In a recent editorial printed in the Rochester, New York Democrat and Chronicle, CRCDS President Dr. Marvin McMickle wrote:
Two important events occurred in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1787. The framers of the United State Constitution waxed eloquent with the words “We the people of the United States.” They went on in that preamble to talk about our “common defense”, to “promote our general welfare”, and “to ensure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” In that same year of 1787, a group of African Americans went to a Sunday morning worship service at St. George Methodist Episcopal Church. Upon entering they heard the worship leader say, “Let us pray.” In good Episcopal fashion, they knelt where they were for the prayer. Within seconds they were approached by several white ushers who told them they could not pray in that section of the church which was reserved for “whites only.” The group assured the ushers that they would go to the “colored section” of the church as soon as the prayer ended. However, the ushers would not relent and those African American worshipers were pulled up from the knees.
“We the people” did not include all the people of the United States. In the minds of some people in this country that remains true to this day. But as Langston Hughes so powerfully declared, “America was never America to me, and yet I swear this oath – America will be.”
Dr. McMickle also had another of his essays published. “With Liberty and Justice for All” was recently published in the Christian Citizen. To read the essay, click here: