An Invitation to Celebrate Black Futures Month: Re-Imagining Black Freedom in San Francisco 

Black History Month is an annual celebration of the history and achievements of African Americans. It began in 1926, when Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard-trained historian, founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). Since then, Black History Month has grown to honor and recognize the contributions made by black people throughout history despite all odds. 

In addition to celebrating our history, Glide Memorial Church will also be celebrating Black Futures Month.  Our artistic imagining will explore the wants and needs of black individuals and the freedom that could come as a result of reparations and the repair of past traumas.  As we move into a new era of understanding, it is our responsibility to come together in solidarity as we envision a world where black individuals and communities are free from the burdens of systemic racism, poverty, violence, and trauma that have been inflicted upon them for centuries. 

Black Futures Month is an opportunity to recognize the work being done to ensure that Black people have access to resources, education, and opportunities necessary for a successful future. The goals of this month-long cerebration is to foster dialogue, create awareness, and inspire action towards achieving racial equity. By inspiring meaningful conversations and actionable plans, it aims to create a better future for Black people everywhere. 

 Glide Church will be hosting several special events for Black Futures Month, including our special February, Sunday Celebrations: 

  • Feb 6th at 9 and 11 am – Ramona Laughing Brook Webb is Speaking at our Sunday Celebrations –  Ramona is a Poet-in-Residence at the CoE working at the intersections of performance art, culture change and improved communications around gender and racial/ethnic disparities and health disparities. You can join us in person or online on Facebook Live or YouTube.  
  • Feb 12th at 9 and 11 am – Shakirah Simley is Speaking at our Sunday Celebrations – Shakirah Simley is the Executive Director of  Booker T. Washington Community Service Center. Shakirah previously served as the Director of the Office of Racial Equity at the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. You can join us in person or online on Facebook Live or YouTube.  
  • Feb 19th at 9 and 11 am – Ernest Larkins II is Speaking at our Sunday CelebrationsErnest Larkins II is a graduate of the Theological Education For Leadership Program at Pacific School Of Religion as well as the Allen Temple Leadership Institute. He is a Pacific School Of Religion Change-Makers Fellow.  You can join us in person or online on Facebook Live or YouTube.  
  • Feb 22nd Interfaith Ash Wednesday Event on the 300 block of Ellis Street (in front of Glide) from 11am – 1pm- Join us for an Interfaith celebration that includes sacred sounds, prayers and ecological street art. Our art project will remind some of a mandala and others of the Guatemalan Lenten practice of making alfombras (beautifully colored sawdust carpets). The temporary art display will honor the black history and culture of the Tenderloin. Ash and glitter-ash will be available for those who are interested.
  • Feb 26th at 9 and 11 am – Lateefah Simon is Speaking and Clairdee and Kenny Washington Joining the Glide Ensemble and Change Band at our Sunday Celebrations – Lateefah Simon is a nationally recognized advocate for civil rights and racial justice in Oakland and the Bay Area and is the President of the Meadow Fund. Clairdee and Born and raised in New Orleans, Kenny Washington grew up singing gospel in the church where his parents were choir members and playing saxophone in school bands.  Clairdee is a beloved Jazz singer in the Bay Area. Born in Tucson, AZ and raised in Denver, CO, Clairdee grew up singing with her siblings in school and church.  You can join us in person or online on Facebook Live or YouTube.  

There are also two opportunities to participate in Black storytelling and reparations for black people discussions that culminate in Freedom Dreaming.  Both groups will meet once a month for five months, from January through May.

  • Saturday USF Group: The University of San Francisco’s RISE for Racial Justice Pop-Up University class sponsored by Dream Keepers Initiative & Collective Impact is holding an all black and brown focus group research discussion on your thoughts and feelings about reparations on the last Saturday of the month starting on January 28th at 1:15pm – 2:15 pm. The only eligibility requirements are that you identify as black or African American and live in S.F. Once selected, individuals are encouraged to participate on at all of the monthly gatherings, but must commit to participating in January and May.
  • Sunday Glide Group: On the fourth Sunday of each month (Feb-May) from 2-4 pm, Glide will be gathering. All will be invited to participate, but individuals who are non-black are asked to participate as listeners.

To learn more about both groups or if you would like to participate please contact Frederick Martin at (heirwitjes@gmail.com) or call 415-513-9831.

Want to learn more about Black Futures Month?  Check out some of these books: