20th Century, African American, Black History, ekklesia, History

“Muffle Your Rage”: Civil Rights Leader Roy Wilkins

Roy Wilkins postage stamp, ame-sac.org

April 1955 to August 1977
“Saint Paul’s Roy Wilkins becomes a national leader in the civil rights movement during its most turbulent and productive years. In April 1955, Wilkins is named executive secretary (the title was later changed to executive director in 1964) of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He serves in that position until August 1977.
Wilkins participates in the March on Washington (1963), the Selma to Montgomery marches (1965), and the March Against Fear (1966).
In 1969 President Lyndon B. Johnson will bestow the Medal of Freedom on Mr. Wilkins, the highest civilian honor awarded by the United States.” *

Roy Wilkins landed in Saint Paul, Minnesota circa 1906 after losing his mother. Raised by an aunt and uncle, he attended an integrated school, (much to his pleasure), and grew up happy in a blue-collar neighborhood. After high school, Roy attended the University of Minnesota gaining a degree in sociology with a minor in journalism. His articulate writing led to multiple positions as a journalist reporting for: “Minnesota Daily”, “Kansas City Call”, “St. Paul Appeal”, and “The Crisis”. ,*

Returning to Missouri with his bride Minnie, his birthplace, Mr. Wilkins noted the atmosphere of racism surrounding Kansas City. To use his own words, “…even good manners could be a crime for a black man.” ** Such experiences made the Wilkin’s family take note of differing treatment of African Americans regionally, and so moved him to join the NAACP where he served his community continuously from 1934 until 1977.

What one finds most characteristic about him in the era he led the NAACP, (1955-1977), is his model of peaceful dissent. He wanted to exhort and persuade society, and make legal changes following a Constitutional process. In the words of the NAACP,
“Wilkins strongly opposed militancy in the movement for civil rights as represented by the “black power” movement.” *** In agreement, the Black Heritage Commemorative Society stated the following about Executive Director Wilkins:
“…the militant “black power” movements of the 1970s, including the Black Muslims and Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, faulted Wilkins and the NAACP for failing to take more direct action. Wilkins held unswervingly to the principal of democratic processes within the legislative system, saying: “Muffle your rage. Get smart instead of muscular.”” **

How did Roy Wilkins sum up his life’s work? Again, we let the man speak for himself.

“Without us, without our struggle, the country would have floundered in moral emptiness long ago. We must never lose faith in the justness of our cause and the certainty of our success. We have tried to create a nation where all men would be equal in the eyes of the law, where all citizens would be judged on their own abilities, not their race.”
-(Excerpt from “Standing Fast: The Autobiography of Roy Wilkins” by Roy Wilkins and Tom Mathews, 1982.)

With these words ringing in our ears, we turn to the Lord in prayer. Heavenly Father, how proud we are of Your commitment to all of Your human family throughout history!
We remember this song of David to You; Our Dear One.

“When they were few in number,
few indeed, and strangers in the land,
they wandered from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another.

He let no man oppress them;
He rebuked kings on their behalf:
‘Do not touch My anointed ones!
Do no harm to My prophets!’

Sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Proclaim His salvation day after day.
Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonderful deeds among all peoples.
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
He is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but it is the LORD who made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before Him;
strength and joy fill His dwelling.
Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the nations,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name;
bring an offering and come before Him.” ****

Eternal Father, how fitting this song is for the life of Roy Wilkins, and his tireless advocacy for African-Americans! He followed Your example, but instead of rebuking kings he challenged the Presidents of the United States. Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter all listened to his message to: impute, assign, attribute, evaluate, and pass fair judgment on Americans of African descent.

We see such powerful examples of Your masculine strength of love in his determination. Again, we also see Your strength under control in his actions; though he had reason to rage, he put it away. He communicated deliberately, continuously, and took the painful slow path to persuasion and success. How grateful we are to You for his message and methods to convey it!

