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  1. from the Chronology
  2. from the Chronology Canada
  3. from the Main Catalog

from the chronology

date event locations tags see also
1911. 26 - 29 Jul The First Universal Races Congress was held at the University of London. It was the first important conference in which the British Bahá'ís participated. It was an international symposium on the theme of the brotherhood of humankind and attracted leading politicians, theologians and scholars from the whole of the British Empire and from Europe as well as North America. During the Congress itself there were several presentations from Bahá'ís including the reading of a letter from 'Abdu'l-Bahá who was in Egypt at the time. [NBAD45]
  • See 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Letter and here.
  • See SoW Vol II No 9 for a report by Wellesley Tudor-Pole, an article by Thorton Chase as well as the letter from 'Abdu'l-Bahá to the conference. See as well Speech for the Universal Races Congress translation and comments by Senn McGlinn.
  • A translation was published in "The Christian Commonwealth" on August 2, 1911.
  • A bibliography of the presentations, papers and contributions and secondary literature by Ralph Dumain can be found here.
  • A paper by Dr W E B DuBois entitled The Negro Race in the United States of America (pp348-364)was also presented at this conference.
  • London; United Kingdom Conferences, Racial amity; Race amity; Race (general); Race unity; Firsts, Other
    1919 26 Apr-1 May The 14 Tablets of the Divine Plan were unveiled in a dramatic ceremony at the Hotel McAlpin in New York, during the `Convention of the Covenant'. The Tablets had been brought to America by Ahmad Sohrab at the request of the Guardian. [ABNYP172Note24, BBD219; PP437; SBBH1:134; SBBH2:135; SBR86; AB220TDPXI]
  • For details of the convention programme, Tablets and talks given see SW10, 4:54-72; SW10, 5:83-94; SW10, 6:99-103, 111-12 SW10, 7:122-7, 138; SW10, 10:197-203; and SW10, 12:2279.
  • Mary Maxwell (Rúhíyyih Khánum) was among the young people who unveil the Tablets. [PP437]
  • Hyde and Clara Dunn and Martha Root responded immediately to the appeal, the Dunns went to Australia where they open 700 towns to the Faith, and Martha Root embarked on the first of her journeys which are to extend over 20 years. [GPB308; MR88]
  • See also CT138-9.
  • Agnes Parsons arrived from her pilgrimage just before the close of the convention and was able to convey the instructions from `Abdu'l-Bahá to arrange a Convention for `the unity of the coloured and white races'. [BW5:413; SBR87]
  • New York; United States Tablets of the Divine Plan; Abdul-Baha, Writings and talks of; Charters; Conventions, National; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum; Agnes Parsons; Hyde Dunn; Clara Dunn; Martha Root; Race (general); Race amity; Race unity; Ahmad Sohrab
    1921 19-21 May The first Race Amity Conference was held in Washington DC at the old First Congregational Church, 10th & G Streets NW. This church had a reputation for opposition to racial prejudice and had close ties with Howard University. It had a capacity of 2,000. [BW2:281]
  • Mabry and Sadie Oglesby and their daughter Bertha from Boston as well as Agnes Parsons and Louis Gregory were involved. Agnes Parsons, during her pilgrimage in 1920, was instructed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá, "I want you to arrange in Washington a convention for unity between the white and colored people."[SETPE1p141-145, BW2p281]
  • For details of the conference see the article by Louis Gregory entitled "Inter-racial Amity". [BW2:281-2]
  • See article The Bahá'í 'Race Amity' Movement and the Black Intelligentsia in Jim Crow America:Alain Locke and Robert Abbot by Christopher Buck [Bahá'í Studies Review, 17, pages 3-46, 2011] (includes a chronology of 29 Race Amity conferences organized in the United States between 1921 and 1935).
  • The Washington Bee (which, as part of its masthead, billed itself “Washington’s Best and Leading Negro Newspaper”) published the text of the entire speech on May 25, 1912, in an article headlined, “Abdue [ sic] Baha: Revolution in Religious Worship.”
  • Documentary: 'Abdu'l-Baha's Initiative on Race from 1921: Race Amity Conferences.
  • Washington DC; United States Race (general); Race Amity; Race unity; Conferences, Race Amity; First conferences; Mabry Oglesby; Sadie Oglesby; Agnes Parsons; Louis Gregory
    1921 5-6 Dec The second Convention for Amity between the White and Coloured Races was held in Springfield, Massachusetts. [BW2:282; SBR92]
  • Over a thousand people attended. [SW13, 3:51]
  • For a report of the convention see SW13, 3:51-5, 601.
  • For a photograph see SW13, 3:50.
  • Springfield; Massachusetts; United States Race (general); Race amity; Race unity; Conferences, Race amity
    1924. 28 - 30 Mar A public conference devoted to Inter-racial Harmony and Peace was held at the public auditorium of the Community Church of NY on Park Avenue at 34th Street and at the Meeting House of the Society for Ethical Culture at 2 West 64th Street. Presenters included Mr. Mountfort Mills, Mr. Franz Boas, Dr. Loro, Taracknath Das, Mr. Stephen S. Wise, Dr. Alain Locke, Mr. James Weldon Johnson, Ms. Ruth Morgan and Mr. John Finley. It was the third Racial Unity conference to be held. [Highlights of the First 40 Years of the Bahá’í Faith in New York, City of the Covenant, 1892-1932 by Hussein Ahdieh p23; BW2:282-3; SBR93; TMW1467] New York Race Amity; Race Unity; Conferences
    1927 8 Jan The National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada appointed seven people to a National Race Unity Committee. [SBR94; TMW166]
  • For the functions and challenges faced by the committee see TMW165–72.
  • United States; Canada NSA; Race (general); Race Unity; Race Amity
    1927 8 - 10 Apr The second conference for racial amity in Washington was held at the Mt Pleasant Congregational Church with the cooperation and participation of other like-minded groups and persons. [BW2p284] Washington DC; United States Race (general); Race Amity; Race unity; Conferences, Race Amity
    1927 10 - 11 Nov The third convention for amity in inter-racial relations in Washington was held in the Mt. Pleasant Congregational Church. [BW2p285] Washington DC; United States Race (general); Race Amity; Race unity; Conferences, Race Amity
    1928 11 - 12 Feb The ‘Conference for Inter-Racial Amity' was arranged by Inter-Racial Amity Committee of the Bahá’ís of Montreal’. There were three sessions in three venues: the YMCA, Channing Hall, and the Union Congregational Church. Speakers included Louis Gregory (‘International Lecturer on Race Relations’) and Agnes MacPhail, first Canadian woman Member of Parliament. [The Bahá'í 'Race Amity' Movement and the Black Intelligentsia in Jim Crow America: Alain Locke and Robert Abbot by Christopher Buck page 34, Bahá'í Studies Review, 17, pages 3-46, 2011, BW7p660]
  • See BW6p659-664 for the essay by Louis Gregory entitled "Racial Likenesses and Differences: The Scientific Evidence and the Bahá'í Teachings".
  • Date conflict: "The Origins of the Bahá'í Community of Canada, 1898-1948 by Will C. van den Hoonaard on page 90 says: "and on 2-4 March 1930 The Montreal Bahá'ís held Race Amity meeting." His source was the National Bahá'í Archives Canada, Notes on Montreal Bahá'í History.
  • Montreal; Quebec; Canada Race (general); Race Amity; Race unity; Conferences, Race Amity; Agnes MacPhail; Louis Gregory
    1932 27 Feb Race Amity gatherings became an effective way promote the principle of racial equality. At one such gathering held in Los Angeles, the circle of racial amity activities was widened to include not only white and coloured but also Native Americans, as well as Chinese and Japanese. At the banquet dinner, Chief Standing Bear, who attended in full regalia with a number of his tribesmen, offered a prayer and spoke of peace as a covenant among all races. A Native American tribal dance followed as part of the programme. [Louis Gregory, ‘Racial Amity in America: An Historical Review’, in BW7p652-666.] Los Angeles; California; United States Race (general); Race Amity; Race unity; Conferences, Race Amity; Native Americans; Chinese diaspora; Japanese diaspora
    1936 Jul Following on the success of the initial Race Amity conferences in Washington, DC, the National Spiritual Assembly formed a racial amity committee. For a list of the committees complete with membership from 1921 until 1932 see The Bahá'í 'Race Amity' Movement and the Black Intelligentsia in Jim Crow America: Alain Locke and Robert Abbot by Christoper Buck. [Bahá'í Studies Review 17, 2011, 3–46]
  • In July, 1936 it was announced that "The National Spiritual Assembly had not appointed a Race Amity Committee that year. Its view was that race amity activities have sometimes resulted in emphasizing race differences rather than their unity and reconciliation within the Cause. Local Assemblies were requested to provide for amity meetings and regard them as a direct part of teaching." [TMW213]
  • United States Race (general); Race Amity; Race unity; Conferences, Race Amity; Unity; NSA
    1954 9 Jun The passing of Alain LeRoy Locke (b. September 13, 1885, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.) in New York. He was laid to rest in Congressional Cemetery in Washington DC.
