the faith passion throughout the history of social justice movements. Stauffer notes: The prophetic voice, which appeals directly to God, rather than laws, doctrines and institutions, extends from Tom Paine, Nat Turner, Douglass and the abolitionists, through Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Upton Sinclair, Eugene Debs and Dorothy Day, on down to King, James Baldwin, Bill McKibben and Gene Robinson. As the minister and historian Dan McKanan has emphasized, to forget the religious work of our predecessors "is to lose their wisdom and inspiration."

After the War, Quaker schoolmarms took the lead in establish schools for blacks (Freedmen) in the South, and in the North as well. Since most of the South, before Reconstruction, declined to tax the public for support of schools, theses "Freedmen's Bureau" schools were a new thing, spurring tax-supported public education for the illiterate southern whites. See Someone who cared (a teacher).

Myrtilla Miner, another Quaker with a heart to help faced an uphill battle in her determination to teach black children to read and write. Having tried in Mississippi, she sought refuge in Washington DC, and after many trials, succeeded. more.

Of the hundreds assisting in the Underground Railroad, Amy Kirby Post with husband Isaac Post are claimed to have guided more escaped slaves to freedom than anyone else. But there were literally hundreds of Quakers risking everything to assist in this illegal work of bringing liberty to the captive. In the Philadelphia area alone there were dozens of these quiet rebels of conscience, including Norris Maris, Emmor Kimber, and Elijah F. Pennypacker

The Phoenixville locale has been called "Our Hearth of Freedom" - in large part due to the Underground Railroad activities of Elijah Pennypacker

Fit For Freedom - African American Quaker Profiles (from FGC): Cyrus Bustill, Vera Green, Paul Cuffe, Bayard Rustin

Discovering fellowship among African American Friends article by Elmyra (Amhara) Powell

Article: Negro Membership in the Society of Friends excellent resource (author Henry Cadbury)

Back Bencher Friends - Race Relations ( a Whiter Quaker Fellowship?) Site explores Quakerism: a view from the back benches

A Quaker Speaks from the Black Experience Through the prism of his own experience, which is very Quakerly, James Fletcher delves into the history, role, and involvement of African Americans in the Religious Society of Friends.

Thomas Clarkson and William Wilburforce - (almost quakers) early voices in the anti-slave-trade movement. How Quaker outrage became a cause célèbre that captured the English religious imagination.

Our 'almost Quaker' Founding Father, George Wythe - his common law wife Lydia Broadnax and the "Interracial Scandal that Rocked Colonial Virginia." (when love makes the highest sacrifice)

Vanessa Julye -- information on Vanessa's ministry, schedule, and other resources.

More on Vanessa Julye -- African-American Friend. Faithful to God's Leading. A Quaker's living witness.

Community Change Inc Boston non-profit working since 1968 as a center for action and collaboration among individuals and multiracial groups working for racial justice and equity. Excellent library, including videos. Other programs.

Howard Thurman
teach peace foundation
Jesus and the Disinherited

American Moses: Martin Luther King, Jr "Let my people go!": an all American journey from sorrow to triumph. An epic saga no less majestic than the biblical Exodus led by Moses. [also see Rosa Parks, the hidden story]

Abraham Lincoln referred to his "obscure" ancestry, preferring to avoid the subject of his family tree.

But it may well be that Lincoln had more Quaker heritage than any other president. His paternal roots are admitted. Abraham Lincoln later recalled that early Lincolns joined Quaker meetings, but that later generations were not as "peculiar" in their beliefs. He is said to be the great-great-great grandson of Quakers Richard and Francis Barnard.

David S. Keiser discovered that the maternal grandparents of the Lincoln's own grandfather, Enoch and Rebecca FLOWER, were Quakers at the time of their marriage in 1713. (10) Additionally, each pair of Enoch's and Rebecca's parents had been married in Quaker Meetings either in Pennsylvania or in England. This means that Abraham Lincoln's paternal great grandfather, John Lincoln (1716-1788), married into a family that was Quaker on both sides." (10) David S. Keiser, "Quaker Ancestors for Lincoln," Lincoln Herald 63 (1961): 134-37. Lincolns of Berks County

But apparently his mother's side may also have had a great deal of Quaker heritage. The Evanses of Bryn Gwyn had gravitated to Quakerism when they came to America (Welsh Barony), and Lincoln used to talk about Quaker roots: he would sometimes address correspondents as 'Friend' -- 'Friend Johnson,' 'Friend Mary' -- in the old Quaker manner. Was this a relic of Nancy Hanks' influence? (p 43. Lincoln: A Foreigner's Quest. by Jan Morris For a Welsh highlight, see The Cymry Quakers)

Although Lincoln was 'most unmethodical in all his ways,' according to Lyman Trumbull, he worked out a kind of homily or disciplinary mantra for himself while still a young man, and using a Quakerish dialect, wrote it into one of his exercise books and boxed it for special emphasis:

Deliberate slowly, but execute promptly, the things which have appeared unto thee proper to be done.

