Friday Memory

Bless Those Who Persecute You

Friday Memory, January 4, 2019


By Elaine Buck

As we greet 2019 by now our faithful Facebook readers have surmised that Beverly and I are Christians. In Romans Chapter 12 the Bible teaches us…” love must be sincere, we must hate evil; cling to what is good. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, we are to share with the Lord’s people who are in need. We are to bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil.” Well with that said, I find myself needing to do a self-examination of my thoughts and actions.

From time to time I get distracted by events that have shaped our country and community. For example, right before the holiday a very painful and disturbing, “shame on you” event occurred in our community that hardened my heart and pierced my soul. Today I’m happy to report this negative feeling was erased when my husband and I attended a Celebration of Life for a longtime friend whose passing brought us together with the community, school friends and family.


As we bid farewell to 2018 at the Watch Night Service at our church (an African American tradition dating back 156 years to commemorate the night before the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect), I was moved to tears as I listened to my husband, John, pray for protection for me and Beverly. John said he felt the need to pray for our safety as we, through our book, “If These Stones Could Talk” as well as our power point presentation, “A Proud Heritage”, continue to enlighten and spread the word of overlooked historical truths in African American history. Like archaeologists digging through mounds of documents and artifacts while researching human activity from our past, we have exposed many hidden stories that relate to our history. As difficult as they may be, we are obligated to describe these horrors and injustices perpetrated upon a race of people who were born the property of white owners; a wound that continues to fester in our country to this day.


We live in a society where systemic racism runs deep; prejudice and stereotyping against certain ethnic groups seems to be an everyday occurrence which only creates a false narrative about these people. This unwillingness to change behaviors and attitudes fosters a society where the measure of one’s self worth is judged through the lens of economic, social, educational and political achievements. And for those who are unable to measure up to these self-imposed standards are often the object of hatred and misconceptions.


In 2019 through our newly formed company, Friday Truehart Consultants, Beverly and I will work with our community to promote educational awareness and continue to call out injustice when we see it. Because this is what we know for sure in 2019—the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans to be sold into bondage in America--is that there is an urgent need for change in the way history is taught not only in our community but throughout the entire nation.

Stoutsburg Sourland

African American Museum

189 Hollow Rd.

Skillman, NJ 08558

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