  • Locke graduated from Harvard University and was the first African American to win a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. Despite his intellect and clear talent, Locke faced significant barriers as an African American. Though he was selected as the first African-American Rhodes Scholar, Locke was denied admission to several colleges at the University of Oxford because of his race. He finally gained entry into Hertford College, where he studied from 1907 to 1910. Locke also studied philosophy at the University of Berlin during his years abroad. He subsequently received a doctorate in philosophy from Harvard and taught at Howard University. Locke publicized the Harlem Renaissance to a wide audience.
  • Locke declared his belief in the Bahá'í Faith in 1918. He is thus among a list of some 40 known African Americans to join the religion during the ministry of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. His philosophical writings promoted pluralism, cultural relativism and self-expression. [Uplifting Words; Wikipedia]
  • See his article "Impressions of Haifa". [BW3p527-528]
  • See also his article "The Orientation of Hope". [BW5p527-528]
  • See Alain Locke: Bahá'í Philosopher by Christopher Buck.
  • See Bahá'í Chronicles.
  • See Bahá'í Teachings.
  • See Uplifting Words.
  • The US Postal Service issued a series of stamps entitles Great Literary Movement: The voices of the Harlem Renaissance Forever on 21 May 2020.
  • Find a grave.
  • Philadelphia; New York Alain Locke; In Memoriam; Philosophy; Race amity; Race unity; Harlem Renaissance; African Americans
    1957 9 Jun The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States designated the second Sunday in June as Race Unity Day. The purpose of Race Unity Day is to promote racial harmony and understanding and to focus attention on racial prejudice, which Bahá’ís believe is the most challenging moral issue facing our nation. Since then, communities throughout the country have held celebrations, open to the public, every year on the second Sunday in June. [Race Unity Day by Christopher Buck published in Religious Celebrations, pages 727-732] United States Race Unity Day
    1962. 20 Jul The passing of Harlan Foster Ober (b. October 6, 1881 in Beverly, Massachusetts) in Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa.
  • He had graduated from Harvard University in 1905 with a B.A. and later obtained a law degree from Northeastern University in Boston.
  • Harlan Ober became a Bahá'í at Green Acre in 1905. Another source said it was in the spring of 1906 in a room in the Commonwealth Hotel in Boston that he overcame his doubts while using a prayer and other literature given to him by Lua Getsinger. [LDNW23; 100-101; SBR120-121]
  • Hooper Harris and Lua Getsinger's brother, Dr. William Moore, were selected to make a teaching trip to India. When Moore died suddenly Harlan Ober was chosen to replace him. As he had no funds for the trip Lua borrowed the money from Mr Hervey Lunt, the father of Alfred Lunt. [LGHC105]
  • In 1906 he made a visit to 'Abdu'l-Bahá while He was still confined to prison.
  • On the 17th of July, 1912 he married Grace Roberts (aunt of future Hand of the Cause John Robarts) in a ceremony conducted by the Reverend Howard Colby Ives at 209 West 78th Street in New York. When ‘Abdu’l-Bahá visited America in 1912 He had suggested that Grace Robarts and Harlan marry, and they both agreed with the match, with Harlan travelling to New York from Boston and proposing in Central Park after being informed of the suggestion by Lua Getsinger. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá performed the marriage ceremony in the room he was staying in in New York on July 17, 1912, and Howard Colby Ives later performed a legal ceremony. [SoW Vol 3 No 12 p14; Bahaipedia; The Jouney West, July 2012; Mother’s Stories: Stories of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Early Believers told by Muriel Ives Barrow Newhall to her son, p. 20]
  • They adopted three children of English, German and Russian background.
  • It was from their home in Cambridge, MA, from the office of the National Teaching Committee, that the first Teaching Bulletin was issued on November 19, 1919. This bulletin evolved to the US Baha'i News.
  • He was closely involved with Race Unity work and made many teaching trips to the southern states with his friend Louis Gregory.
  • He served on the Bahá'í Temple Unity Executive Board as president or secretary from 1918 to 1920. The work of this board was taken over by the National Spiritual Assembly when it was elected in 1922.
  • In 1938 Harlan was elected to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada and he served on it until 1941.
  • Grace passed away in 1938, leaving Harlan widowed.
  • He married his second wife, Dr Elizabeth Kidder Ober in Beverly, MA on the 21st of June, 1941. Shoghi Effendi was pleased with the way the marriage was conducted, without having any church ceremony or minister conduct the service. [BW13p869, 871]
  • After their pilgrimage in 1956 Harlan and Elizabeth Ober travelled to South Africa where they helped form the first all-African Local Spiritual Assembly in Pretoria as had previously been request of them by the Guardian. They returned in December as pioneers. [BW13869]
  • He was appointed to the Auxiliary Board for Protection in Africa in October of 1957 and served on the National Teaching Committee of South and West Africa for two years.