We acknowledge to You: by the Cross of Christ, by the blood of Christ, by the Resurrection of Christ, and Your unchanging Word, the bitter root judgments and curses made against Roy Wilkins, Black citizens of Minnesota, and Black America in his era. We name names of only some of these generational root sins: enslaving Africans, transporting Africans to America against their will, embittering their lives with hard labor, judgments based in ethnocentrism of their: appearance, lifestyle, culture, dreams and abilities, that all dark-skinned people think alike and share the same culture, judgments stemming from their participation in the Civil, Spanish, WWI, WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam, judgments made on their Republicanism, judgments made on their Democratism, judgments made on their acceptance of the New Deal, FERA (Federal Relief Emergency Administration), judgments made on their acceptance of welfare: Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, Housing Assistance, and Food Stamps, and finally the political judgments made upon the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and denying the Image of G-d in His Black peoples? Will You take this pain: up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ?

Conversely, will You forgive the counter bitter root judgments of African American culture of Wilkins era against their non-Black neighbors in Minnesota and the greater United States? We name names of only some of these generational root sins: ethnocentrism against the: appearance, lifestyle, culture, dreams and abilities of non-African-Americans, that all light-skinned people think alike and share the same culture, their Democratism or Republicanism, and denying the Image of G-d in His Non-Black peoples? Will You take this pain up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ?

By the Authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, His Cross, His Blood, His Resurrection, and His eternal word we announce His forgiveness of these bitter root judgments, experiences, and curses of Minnesota and the greater United States during the decades of Director Wilkin’s career with the NAACP. Will You breathe life into his wisdom for all of us to; “Muffle our rage. Get smart instead of muscular.”?

Will You give us impartations of love to see Your Masterpiece: the African-American human being before us? Will You give us favor, Holy Spirit to see Your Masterpiece, the non-African American human being before us? May we “Ascribe to the Lord, O families of nations” the dignity and beauty of His handiwork both in the present and until He returns! By the Authority of the One existing before all races, and for whom all races exist! Amen!

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org, is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!
** From “Black History Now”, an excellent source of biographies for heroes of the Civil Rights movement. http://blackhistorynow.com/roy-wilkins/
*** https://www.naacp.org/naacp-history-roy-wilkins/
**** Excerpt of I Chronicles 16:19-29. https://biblehub.com/bsb/1_chronicles/16.htm

“Black History Month: Roy Wilkins. City of Saint Paul Minnesota Media Services. 2005.
“Roy Wilkins: The Right to Dignity”. Public Resource Org. ARC Identifier 2546045 / Local Identifier 306.289. 1982 – 10/01/1999
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19th Century, Agriculture, Business, History, Intercession, Minnesota, Mississippi River

Washburn ‘A’ Mill Explodes

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May 2, 1878

“The mill explodes when flour dust in the air inside it ignites. The explosion kills 18 workers, destroys five other mills, and decimates the surrounding area. Debris lands in Saint Paul, and the shock is felt in Stillwater. The event brings instant notoriety to Minneapolis.

The tragic explosion leads to reforms in the milling industry. Ventilation systems and other precautionary devices will be devised in order to prevent further tragedy.” *

Lord, this explosion truly impacted our state and city for decades. Will You forgive us our bitter root judgements of this event? Will You forgive any rash words and thoughts spoken by the rivals of the houses of Pillsbury and Washburn that may still be with us today? Will You cleanse the land, and the river from the bifurcations of this blast?

If the root sin of pride is an issue, (because of its largesse), will You forgive and release all the inheritors of this separation? We need You to provide our food! We welcome You to Minnesota, to the Falls of St. Anthony! Come and ‘be present at our table Lord!’

*P.T.H. cites timeline formerly at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
The Minnesota Historical Society Web site, http://www.mnhs.org , is fantastic! Check it out! Images are from https://images.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl; again, an amazing resource!

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19th Century, Culture, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota

Hutchinson Founded by Singing Family Nov 19, 1855  

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Wishing to start an utopian community, three Hutchinson brothers—Asa, Judson, and John—travel west to Minnesota. On the Crow River they help found the town of Hutchinson and commit it to the values of education, equality, and temperance. The popular Hutchinson Family Singing Troupe promotes these same principles as they tour.

