U & U RACIAL DIVERSITY HISTORY TIMELINE
following time line is modified from that at the UUA Social Justice Racial
Justice/Anti-racism web page www.uua.org/justice/timeline.pdf
to sermons on UU race relations
"A Dream Deferred"
by Rev. Frederick Emerson Small
First Church Unitarian, Littleton, January 14, 2001
"The Black Power Controversy in the UUA"
by Reverend Carol Sampson Rudisill, Universalist Unitarian Church
Santa Paula, California, February 24, 2002
"The Black Candidate"
by the Rev. Mark D. Morrison-Reed
to the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto Sunday, 4 January 1998
on UUA site) a Universalist, is one of the founders of the Pennsylvania
Society for the Abolition of Slavery.
1785 Gloster Dalton, an African
American, is one of the 85 signatories of the Charter of Compact of the
Gloucester Universalist Society.
1790 Universalist resolution calling
for "gradual abolition" of slavery.
1833 Unitarian Lydia
Maria Child writes "An Appeal in Favor of That Class of
American called African."
1845 "A free colored man" and
his family are members of the Mt. Olympus Universalist Society in
Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911), African American author (link
here for selected poetry and here)
and activist, is a member of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia.
1850 Unitarian Senator John C. Calhoun
pushes for and Unitarian President Millard Fillmore signs the Fugitive
Slave Act to assist the South with maintaining a tight rein on slaveholders’ property.
1851 Unitarian Minister Samuel
J. May organizes the rescue of a fugitive slave in Syracuse NY.
1859 Four of the "Secret Six"
who financed John Brown's raid on Harper's
Ferry were Unitarians (including The Reverends Theodore Parker and
1860 Reverend Mr. Jackson, an African
American from New Bedford MA, announced his conversion to Unitarianism
at the Autumnal Convention of the American Unitarian Association.
"No discussion, no welcome, no expression of praise and
satisfaction was uttered, that the Unitarian gospel had reached the
1863 Unitarian Robert
Gould Shaw, a white man, is the Colonel of the 54th Regiment of the
Massachusetts Infantry, the first regiment of African American
volunteers from to the North to fight in the Civil War. (The movie
"Glory" is a dramatization of their efforts.)
1870 Meadville Theological School
admits its first African American student (A.M.E.)
Jordan (1842-1901), the first ordained African American Universalist
minister, starts a mission in Norfolk VA.
1893 Rev. Joseph Jordan delivers
address entitled "Our Mission Among the Colored People" to the
Universalist General Convention in Washington, DC. Convention delegates
contribute more than $2600 to finance construction of a chapel in
E. Wise, the second African American Universalist minister, works
with Jordan in Norfolk and begins a second mission in Suffolk VA. He
returned to Methodism in 1904.
1899 Universalist missionary, Quillen
Shinn, attempts to establish Universalist mission in Barstow GA.
1904 Joseph Fletcher Jordan (1863 -
1929), the third African American Universalist minister, starts a
twenty-five year ministry in Suffolk VA. He published The Colored
Universalist, started a nursery, kindergarten, and elementary school,
and created a neighborhood house for the Black community.
1906 Don Speed Smith Goodloe graduates
from Meadville but is denied an opportunity to serve a congregation.
Becomes Principal of the Normal School that becomes Bowie
Latimer (1848-1928), an African American inventor, is a founding
member of the Flushing Unitarian Church.
Haynes Holmes, a founding member of NAACP, later integrated
Community Church of New York.
1909 Unitarian woman, Mary
White Ovington, was also one of the founders of the NAACP.
Brown (1875-1956), an African American, graduated from Meadville and
returned to start a Unitarian congregation in Jamaica.
1920 Ethelred Brown moves to Harlem and
founds Unitarian Church there.
H. G. Carter, an African American, founds Church of the Unitarian
Brotherhood in Cincinnati. The local ministers know of him but do not
inform the AUA.
McGee, an African American, approaches Curtis Reese and is told
"if you want to be a Unitarian you'd better bring your own
1927 African American Errold
D. Collymore integrates the White Plains Unitarian Church in New
York and later becomes its President.
1929 Joseph F. Jordan dies and his
daughter, Annie B. Willis, takes over the school, but the church fails.
1929 Ethelred Brown removed from
V. Richardson is refused admission to AUA.
1935 Jeffery Campbell, an African
American, fellowshipped as a Universalist minister.
1935 Ethelred Brown reinstated when
ACLU threatens to sue.
1939 Frances Davis, a Universalist
seminarian marries Marguerite Campbell, Jeff's sister, and their
interracial marriage is attacked in the "Christian Leader,"
the Universalist journal. He is never settled but works for the Boston
Urban League, while she spends 33 years at the UCA and UUA.
1945 Alvin Neeley Cannon, a Starr King
graduate, is refused fellowship because of lack of opportunities.
1947 Lewis McGee founds inter-racial
Free Religious Fellowship in Chicago.
1948 Maurice Dawkins, an African
American, becomes minister of Education at the Community Church of New
York. There are now five African American Unitarian ministers - - 3
settled, 1 in student pastorate.