That of God in every man The transcendent power of Conscience. Quakerism and the Inner Light. From Stephen Grellet to Elizabeth Gurney Fry, they shone their light.

An 'Almost' QuakerWalt Whitman dressed like a Quaker, and seemed to think like Hicks. Hicks was half black, half Indian, and demanded a return to the primordial Quaker principle of 'That of God in Every Man' -- the Inner Light.. But Whitman sanctified it. He made it populist and native and all-American. (Visions of Spiritual Democracy)

Lieutenant John Bullis - frontier Scout, and commander of historic Black Seminole scouts. Bullis was a Quaker, and ideally at least, opposed to violence and bloodshed. But the frontier was not always a place suited for non-violent principles, and ideal (theoretical) neutrality has to be, in Bullis' case, set aside. As with other African-Americans on the frontier, the Seminole indian scouts (and the story of John Bullis) are both inspirational -- and in many ways enriching.

Koinonia Library - bring heaven to earth where everyone can get a little bit of it. Building the Beloved Community.

Fellowship of Friends of African Descent       OR       fellowshipoffriendsofafricandescent.org - 1515 Cherry Street, Philadelphia PA 19102 website ffadquaker.org

Access Genealogy - African American Genealogy records are much more difficult to find due to the scant nature of record keeping for blacks prior to the Civil War.

Afrigeneas - AfriGeneas is a site devoted to African American genealogy, to researching African Ancestry in the Americas in particular and to genealogical research and resources in general. For general resources stored in the Library of Congress see loc.gov

African-American-Genealogy - Professor Gates offers tips on African-American research

African American Genealogy - Genealogy resources for African American genealogy research and African American history. Many African American resources are included here.

African American contributions to the gospel milieu (frontier ferment and American religion) - the poor are rich in faith (an earthy democratic religion takes root in American soil )

African American Family History Resources - presented by Family-Search. A hosted of resources, tips and pointers. Data from Freedman's Bank Records, Genealogy presentations from top experts in African American family history research, helpful guides, more.

Black Fire : African American Quakers on Spirituality and Human Rights. Edited by: Harold D. Weaver, Jr., Paul Kriese, Stephen W. Angell

Black Quaker Project : a Quaker program dedicated to examining, celebrating, preserving, and presenting the contributions and experiences of Black Quakers throughout the world.

black-refer (African American Genealogy) - Blackrefer.com has links to african american genealogy websites, black history, black genealogy websites are listed on BlackRefer.com.

Black Genealogical or Historical Societies - in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.

Black Genealogy Summit - Reconnecting Lost Links. This summit will be held on and around October 29-31, 2009 at the Allen County Public Library, in Fort Wayne, IN.

Black Family Research: Records of Post-Civil War Agencies in the National Archives - Introduction to Research and Links to Resources more on this historical period of our nation's emergence.

Break-away Friends - Quakers tend to split, then split again. Elias Hicks, the Black-Indian Quaker, was actually exhorting for a return to primordial simplicity. Wilburites also wanted to "preserve" traditional practice.

Christine's African American Genealogy. helps family genealogists trace African American roots.

Levi Coffin - As a youngster growing up in North Carolina in the early 1800s, a child came face-to-face with the institution of slavery. One day while he was out with his father chopping wood by the side of a road, a group of slaves, handcuffed and chained together, passed by on their way to be sold in Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana. Questioned by the young boy's father about why they were chained, one of the men sadly replied: "They have taken us away from our wives and children, and they chain us lest we should make our escape and go back to them." After the dejected company had left the scene, the youth wondered to himself how he would feel if his father were taken away from him. The youth was Levi Coffin, a Quaker boy. More on Levi Coffin

Emmett Till, the Death of Innocence [history of America's Negro Holocaust]. His crime was puberty (whistled at a white woman). He was lynched by white men for (why?) merely being black.

James Farmer -Raised in an environment that valued education and religious faith, James Farmer was an outstanding student. After skipping several grades in elementary school, he entered Wiley College in Marshall, Texas at the age of 14 (where his father had taught, as one of the few African American Ph.D.s in the South). Farmer opposed war in general, and more specifically objected to serving in the segregated armed forces. When the U.S. entered World War II later that year, he applied for conscientious objector status but found he was deferred from the draft because he had a divinity degree.