Abby, John, Judson, and Asa—4 of the 13 brothers and sisters—are the Hutchinson Family Singers. Called “the best known troupe of family singers in the country,” the Hutchinsons sing and compose songs about American life that often carry a social message.*

Lord, thanks for the memories of this family. Thank you for their persistence in using their gift of song and entertainment for good, rather than their own fame. May You release many of this generation to be so moved and committed to You! Thank you for the good You do for us through both the enjoyment of making and listening to music!

Father, forgive the judgments we’ve made towards each other on the basis of position towards alcohol. Especially during this era of temperance, Minnesotans who drink have judged non-drinkers, and vice versa. Will You forgive our disrespect of the positions of others and their cultures of origin? For example, the Germans of southern Minnesota had no conflict or fear of drinking beer. Many agreed with Martin Luther’s famous quote that “beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Will You give us the power to not use alcohol abusively in this generation, but to savor it properly? Will You give us faith that You are our brother’s keeper, so we don’t have to jerk his chains?

Will You release us from the bitter roots of alcoholism, and the effect it has had on the individuals, families, cities, counties, tribes, and nations that make up our state? Will You release from any residue of the self-righteous judgments of those who led the temperance movement from a heart of legalism and pride over real love for their neighbors? Sometimes we do good with a bad heart. Will You give us humility to deal with the sensitive spots in the conscience of our fellow man according to Your merciful example?

“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;” Isaiah 42:3

*Note – PrayThroughHistory uses the timeline located for several years at the Minnesota Historical Society Web site, at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm .

 

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19th Century, 20th Century, 21st Century, Faith, History, Indian, Intercession, Minnesota, Native Americans, Treaties

Treaty of Mendota

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August 5, 1851
“In August the commissioners begin negotiations with the Lower Bands at Mendota. The Mdewakanton and Wahpekute are pressured into agreeing to terms similar to those forced on the Upper Bands, including $220,000 in upfront cash to the fur traders. Both treaties promise the Dakota new reservations along the Minnesota River “in perpetuity,” a pledge that will not be kept.” *
Lord, forgive the human desire to ‘work the system’ and pad our own nests! Will You forgive this heinous offense of the fur traders towards the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute within the Treaty of Mendota? Even greater, will You forgive this breech of justice committed against You through the deception of these two tribes?

Per contra, will You forgive the shame and anger of the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute towards: Lea, Sibley, Ramsey, Minnesota Territory, the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Federal Government, and all unnamed parties participating in their deception? Sweet Jesus, it’s always so hard for the victims of injustice to let go of their righteous anger; will You give this gift to the Mdewakanton and Wahpekute Nations? Will You kindly and gently take this generational curse which has bound them to their historic offenders up, out, and onto the Cross of Christ? Will You restore what the enemy has taken from them, and bring Your Healing Presence to the peoples and lands involved? This land is Your property, may we view it as such both now and “in perpetuity”!

We, in the present, are angered by the deception of the Upper and Lower Dakota Bands at the hands of Luke Lea, and Alexander Ramsey through the trustful signing of the “Trader’ Papers”!!! The desire to disconnect ourselves from this event is powerful, yet Your Word gives us no escape when we offend You by accusing our neighbors. You do not yield the spirit of the law to comply with the letter of the law. You are both Grace and Truth! Help us remember this example spoken to self-righteous human accusers so many centuries ago?

“They said this to test Him, in order to have a basis for accusing Him. But Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with His finger. When they continued to question Him, He straightened up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her.” Berean Study Bible, John 8:6-7 **

Will You give us the merciful eyes of Christ today, and into the eternal future of Minnesota? Help us see the humanity within victim and victimizer, the accuser and the accused, and to stand humbly with You against evil and for the good? May we become agents of humanity against the division and deception of the Evil One; the Author of All Grudges. Amen!

http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm
** https://biblehub.com/john/8-7.htm

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19th Century, education, Faith, History, Intercession, Minnesota, omnipresent history

Minnesota Historical Society Created

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The territorial legislature convenes and, as one of its first acts, establishes the Minnesota Historical Society.
“Write your history as you go along, and you will confer a favor upon the future inhabitants of Minnesota, for which they will be ever grateful.” ~The Rev. Edward D. Neill at one of the Society’s first meetings.*

Jesus, I wonder if the Reverend had any inkling of the gravity his speech? I agree so strongly with him that we have been shown favor! Why do You allow us to access Your nature, (present at all times), to participate in Your work of healing Minnesota? You are so different from every object of worship and our human style of leadership! Even our best leaders can act out of pride; and the greatest out of a need for recognition.