1948 First Unitarian Society of Chicago
Sparrow, an African American, fellowshipped, but seeing the hedging
and foot-dragging, becomes a college teacher.
1950 Unitarian Service Committee
supports desegregation of Boys Club in Washington D.C. All Souls Church
M. Young, Jr. joins the Atlanta Unitarian Universalist Church and
serves on its Board.
1953 All Souls Church, Unitarian,
Washington D.C. evicts the segregated Police Boys Club and started an
1953 The Reverend Donald Thompson is
first Director of the Social Service Center in the LeClaire Courts
housing project in Chicago, organized by the Universalists and the
1954 A. Powell Davies, Minister of All
Souls Church, Unitarian, Washington D.C. posted a list of integrated
restaurants and requested that members use only these restaurants.
1954 The American Unitarian Association
Commission on Intergroup Relations reports 1/3 of the congregations
responded and of these 176 societies, 52 had black members - of these,
13 had more than 5 black members. Report recommended that the AUA meet
at prestigious Black college following the annual Race Relations
Conference. No action was taken.
1955 Errold D. Collymore becomes AUA
1956 Unitarian Service Committee
collaborates with Kenneth Clark to work in six "hard core"
segregationist states. Three "Human Relations Projects" were
started in Knoxville, Atlanta, and Jacksonville, where facilitators
worked quietly to integrate hospitals and other local institutions.
1956 Lewis McGee is refused the call to
1956 Eugene Sparrow is refused the call
to be Asst. Minister in Detroit.
1956 Howard Thurman delivers Ware
Lecture at GA.
1958 William Jones, an African
American, was fellowshipped and serves as Assistant Minister in
1958 David Eaton, an African American,
approaches UUA President Dana Greeley and is told "I'd love to have
you but we'll have trouble settling you."
1958 Lewis McGee becomes Associate
Minister in Los Angeles.
Church of the Philippines (UCP) founded by an indigenous group and
recognized by Universalist Church of America. Rev. Fred
Muir has written "Maglipay Universalist:A History of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines"
1959 Universalists at St. Lawrence
picket Woolworth's Annual Meeting in Watertown NY to integrate lunch
1961 David Eaton refused entrance to
St. Lawrence University Theological School.
1961 Upon merger of American Unitarian
Association and Universalist Church of America, Universalist Church of
the Philippines no longer recognized.
1961 Lewis McGee becomes Minister of
Chico Unitarian Fellowship in California. He is the first African
American Senior Minister in a white congregation.
1963 GA in Chicago defeats resolution
to require that congregations adopt a non-discrimination clause. A
resolution passed that encouraged existing congregations to adopt a
non-discrimination clause and required it of new societies. A commission
on Religion and Race was formed.
1964 The Rev. Andrew Kuroda installed
as minister of the Japanese Fellowship of All Souls Church in Washington
1964 Yakima, Washington UU Church
sponsors Louis Lamar, an African American journalist from Los Angeles,
who drew an audience of 550 people.
1965 African American Henry Hampton
works at UUA as Assistant Director of Information. He later conceived
and served as Executive Producer for the "Eyes on the Prize."
1965 UUs participated in March from
Selma to Montgomery. March began in response to murder of Jimmy
Lee Jackson, an African American in Marion AL, by an Alabama State
1965 James Reeb, a white UU minister,
was murdered in Selma AL.
1965 Viola Liuzzo, a white member of
the UU church in Detroit MI, was killed in Alabama as she was driving
along the highway between Selma and Montgomery with an African American
1965 Wade McCree, an African American
and a federal judge, is Vice-Moderator of UUA.
1966 Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers
1967 GA Resolution passed to urge
congress to develop and adopt anew comprehensive national policy for the
American Indians, including the Eskimos and Aleut.
1967 Jeffrey Campbell settled part-time
in Amherst MA.
1967 Emergency Conference of UUs
Response to the Black Rebellion held at the Biltmore Hotel in New York
1967 UUA Goals Report: 11% of UU say
being black would improve a minister's effectiveness; 63% -makes no
difference; 27% - hamper. The corresponding percentages for women were
5%; 48%, and 47%.
1968 National Conference of Black UUs
was held in Chicago and the Black Affairs Council (BAC) was formed.
1968 Black and White Action (BAWA) is
formed..1968 Cleveland GA commits one million dollars to BAC.
1968 Mwalimu Imara, John Frazier, and
Thomas Payne fellowshipped. Mwalimu settled in Urbana, Illinois. There
are 8 black ministers and the same number of women. Two blacks are
settled – 1 part-time. There are approximately 1500 black UUs.
1969 Walkout of BAC supporters at
Boston GA over funding reduction.
1969 General Assembly passes Resolution
supporting the Grape Boycott.
1969 Harold Wilson, an African
American, fellowshipped, and he serves at Walnut Creek CA as co-minister
from 1968 - 1973.
1969 John Frazier called to Black
Humanist Fellowship of Liberation in Cleveland.
1969 David Eaton is called to All Souls
Church in Washington D.C., a major congregation that was 90% white.