Freedom Center - America's Underground Railroad Discover Your Family's Story at the FamilySearch Center of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati Ohio)

The Black Bucket List : the Underground Rasilroad

The Grimke Sisters - two early female abolitionists and women's rights activists. They grew up in the privileged milieu of Plantation life. more. Their father, was a strong advocate of slavery and of the subordination of women. A wealthy planter who held hundreds of slaves, he was a gifted and morally upstanding Christian who even served as chief judge of the Supreme Court of South Carolina. But the girls, Sarah and Angelina, were repelled by the brutality of slavery, the floggings, the destruction of the black family (the injustice to the white wives, too?) Sarah said that at age five, after she saw a slave being whipped, she tried to board a steamer to a place where there was no slavery. Later, in violation of the law, she taught her personal slave to read. Sarah wanted to become an attorney and follow in her father's footsteps.

Oberlin College "Oberlin is peculiar in that which is good." This site by nonresistance.org highlights the strategic if often neglected role of the Oberlin community, founded in 1833 as a utopian religious community. Oberlin has a long and distinguished history of visionary activism and progressive work for peaceful social change. From the very beginning, Oberlinians advocated the peaceful abolition of slavery as well as gender and racial equality, being the first coeducational college and the first integrated college in the United States. [Oberlin and Georgetown]

Howard Thurman : Jesus and the Disinherited - When Howard Thurman spoke, he filled the entire room with compassion, truth, keen intellect, and joy. To be in his presence was to experience the drama of life itself -- with all its attending conflicts -- and to be carried beyond these realities to the Reality of a gracious God whose will is life and wholeness.

Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin: From PBS Point of View program. For more information on this Audio/Video see rustin.org or PBS' POV Purchasing information for educators and organizations is at California Newsreel or call toll-free 1-877-811-7495.

Bayard Rustin - the First Freedom Ride. Another overview is the following critical look at the impact of Bayard Rustin on the Black Protest Movement. There has been a Negro Revolt in every decade of this century," Lerone Bennett wrote in 1963. "Each revolt failed, only to emerge in the next decade on a higher level of development."1 If there is a single person who served as the nexus between these decennial revolts, it was Bayard Rustin.

Bayard Rustin's Quaker Background from Bayard Rustin Centennial. Bayard Rustin, an African American, was raised a Quaker by his grandparents. Rustin augmented his childhood familiarity with Quaker principles by engaging daily in Quaker meditation beginning in his twenties and dedicating himself, through committee work and peace testimony, to the principles of respect for every human being; non-violence in one's behavior; and assertion of one's own dignity. During his twenties, Rustin further reinforced his understanding of Quakerism by traveling as a volunteer throughout New York State teaching pacifism for the American Friends Service Committee. He is credited as the prime organizational force behind the success of the August 1963 March on Washington.

Bill Sutherland: Non-violent warrior for peace - Bill Sutherland's pacifism during World War II meant a four-year sentence in Lewisburg prison as a conscientious objector. Through his belief in nonviolence he made lifelong friends who shared his views, Dave Dellinger and Don Benedict among them. He was released in 1945. It was not long before his deep commitment led him to Africa, then in the birth throes of the independence movement. See Pan-African Leaders

Martin Luther King, Jr. - Nonviolent Action as the Sword that Heals. Pacifism after the Gandhi model. It was through the influence of the well-known pacifist A J Muste as well as Mordecai Johnson that King drew closer to the Gandhian concept of non-violent direct action, which in turn drew heavily from Leo Tolstoy. (Link is from Tolstoy's The Law of Love and the Law of Violence.) See "Limits of Turning the Other Cheek"

And an essay by H. Bruce Franklin, The anti war movement we are supposed to forget (The connection between the anti-war movement opposing US involvement in Vietnam .... and the Civil Rights Movement in the USA.)

clinton pettus In the forefront of education. Clinton Pettus has devoted a lifetime to the education of the next generation. In fact, his career in education spans some thirty years as both a faculty member aa well as a college administrator. Dr. Pettus' formal training includes receiving the PhD in personality psychology from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois. He also completed a management development program at Harvard University. When he retired as a higher education administrator, he became interested in ways to manage and resolve conflict and was a certified trainer of managing conflict in the work place. He begins his current leadership role with the mid atlantic AFSC, having recently retired as President of Cheyney University.

Someone Who Cared: The Perry Reese Story. A coach who truly made a difference, now taken from us. Too soon, my friend. All too soon you are gone.

