So I finished re-assembling the Faithfully Divided documentary yesterday but now I’m having troubles compressing and outputting it for them to see. Editing-wise it’s starting to feel more like a documentary now, but there’s still a long ways to go.
I can’t remember if I blogged about the topic of this documentary before but it’s basically about racial reconciliation in the church. It asks the question "Why is 11 am still the most segregated hour in America?" It focuses on one particular church in Georgia that used to be occupied and attended by slave owners. The slaves were allowed to attend the church; however, they couldn’t participate in any positions of leadership. Once slavery ended the blacks left the church and started their own church. Eventually, they needed a building and so the members of the white church were getting ready to a move to a new location so they let the black church people have their old church, provided that they upkeep the cemetery on the premises. So the black congregation moved in and the white congregation moved to a new building down the street. Both churches have the same exact name. And this story is just one of many examples of dual church systems that sprung up post-slavery.
I’m so fascinated by this documentary for so many reasons. It’s weird because on the one hand it’s like yeah, why ARE Sunday mornings still so segregated–even in 2008? It’s true that we do worship differently on some levels. And it’s hard to break out of a comfort zone. I know from my own experience it took a lot for me to start going to Buckhead Church for that very reason. But I gained so much and learned so much just by stepping outside of my box and giving BC a chance. On the same token, if I were somebody’s slave at one point I don’t know that I would be all that willing to go to church with them once I became a free woman, much less upkeep their cemetery.
I don’t have any answers, I’m just super glad that this filmmaker is opening up this door for discussion because I think is something that we as Christians don’t talk about enough…