1970 Mwalimu Imara called to Arlington
Street Church in Boston.
1970 General Assembly passes Resolution
on Indian Rights urging support of independent, indigenous
1970 UUSC Rainbow Coalition of
Partnership with six Black and Chicano community groups in Oakland, Los
Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Chester, and Philadelphia.
1972 General Assembly passes Resolution
supporting the United Farm Workers Lettuce Boycott.
1974 General Assembly passes Resolution
in support of United Farm Worker Boycott.
1976 General Assembly passes Resolution
opposing extradition of Dennis Banks, a Native American, and leader in
1977 Thomas Payne appointed to
Benevolent Fraternity of Unitarian Churches, Boston's oldest Urban
1979 UUA President Eugene Pickett meets
with African American ministers.
1979 The Reverend Jesse Jackson
delivers Ware Lecture at GA.
1980 UUA Institutional Racism Audit
1980 Mark Morrison-Reed's Black
Pioneers in a White Denomination published by Skinner House.
1981 Yvonne Seon is first African
American woman to be fellowshipped as a UU Minister.
1981 Vernon Jordan delivers Ware
Lecture at GA.
1982 Network of Black UUs formed.
1983 Commission on Appraisal
Empowerment: One Denomination's Quest for Racial Justice, 1967-1982
1983 The Rev. Hyun Hwan Kim becomes
Minister of the First Unitarian Church in Los Angeles CA.
1984 Whitney Young, Jr. Urban Ministry
Fund is started.
1985 Reverend Toribio Quimada is
founder of Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines. The UUCP is
recognized by UUA as a member at the 1985 General Assembly.
1985 UUSC publishes "What Color
are America's Prisons?" showing disproportional incarceration of
Blacks, Latinos, and Native Americans.
1985 Black Concerns Working Group is
1985 Shirley Chisolm delivers Ware
Lecture at GA.
1986 GA Resolution passed supporting
Grape boycott because of pesticide problems for workers.
1986 Yvonne Seon organizes the First
New-Start Urban Congregation in southeast Washington D.C. and serves as
1987 Commission on Appraisal
"Quality" Study finds that when asked if being black would
help, make no difference, or hinder a minister's effectiveness - - UUs
said: 3%, 71%, and 26%. For women the corresponding percentages were:
9%, 78%, and 13%. From 1967 to 1987, the number of African American
ministers increased from 8 to 15; the number of women increased from 8
1987 UUSC Conference on Racism and
Incarceration at Howard University.
1988 Philippines Congregation admitted
1988 The Rev. Quimada is murdered in
1988 African American UU Ministries
1988 Charles Johnson, an African
American, serves as founding minister of Church of the Restoration in
1988 Beyond Categorical Thinking
Program begins. This is a weekend program designed to promote inclusive
thinking and to help prevent unfair discrimination in the ministerial
1989 Advocate for Racial Inclusiveness
and Director for International Congregations position created at UUA.
African American minister, Reverend Mel Hoover, hired.
1989 "How Open the Door?" is
published by the UUA as an adult education curriculum.
1990 Rebecca Parker becomes the first
female president of Starr King UU Theological School and any theological
1991 Dan Aldridge, an African American,
serves as founding minister of Thurman Hamer Ellington Congregation in
1991 "Been in the Storm So
Long," A UUA Meditation Manual of works by people of color, edited
by the Rev. Mark Morrison- Reed and Jacqui James is published.
1992 UUSC supports 1st UU Church and 12
black, Latino and Korean community organizations in south central Los
Angeles in the wake of the Los Angeles rebellion.
1992 Resolution on racial and cultural
diversity passed unanimously by General Assembly.
1992 UUA Office for Racial and Cultural
1992 Several UU Churches and
individuals played leading roles in the fight against and the eventual
defeat of Oregon's anti-gay Measure 9.
1992 Continental Congress of African
American UUs and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper Commemoration was held
September 26 - 28th in Philadelphia.
1993 James Brown appointed Southwest
District Executive - first African American to hold such a position.
1993 UUs for a Just Economic Community
Conference held in Los Angeles as a show of support after the first
Rodney King verdict and because LA is America's most diverse city.
1993 General Assembly passes Justice
for Indigenous Peoples Resolution.
1993 Marion Wright Edelman delivers
Ware Lecture at GA.
1993 UUA has Professional Staff of nine
African American, Hispanic, and Asian persons - an all time high.
1994 Beacon Press institutes mentoring
1994 Patricia Jimenez is first
Mexican-American woman to be fellowshipped by the UUA.
1995 Latino/a Unitarian Universalist
Networking Association (LUUNA) founded.
1997 Diverse and Revolutionary
Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM) founded.
1997 The General Assembly passes a
resolution calling on the UUA to work towards becoming an anti-racist,
anti-oppressive, multicultural religious community.
1997 The Faith in Action Department
created to facilitate the linking of all of anti-oppression efforts as
movement is made on the Journey Toward Wholeness.
2001 Reverend Dr. James A. Forbes
delivers Ware Lecture.