(Chr. Today) In Albany, Georgia, Two Churches of Different Races partner to Bring Healing

Segregation remains on the tip of the tongue for many residents of Albany, where old attitudes persist””sometimes openly and certainly behind closed doors. Blacks and whites attend the same schools, visit the same movie theaters, and drink from the same fountains, but prejudices are palpable.

“There are a lot of tensions around here that just won’t die,” says a member of the local news media who asked to remain anonymous. “There’s a black-white divide, a lot of good-old-boy cronyism. The whites won’t let it go, but the blacks won’t either.”

One local pastor who has lived in several southern cities””including Montgomery, Alabama, where Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man””says Albany is “easily the most racially divided city I’ve ever been in….”

Read it all.


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2 comments on “(Chr. Today) In Albany, Georgia, Two Churches of Different Races partner to Bring Healing

  1. Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    And for the Yankees reading this, Albany, GA, is pronounced “All-benny.”

  2. Frances Scott says:

    1982 – 1993 I lived and worked in Americus, GA…just a few miles up the road from Albany. I worked first for Habitat for Humanity as a full time volunteer. My title was “Director of Family and Children’s Services” and my pay was the same as that of any other volunteer. I worked mostly in the black community and became close enough to my people to be trusted with such gems as: “White people is okay, but you just has to treat em like children.” The white people, meanwhile, were saying, “Black people are okay, but you have to treat them like children.” I alway told them, “Maybe, if you folks start treating each other like adults, this town will be a better place for all of us to live.”

    My colleague and I were helping one of our elderly black homeowners put up curtains in her new house when her telephone rang. She answered, talked a few minutes, then told the caller, “I have to go now, my white girls are here!” All three of us enjoyed the joke. She had worked as a domestic all her working life so she knew the lines; she only had to change one word.

    My desk job at HFH included helping people fill out the application for a house. I found out that most of the adults, and many of the teenagers were illiterate. My colleague and I worked with the existing, but non active, Literacy Action group to revive the program. From 1985 – 1983 I worked for the regional Library directing a four-county adult literacy program. Most of the tutors were white, most of the students were black. We used Laubach which requires the tutor to sit beside the student and teach from the student’s book. Under this system, the tutor and student bond rather quickly and a trust relationship is built up that changes the perceptions of both people. Many of the students came wanting ot learn to read so that “I can read the bible for my own self.”

    Living in a decent house, being able to read, and having one person in the white community to call “friend” made a difference, one by one. For the tutor, knowing one person from the black community as “friend” helped break down barriers between the two communities. There are still two communities…differences in cultural background and the human tendancy to group with others “like me” are controlling factors. And I believe that is fine…so long as it is by choice.

    Albany is a larger city with higher barriers. Tougher nut to crack. If these two pastors and their congregations can begin to alleviate the problems, they are truly doing God’s work. Blessings on them all.