There is one body and one Spirit. There is one hope in which you were called. There is one Lord and one faith and one baptism. There is one God. He is the Father of us all. He is over us all. He is the One working through us all. He is the One living in us all.
-Ephesians 4:4-6 NLV
I hope you will indulge me just a bit because this all came together in a way that makes me believe it is straight from the Lord.
Last year I made this illustration. Those are real kids with whom I went to school, and the reference photos were all taken around 1976. Now last month I was feeling the need to get a little funky, so I created a YouTube playlist of Stevie Wonder songs. And I heard the song “Black Man” from the album “Songs in the Key of Life” for the first time. This song was written in 1976 for the Bicentennial. I’ve listed the lyrics below but give a listen because it is one funky jam.
The song recognizes the achievements of men and women of various racial backgrounds for their contribution to our glorious country. What particularly struck me was how many of the people mentioned I had never heard of or knew little about. It surprised me because my generation was bathed in messages of unity. We were teaching the world to sing in perfect harmony with a Coke and a smile. Sesame street was fully integrated. Even the colors of Benetton were united. But history still belonged to the Great Men.
Perhaps there’s a lesson in that for us now. In the Bible, Old Testament and New, God continuously reminded His people to care for the ‘other’: the widow, the orphan, the foreigner, the poor. Over thousands of years God kept sending the message that His world was made for all men (and women) and yet we didn’t seem to grasp it. Maybe every generation has to re-learn this message. Personally, I’m fine with that. It’s a great message. It’s THE Christian message. Others may try to co-opt it or twist it to fit some new-fangled ideology. Don’t scoff or mock, just tell the next generation the truth: the enemy is never people, the enemy is sin and sinfulness. The only identity that really matters is the identity we have in Christ! Red or yellow, black or white all are precious in His sight. We are One Nation of humanity, Under God, Indivisible!
by Stevie Wonder and Gary Byrd
First man to die for the flag we now hold high was a black man (Crispus Attucks)
The ground where we stand with the flag held in our hand was first the red man's
Guide of a ship on the first Columbus trip was a brown man (Pedro Alonzo Nino)
The railroads for trains came on tracking that was laid by the yellow man
We pledge allegiance all our lives to the magic colors, red, blue and white.
But we all must be given the liberty that we defend,
for with justice not for all men History will repeat again
It's time we learned this World Was Made for All Men
Heart surgery was first done successfully by a black man (Dr. Daniel Hale Williams)
Friendly man who died but helped the pilgrims to survive was a red man (Squanto)
Farm workers' rights were lifted to new heights by a brown man (Cesar Chavez)
Incandescent light was invented to give sight by the white man (Thomas Edison)
Now I know that the birthday of a nation Is a time when a country celebrates,
But as your hand touches your heart, remember we all played a part in America
to help that banner wave.
First clock to be made in America was created by a black man (Benjamin Banneker)
Scout who used no chart helped lead Lewis and Clark was a red woman (Sacagawea)
Use of martial arts in our country got its start by a yellow man (Yamashita Yoshitsugu)
And the leader with a pen signed his name to free all men was a white man (Abraham Lincoln)
It's time we learned this World Was Made for All Men.
God saved His world for all men: All people, All babies, All children, All colors, All races, This world's for you and me.
(call and response with children)
Who was the first man to set foot on the North Pole? Matthew Henson - a black man
Who was the first American to show the Pilgrims at Plymouth the secrets of survival in the new world? Squanto - a red man
Who was the soldier of Company G who won high honors for his courage and heroism in World War I? Sing Lee - a yellow man
Who was the leader of united farm workers and helped farm workers maintain dignity and respect? Caesar Chavez - a brown man
Who was the founder of blood plasma and the director of the Red Cross blood bank? Dr. Charles Drew - a black man
Who was the great American heroine who aided the Lewis and Clark expedition? Sacajawea - a red woman
Who was the famous educator and semanticist who made outstanding contributions to education in America? Hayakawa - a yellow man
Who invented the world's first stop light and the gas mask? Garrett Morgan - a black man
Who was the American surgeon who was one of the founders of neurosurgery? Harvey William Cushing - a white man
Who was the man who helped design the nation’s capital, made the first clock to give time in America and wrote the first almanac? Benjamin Banneker - a black man
Who was the legendary hero who helped establish the League of Iroquois? Hiawatha - a red man
Who was the leader of the first microbiotic center in America? Michio Kushi- a yellow man
Who was the founder of the city of Chicago in 1772? Jean Baptiste - a black man
Who was one of the organizers of the American Indian Movement? Denis Banks - a red man
Who was the Jewish financier who raised funds to sponsor Christopher Columbus' voyage to America? Luis de Santángel - a white man
Who was the woman who led countless slaves to freedom on the underground railroad? Harriet Tubman - a black woman
Blessings of Freedom to all,