Free Indeed, Mennonite Cultural Comm. discussion starter for issues of white privilege

Axiology; Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome. Two audio tapes by Dr. Joy DeGruy-Leary, African American psychologist. For information about her and ordering tapes, see Power of Oneness

Letting God Go (the Holy Spirit Within) - Striking parallels exist between Quaker silent worship and the practice glossolalia [modern Pentecostalism]. At its best Quaker silent worship involves a kind of letting go, a lack of strain or effortful attention, a willingness to "flow" with the leading of the Spirit and with the larger movement of the entire meeting. ... As in the case of glossolalia, the process of speaking out of the silence and of listening in the silence involves a resting of the analytical mind, a refusal to let deliberative, objective thinking dominate the meeting. Rather, one tries to "center down" and become open to the ''inner light" within himself, to "that of God in every man,'' to the "leading of the Spirit.'' (Perspectives on the New Pentecostalism, Spitter, Richard A. Baer, 1976, p 154) Quoted

Athena Mutual Athena Mutual -   An alum of historic Quaker Earlham College in Indiana (renowned mystic Elton Trueblood taught here), Dr. Mutua earned her fame in the areas of critical race and feminist legal theory. She has a law degree from Harvard and a J.D. from American University. Her most recent book, Progressive Black Masculinities, is already making waves. In an interview, Mutua says the book is personal to her because of her three sons. "What do I do with these sons?" she asks. "What is it that I want to tell them? I want to tell them this: Please be progressive. Please be human." See What does it mean to be a black man?

Paul Robeson the great Negro singer, scholar-athelete (Princeton), and later courageous activist in the face of vicious calumny and ostracism, was descended from Quakers on his mother's side. His mother was Maria Louisa Bustill, a Quaker schoolteacher, and both her father and paternal grandmother were of the Friends religious society.

Emily Green Balch the first Quaker to win the Nobel Prize

Mae Bertha Carter - American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and Friends in the Civil Rights movement. The AFSC was an early ally of the civil rights movement, and many members of the Fellowship of Reconciliation and CORE were Quakers, including Bayard Rustin. Historical recognition came when, in 1947, the AFSC (as an organization) won the Nobel Peace Prize. In the 1950s, the AFSC publicly supported Martin Luther King Jr. and sent members south on the freedom rides. Mississippi Freedom Summer

One bridge between the Civil Rights movement and the antiwar crusade was the Free Speech Movement (FSM) at the University of California at Berkeley. Begun in December 1964 by students who had participated in Mississippi's "Freedom Summer," the FSM provided an example of how students could bring about change through organization. In several skirmishes with University President Clark Kerr, the FSM and its dynamic leader Mario Savio publicized the close ties between academic and military establishments. With the rise of SDS and the FSM, the Old Left peace advocates had discovered a large and vocal body of sympathizers, many of whom had gained experience in dissent through the Civil Rights battles in the South. the book Freedom Summer

The philosophy and tactics of civil disobedience have been used by Quakers and other religious groups, the British labor movement, suffragists, feminists, adherents of prohibition, pacifists and other war resisters (see conscientious objector), supporters of the disabled, and a wide variety of other dissenters. In the United States, the most outstanding theoretician and practitioner of civil disobedience was civil-rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. During the 1950s and 60s he achieved international fame by leading numerous peaceful marches, boycotts, and sit-ins. Like Gandhi, he was jailed several times. The beatings, mass arrests, and even killings of civil-rights demonstrators pledged to nonviolent civil disobedience were important factors in swaying public opinion and in the ultimate passage of new civil-rights legislation. More on Thoreau.

Center for the Study of White American Culture Founded by Quaker Jeff Hitchcock, author of Lifting the White Veil. Webiste: www.euroamerican.org lists many resources.

Loving your neighbor as yourself? - racism and life, the Religious Society of Friends, FUM essay. Gordon Browne.

The faith of a lost faith - the remarkable witness of Ayaan Hirsi Ali :: a woman's life of indomitable courage.

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow. New PBS Series. 4 parts. See PBS to order. ($80 for all four.) Highly recommended for history of racism in U.S.

The Veterans of Hope Project (Vincent Harding), videos documenting the lives of "veterans" of social change movements, Iliff School of Theology, Denver, CO 80210; 303-763-3194; vohproject@iliff.edu

Pendle Hill 2002-2003 lecture series on racial justice. Can order video and audio tapes: set or individually. Series speakers, topics, and some transcripts on website (Pendle Hill). Series will include Feb. 23, 2003, lecture by Donna McDaniel and Vanessa Julye.

The Cadbury Family - Quaker Social Reformers. White Girls Prefer Chocolate. Bill Samuels' essay on the social reform efforts of the Cadbury family, founder of Cadbury's chocolates, including treatment of their labor force
  Do white girls prefer chocolate?

