A Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr. Kareem Smith, has urged the African Americans to reclaim their identity as black Christians and hold to Christ’s banner of justice in their service to God and humanity.
Smith made the call in his homily at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, to celebrate the Annual Archdiocesan Black History Month and National Day for African American and African Family.
Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans in February, and it is a time to recognize their central role in U.S. history.
The priest said that the road for change always begins in the black Church, where black Christians transform society.
“We must not stop; we must reclaim the identity, our Church is crying for leadership, black Church must stand to what we say we are.
“Black folks are gifts to the Church. We must take our seats at the table because we have made our contributions, and we deserve to be there,” he said.
According to him, the black Americans are often faced with the question of “worth” as their average income as a people is insignificantly lower than their white counterparts.”
The priest said blacks are discriminated against in getting good jobs, getting the best education, and often treated unjustly.
“We indeed are the last to be hired, and yet the first to be rejected from getting high paid jobs and our children making the highest number of incarcerated.
“Despite these, we know who we are; we are in this service because God is preparing to do something new in our lives.
“We have gathered to look back so that we can look forward. We should not forget our history as Black Americans, and we should be conscious of the past we will make.
“The task ahead of us is great. Justice is not just when prisons are full of black. It is wonderful to teach racial tolerance as part of the elementary curriculum, but we need to teach it in reality,” he said.
The mass was celebrated by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Catholic Archbishop of New York.