Lord, will You acknowledge the present leaders of Minnesota so that they do not need the accolades of men? Lord, will You forgive all leaders past of seeking the approval of people rather than Your pleasure? And by this I don’t mean merely political leaders, chiefs of tribes, captains of industry, or spiritual leaders! I mean ALL who have had influence.

To the future generations of Minnesotans, “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!” James 2:12,13

*http://www.mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm

 

 

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19th Century, Culture, History, Minnesota, Native Americans, Politics, Treaties

Winnebago Moved to Reservation 1847  

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A treaty with the U.S. government moves the Winnebago (Ho-Chunk) from northeastern Iowa and southeastern Minnesota to a reservation in Todd County. With the Ojibwe to the north and the Dakota to the south, government officials hope the Winnebago reservation will serve as a buffer zone between Minnesota’s two larger Indian nations.

The Winnebago prefer the terrain of the prairie to this wooded area, and in 1855, they relocate to a smaller tract of land in Blue Earth County. They remain there until after the U.S.-Dakota Conflict, when the government forces them to move with the Dakota to the Crow Creek reservation in South Dakota.*

Jesus, thanks for the peoples of Minnesota. Thanks that You made us Your people whether of Winnebago, Ojibwe, Dakota, English, German, French, or Swedish descent. It’s wonderful that we are uniquely made, distinct families conveying some reflection of Your light!
Will You illuminate and forgive the bitter root judgments of the US government towards the Winnebago and vice versa? Will You forgive the government’s desire to use this people as a “buffer” between Ojibwe and Dakota, and the implications that they needed help maintaining peace between their peoples? Will You fill hearts and lands with the gift of restoration here in Minnesota, South Dakota, Iowa, and replace the curses from the hearts of all parties in this event?

*www.dipity.com/Minnesota/History/Minnesota-History/

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19th Century, Culture, education, Faith, History, Intercession, Jesus, Minnesota, Native Americans

Lake Harriet Mission School July 19, 1836  

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Six students attend the opening of the Lake Harriet Mission School for the Dakota, founded by the Reverend Jedediah D. Stevens. An early example of education within the boundaries of present-day Minnesota, the school was sponsored by the Presbyterian Missions Board and taught by the founder’s niece, Lucy C. Stevens, in a cabin built by Gideon H. and Samuel W. Pond.*

Good Teacher, thank you for the benefits of the Lake Harriet Mission School for the Dakota. Thank you for the heart of providing education to all! It’s so good to share what we know and have it received.

It is not easy to be the first. It takes boldness to reach out across cultural lines. On one side of this picture we have Dakota students who are reaching out to Stevens. Conversely, he is stepping out of his comfort zone to meet and teach members of an unfamiliar culture. Will You bless both sides of this exchange? Will You remember their boldness and trust to know each other? Each group is an exploratory party of sorts. May we never forget what its like to be an alien!

Lord, I also want to acknowledge our separations that may begin as academic pride. We assume our knowledge will change our ‘underprivileged’. We often fail to pass on wisdom (good judgment), and even foster an academic culture that hesitates to recognize the merits of wisdom. As moderns, we cringe at even the word ‘judgement’, although one could argue that good judgment is the root of justice?!

I feel prompted to acknowledge the potential judgments of Stevens and Williamson against the Pond brothers, and perhaps a spirit of competitiveness. Lord, will you forgive any heritage of academic  or religious pride stemming from  them forward to us if this is the case? Will you forgive the stinging pain of criticism towards or counter-judgments from the Ponds, the Dakotas, these first six students, or any other pertinent unaddressed party? Will You free the land  of Minnesota from these judgments, and bring the blessing of humility that we all have betrayed You, Your peoples, and our selves? Will You make us humble teachers and students of the “knowledge” You have revealed to us? Amen.

*The current URL is www.dipity.com/Minnesota/History/Minnesota-History/ and only works if typed, not pasted, in browser. It is worth the effort!

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