  BBC: Giving women a lift -

Faith and action - Quaker faith springs from a deeply held belief in living our lives according to our spiritual experience. Some of our spiritual insights, which we call our testimonies, spring from deep experience and have been part of Quaker faith for many years.

BBC - Though half the globe away, Jainism is an ancient religion (mostly western India) that teaches that the way to liberation and bliss is to live a life of harmlessness and renunciation.

The ideals of non-violence and reconciliation were central to the great movements for freedom and social justice in American history (as well of the sister movements in England). Martin Luther King Jr, though Baptist to the core, embraced doctrines of non-violent direct action, and an unflinching peace witness that was inspired by Gandhi and (through him) the Quaker testimony. See The spirituality of Thoreau's "living sacrifice"

Bob Zellner, an Alabama Methodist, was one of the white heroes of the freedom struggle of Civil Rights days. See Wrong Side of Murder Creek.

If the peace witness of Quakers (and other deeply committed Christians) has been viewed as subversive or unpatriotic, the simple record of the early church reveals that the first Christians themselves resisted the belligerence of militarism. See link on the peace legacy of the primordial church

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting -- list of books about racism, as well as curriculum materials.

PYM link (broken link) -- list of biographies of black Quakers, including some for children.

Friends General Conference (NC) link -- FGC bookstore on line. FGC carries some of these books.

The Center on American Racism and Social Justice (CARSJ) - Fighting Racism through Dialogue - University of Pennsylvania, Walnut Street, 3815 Philadelphia, PA 19104 CARSJ

Gwen Holston Quakers in the Abolition Movement...
Quakers played a major role in the abolition movement against slavery. The Quakers were the first whites to denounce slavery in the American colonies and Europe. Quakers began denouncing slavery as early as 1688, when four German Quakers started protesting near Pennsylvania. John Woolman and Anthony Benezet protested against slavery, and demanded that the Quaker society cut ties with the slave trade. These two individuals led the abolitionist movement in Pennsylvania. It was their belief that if the slave trade was stopped, then the institution of slavery would soon follow.

The Pennsylvania Abolition Society consisted primarily of Quakers. In fact, seven of the ten original white members were Quakers, and 17 of the 24 who attended the four meetings held by the Pennsylvania Abolition Society were Quakers. Quakers were also prominently involved with the Underground Railroad. For example, Levi Coffin started helping runaway slaves as a child in North Carolina. Later in his life, Coffin moved to the Ohio-Indiana area, where he became known as the President of the Underground Railroad.

Alternative to Violence - Chief Albert Luthuli summarizes the value of the non-violent commitment: "I have embraced the non-violent ... resistance technique in fighting for freedom because I am convinced it is the only legitimate and humane way."

It is inevitable that in working for freedom some individuals and some families
must take the lead and suffer: the road to freedom is via the Cross. [Luthuli]

[Spiritual Africa]

Quaker Bonnet
Quaker Bonnet

Kenya Friends

Kenya Friends
African Friends make up around 46% of Friends internationally, the
largest proportion in any one continent. Kenya has the largest num-
ber of Quakers in a single nation -- about 133,000 in the year 2008


Beyond Diversity 101: Niyonu Spann, facilitator. "Intensive workshop" on to go beyond guilt and blame. TRV Consulting, 609-747-9469l TRVconsulting@aol.com

Healing Racism: understanding the cycle of racial conditioning. 12-wk. Program given several times year by Pacem in Terris, Wilmington, DE. Sally Millbury Steen 302-656-2721.

Study Circles. Foundation --excellent formats for community workshops to discuss racism and other matters. Most materials free and many are on website: Study Circles PO Box 203, Pomfret, CT 06258. 860-928-2616.

Teaching Tolerance, Southern Poverty Law Institute study materials for teachers, Teaching Tolerance Information about other Institute programs at Southern Poverty Law Center

Training for Change: facilitations and workshops on various social change issues. 215-729-7458.

Social Activism and American History: "do-gooders" on a pilgrimage to make the world better. The Margaret Douglas story. her example shines through history as an inspiration to us today. She was indeed - Someone Who Cared

Reflections on Recent Anti-Racism Work in Atlanta Friends Meeting - by Susan Cozzens, Susan Firestone, Bert Skellie, and Karen Morris (2007)

Beeston Quakers - International Blog Against Racism Week - Beeston Friends (near Nottingham, UK)

Donna McDaniel and Vanessa Julye, Fit for Freedom

Resources for Quakers Working for Racial Justice - here's a compilation of resources to support the ongoing work for racial justice and equality within the Religious Society of Friends.

