Speaking to his supporters at the end of the Montgomery bus boycott in 1956, Martin Luther King Jr. declared that their common goal was not simply the end of segregation as an institution. Rather, he said, “Our ultimate end must be reconciliation; the end must be redemption; the end must be the creation of the beloved community. We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization. The type of love that I stress here is not eros, a sort of esthetic or romantic love; not philia, a sort of reciprocal love between personal friends; but it is agape which is understanding goodwill for all… It begins by loving others for their sakes and makes no distinction between a friend and enemy; it is directed toward both. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opposers into friends.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
The goal [of Beloved Community] is reconciliation, not to destroy your opponent, nor cast them out, but to stay in the struggle till love wins.
~Rev. Victoria Safford
One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist. There is no in-between safe space of “not racist.”
~Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
You can always figure out who is executing the system. It appears that almost everybody’s executing it, even you are executing it until you are actively fighting it.
~Bernice Johnson Reagon (founder, Sweet Honey in the Rock)
I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed.
The person who loves their dream of community will destroy community, but the person who loves those around them will create community.
What do we live for if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
(Curated and adapted for KUF from the 2020 Soul Matters materials for the theme ‘Beloved Community’ by Rev. Beckett Coppola.)