I will be adding some entries (soon)
Alice Paul Feminist, Suffragist, Activist for Social Justice
Carol Gilligan [swarthmore] : Gilder on Gilligan
Patrick Awuah, founder of Ashesi University, innovation in education (surprise success)
Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, author of Balm in Gilead: Journey of a Healer (1988), Respect (1990), I've Known Rivers: Lives of Loss and Liberation (1995), [bio]
Philip De Armind Curtin : (scholar on African history)
Samuel Assefa, Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States. interview - ethio-civility
Eugene M. Lang, I have a dream [foundation] : see celeb shot
Antoinette Sayeh - Minister of Finance, Liberia African Success
Louis Massiah, independent film-maker a Philadelphia Story
Norman Hill [Haverford] Activist, Labor Leader, and Advocate for Social Justice
Ghebre Selassie Mehreteab [peace corps from Haverford]
Lucius T. Outlaw, Scholar of W. E. B. Du Bois, Dir. of African American Studies, Vanderbilt Univ day in the life
Penny Patch and others: Deep In Our Hearts: Nine White Women in the Freedom Movement, [more]
Penny Patch Challenge for sister mentors

Pendle Hill -- Pendle Hill bookstore carries some of these books.

A. Philip Randolph Institute He was called the most dangerous black in America. He led 250000 people in the historic 1963 March on Washington. He spoke for all the dispossessed: Blacks, poor Whites, Puerto Ricans, Indians and Mexican Americans. Friend and associate of Bayard Rustin, now embraced by Labor.
Barack Obama, raised in a privileged "South Pacific" bubble world of Honolulu, but technically fatherless and often 'motherless' as well, has often spoken out in praise of responsible fatherhood (and parenthood). Urban dads: step up to the plate! We sometimes forget that Social Justice is learned first of all in the family. But whatever one's own challenges, one can overcome (at least as one is able). President Obama himself is a role model for youth in this regard.

See Conrad Lindes' site

JOY! A Quaker Witness

Become a Helper of Hearts

Become a helper of hearts, a slave of the deepest spiritual yearnings of others. When you do, springs of wisdom will flow from your heart; you will be a blessing. Your breath will become medicine like the breath of Jesus.

Jalalud'din Rumi

IN BONNET : Carolyn McCulley : letting her light shine


Just a reminder that our history is not exactly what many think or would us/others believe. Carter

New England Yearly Meeting Ministry and Counsel Working Party on Racism

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends has "M&C Working Party on Racism"

Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship

This page contains the following material from the "Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship" research project, with the permission of Donna McDaniel and Vanessa Julye:

Resources: The relationship of Quakers and African Americans

US Quaker Women Abolitionists and First-Wave Feminism

For your perusal: Quaker history, African American history, and racism

Quaker History and Closely Related History

Bacon, Margaret Hope. I Speak for My Slave Sister: The Life of Abby Kelly Foster.

----. The Quiet Rebels: The Story of Quakers in America, Philadelphia: Quaker Press of Friends General Conference.

----. Valiant Friend (Lucretia Mott), Philadelphia: Quaker Press of Friends General Conference.

----. Abby Hopper Gibbons: Prison Reformer and Social Activist, Philadelphia: Quaker Press of Friends General Conference.

----. Sarah Mapps Douglas, Faithful Attender of Quaker Meeting: View from the Back Bench. Philadelphia: Quaker Press of Friends General Conference

Barbour, Densmore, et al. Quaker Crosscurrents: Three Hundred Years of Friends in the New York Yearly Meetings.

Cadbury, Henry. "Negro Membership in the Society of Friends," Journal of Negro History, Vol. 21, No. 2, April 1936. Also available on Quaker sites on the web.

Curry, Constance [and others]. Deep in Our Hearts: Nine White Women in the Freedom Movement. Univ of Georgia Press, 2000. for more.

Drake, Thomas. Quakers and Slavery in America.

Gara, Larry. The Liberty Line: The Legend of the Underground Railroad.

Hickey, Damon D. Sojourners No More: The Quakers in the New South, 1865-1920.

Hilty, Hiram. By Land and By Sea: Quakers Confront Slavery and Its Aftermath in North Carolina; Toward Freedom.

Hitchock, Jeffrey. Lifting the White Veil: An Exploration of White American Culture in A Multiracial Context.

Mabee, Carleton. Black Freedom: The Nonviolent Abolitionists From 1830 Through the Civil War (Not a Quaker history but many references to Quakers.)

Nash, Gary. Forging Freedom: The Formation of Philadelphia's Black Community, 1720-1840.

Quarles, Benjamin. Black Abolitionists. Allies for Freedom.

Schiel, Skip. How We Have Responded to Racism, in and Among Us: A Chronicle of New England Yearly Meeting Decisions and Actions: 1965-1998.

Selleck, Linda. Gentle Invaders. Quaker Women Educators and Racial Issues During the Civil War and Reconstruction.

Soderlund, Jean. Quakers and Slavery: A Divided Spirit.

Sterling, D. We Are Your Sisters: Black Women in the Nineteenth Century.

Taylor, Richard. Friends and the Racial Crisis. Pendle Hill Pamphlet. (Out of print but call Pendle Hill bookstore for possible copy.)

Toomer, Jean. The Flavor of Man. William Penn Lecture, 1949. Delivered at Arch Street Meeting House Philadelphia. More on Jean Toomer.

Yellin, Jean F and John Van Horne, ed. The Abolitionist Sisterhood: Women's Political Culture in Antebellum America.

Quaker African Americans

Anderson, Jervis. Bayard Rustin: Troubles I've Seen, A Biography. HarperCollins, 1997.

Atkin, Mary Gage. Paul Cuffe and the African Promised Land. Thomas Nelson, 1977.

Fletcher, James, ed. A Quaker Speaks from the Black Experience: The Life and Selected Writings of Barrington Dunbar, NYYM, 1979.

Ives, Kenneth. Black Quakers: Brief Biographies (Out of print.)

Kerman, Cynthia. The Lives of Jean Toomer.

Mississippi, Anthony (Black Quaker). An American Journal.

Saunders, Deborah. Equality. Pendle Hill Pamphlet. (Order through bookstore, Pendlehill.org )

Spann-Wilson, Dwight. Quaker and Black: Answering the Call of My Twin Roots.

Toomer, Jean. An active figure in the Harlem Rennaissance. Of multi-ethnic heritage, Toomer's grandfather was the first black governor of any state in America. Biography of Jean Toomer.

Wiggins, Rosalind, ed. Captain Paul Cuffe's Logs and Letters, 1808-1817: A Black Quaker's "Voice From Within the Veil."

teach peace foundation
Jesus and the Disinherited

Racism; African American History; Writings by African Americans

Baldwin, James. (Essay): On Being White and Other Lies. The Fire Next Time. Notes of A Native Son; The Price of the Ticket: Collected Non-Fiction.

Beals, M. P. White is A State of Mind. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons.

Ball, Edward. Slaves in the Family.

Berry, Wendell, The Hidden Wound, (Out of print but available used. Be sure to get the edition by North Point Press.).

Blockson, Charles L, Black Genealogy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1977.

Bolden, Tonya, Strong Men Keep Coming: The Book of African American Men, John Wiley and Sons, 1999.

Boyd, H., Ed., Autobiography of A People: Three Centuries of African American History Told by Those Who Lived It. 2000.

Brandt, J. Dismantling Racism: The Continuing Challenge to White America.

Case, E. The Rage of African American Privileged Class.

Crouch, S. Notes of a Hanging Judge, New York: Oxford University Press.

Curry, Connie. Aaron Henry: the Fire Ever Burning, Univ. Press of Mississippi.

Daloz, Laurent et al. Common Fire: Leading Lives of Commitment in a Complex World.

Davies, S.E. and S.P.T. Hennessee, Ending Racism in the Church.

Dent, David J. In Search of Black America, Simon & Schuster

Dubois, WEB. "The Souls of Black Folk. The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study 1899-1967." in Black on White. Ed. David R. Roediger, 1999

Ellison, Ralph, The Invisible Man.

Etine, Jon. Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We're Afraid to Ask, Perseus Book Group.

Foner, Eric. Story of American Freedom and many other books on racism, the black experience.

Freedomways Reader, edited by Esther Cooper Jackson and Constance Pohl, Westview Press.

Fulwood, S. Waking From the Dream: My Life in the Black Middle Class.

Gates, H.L. and Cornel West, The Future of the Race.

Graham, L.O. Our Kind of People: Inside America's Black Upper Class.

Halberstam, David. The Children.

Hale, Grace Elizabeth. Making Whiteness: the Culture of Segregation in the South.

Hacker, Andrew. Two Nations; New York: Scribners.

Harding, Vincent: The Other American Revolution, There Is A River, and others.

Johnson, C. and P. Smith. Africans in America: America's Journey Through Slavery. New York: Harcourt Brace & Co.

Hooks, bell. Killing Rage: Ending Racism.

Horton, James. Free People of Color. Inside the African-American Community.

Horton, James and Lois Horton, Hard Road to Freedom: The State of African America (2001)

Katz, William Loren. Black Pioneers: An Untold Story.

Kivel, Paul. Uprooting Racism.

Lelyveld, ed. and NY Times Correspondents: How Race Is Lived in America: Pulling Together, Pulling Apart.

Lerner, G. editor. Black Women in White America. New York: Vintage Books.

Lewis, John. Walking in the Wind.

McDonald, Janet. Project Girl.

Morrison, Toni. Playing in the Dark and others.

Myers, Jim Afraid of the Dark

Osofsky, Gilbert. Puttin' on Ole Massa: Slave Narratives. The Burden of Race. Harlem: The Making of A Ghetto: Negro New York 1890-1920.

Painter, Nell. Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Reconstruction.

Payne, Charles. I've Got the Light of Freedom: The Mississippi Freedom Movement and the Organizing Tradition.

Pease, Jane, and William Pease: They Would Be Free: Blacks in New England.

Robeson, Paul. Here I Stand. Also Paul Robeson; Artist and Citizen.

Rose, Willie Lee. Rehearsal for Reconstruction: The Port Royal Experiment.

Rutstein, Nathan. Healing Racism in America.

Sabry, E.W. Wishes in Black and White.

Scales-Trent, J. Notes of A White Black Woman. University Park, PA: Penn State University

Shipler, David. A Country of Strangers: Blacks and Whites in America.

Smith, Franklin Carter, and Emily Anne Croom. A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your African-American Ancestors. Cincinnati OH: Betterway Books.

Sterling, Dorothy. We Are Your Sisters: Black Women in the 19th Century.

Straight, Susan. Blacker Than A Thousand Midnights.

Tatum, D. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? New York: Basic Books.

Thandeka, Learning to be White, Money, Race, and God in America, Continuum, 2001.

Thornbrough, Emma L. Black Reconstructionists.

West, Cornel, Race Matters, Beacon 1993.

Wilkerson, Isabel. The Warmth of Other Suns. Random House 2010 link

Williams, Lena, and Charlayn Hunter-Gault. It's The Little Things: Everyday Interactions that Anger, Annoy, and Divide the Races, Harvest Books, 2002.

Winant, Howard. The World is A Ghetto: Race and Democracy Since World War II. New York: Basic Books 2001.

Wood, Forrest G., The Arrogance of Faith; The Era of Reconstruction.

Wright, Marguerite. I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World.

Yee, Shirley, Black Women Abolitionists: A Study in Activism.

Zellner, Bob. The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement, 2008. link

Families ~ Linking
bring us together
Yesterday Today Tomorrow

What I Owe the One Who Raised Me

Martin Luther King Jr : America's Moses

  We all have a responsibility to the country we call home

(President Barack Obama says)

"America is the greatest country on earth -- but it didn't just happen on its own."

Sample Readings

Resources: The relationship of Quakers and African Americans, Quaker history, African American history, and racism

Quaker History and Closely Related HistoryQuaker African AmericansBooks (Racism; African American History; Writings by African Americans)WebsitesAudios/VideosWorkshopsSample readings from the "Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship" research project.

A sampling of materials representing some of the key findings of the "Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship" research project is given below.


Also see Kenneth Ives

Benjamin Banneker > 1731-1806. *
Paul Cuffe > 1759-1817. *
Richard Cooper > 1720?-1820.
William Bowen > 1735?-1824.
Cyrus Bustill > 1732-1804. *
Sarah Mapps Douglass > 1806-1882. *
Robert Purvis > 1810-1898.
Paschal Beverly Randolph > 1825-1875. *
Jean Toomer > 1894-1967.
Howard Thurman > 1899-1981. *
Ira De Augustine Reid > 1901-1968. *
Barrington Dunbar > 1901-1978.
Vera M. Green > 1928-1982 *
Clarence Cunningham > 1901-
Helen Morgan Brooks > 1904-1989
Maxine Simmons Hawkins
Charlotte Lofton
Dorothy Rousseau Ginsberg
Dean Chandler

Blacks, having so closely involved with Friends during abolitionism, drifted away

The early days of Quakerism, so filled with the fire and passion of the high idealism of their "good news" (evangelical fervor), somehow cooled. During the nineteenth century, African Americans, for so long so closely involved with Quaker friends and allies during the long struggle of abolition, needed a "living religion" according to their own testimony. Why might this have occurred?

The Decline of Quakerism, and other elitist intellectual faiths
Abraham Maslow speculates on the lukewarm religion they had become: "A rather bleak, boring, unexciting, unemotional, cool philosophy of life which fails to do what the traditional religions have tried to do when they were at their best, to inspire, to awe, to comfort, to fulfill, to guide in the value of choices, and to discriminate between higher and lower, better and worse, not to mention to produce [Dionysiac and Pentecostal experiences, wildness, rejoicing, impulsiveness."

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Robert Shepherd
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liberal jesus
Jesus is liberal !

Two Souls

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