  • He was buried in the Zandfontein Cemetery in Pretoria. [BW13p870; Find a grave] [Bahaipedia; BW13p869]
  • Beverly MA; United States; Pretoria; South Africa Harlan Ober; Grace Robarts Ober; In Memoriam; US Baha'i News; Race Unity; Elizabeth Kidder Ober; Elizabeth Ober
    1991 (In the year) The first major public statement of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States, The Vision of Race Unity: America's Most challenging Issue, was published and disseminated widely throughout the country. United States Vision of Race Unity (statement); Race (general); Unity; Publications; Statements; NSA statements; Public discourse Find ref
    1993 21 Mar The presentation of the first Race Unity Award by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada. Canada NSA; Race unity; Race (general)
    2018 12 Apr The premiere of the documentary film, An American Story: Race Amity and The Other Tradition in a television broadcast on station WBGH, channel 2 in Boston, MA. [Trailer]
  • From the film website...."The primary purpose of the documentary project, An American Story: Race Amity and The Other Tradition, is to impact the public discourse on race. To move the discourse from the “blame/grievance/rejection” cycle to a view from a different lens, the lens of “amity/collaboration/access and equity.”
  • Boston; Massachusetts; United States Race (general); Unity; Race Amity; Race unity; Racism; Documentaries
    2020. 19 Jun The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States issued a statement entitled Forging a Path to Racial Justice in response to the death of George Floyd and the subsequent demonstrations for racial unity that followed. Wilmette,IL Racial amity; race; race unity; racism; Statements; Public discourse

    from the chronology of Canada

    from the main catalogue

    1. African American Baha'is, Race Relations and the Development of the Baha'i Community in the United States, by Richard Thomas (2005). Robert Turner, Susie Steward, Louis Gregory, and the roles played by blacks in the history of the Baha'is of the US. [about]
    2. Alain Locke: 'Race Amity' and the Bahá'í Faith, by Christopher Buck (2007). Presentation in slide format about the "First Black Rhodes Scholar." [about]
    3. Alain Locke materials: index to some documents online (2010). List of the various documents at the Baha'i Library Online by or about Alain Locke, an American writer, philosopher, educator, and patron of the arts who received a Tablet from Abdu'l-Baha. [about]
    4. Alain Locke on Race, Religion, and the Bahá'í Faith, by Christopher Buck, in The Bahá'í Faith and African American History, chapter 3 (2018). Locke was cynical about the prospect of real progress in race relations within Christianity itself, but he saw potential in Baha'i efforts to promote race amity and making democracy more egalitarian in terms of the rights of minorities. [about]
    5. Alain Locke's "Moral Imperatives for World Order" Revisited, by Christopher Buck, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 29:1 (2019). In public speeches presented in 1944 Locke argues that racism, although an American problem, is not purely a domestic issue; it has bilateral and multilateral consequences; unity of races, religions, and nations is a moral imperative. [about]
    6. Bahá'í "Pupil of the Eye" Metaphor, The: Promoting Ideal Race Relations in Jim Crow America, by Christopher Buck, in The Bahá'í Faith and African American History, chapter 1 (2018). On the notable contribution to promoting ideal race relations in Jim Crow America by the Baha'i Faith which, though small in number, was socially significant in its concerted efforts to foster and advance harmony between the races. [about]
    7. Bahá'í 'Race Amity' Movement and the Black Intelligentsia in Jim Crow America, The: Alain Locke and Robert Abbott, by Christopher Buck, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 17 (2011). W. E. B. Du Bois, Alain L. Locke and Robert S. Abbott, ranked as the 4th, 36th and 41st most influential in African American history, all expressed interest in the Baha’i ethic of world unity, from family to international relations, and social crisis. [about]
    8. Bahá'í Faith and African American History, The: Introduction, by Loni Bramson (2018). Contents, Introduction, and Index from this book, with links to two chapters (by Christopher Buck). [about]
    9. Bahá'ís have outsized MLK presence, by Abe Levy, in My San Antonio (2013). Baha'is play an increasingly-active role in events celebrating the message of Martin Luther King. [about]
    10. Dawn over Mount Hira and Other Essays, by Marzieh Gail (1976). A collection of essays on various topics of interest to Baha'i studies and history. Most of these were first published in Star of the West and World Order between 1929 and 1971. [about]
    11. Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation, by Jennifer Harvey: Review, by Dianne Coin, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 27:3 (2017). [about]
    12. From the Editor's Desk: The Road Less Travelled By, by John S. Hatcher, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 27:3 (2017). Overview of this issue's articles regarding racism and proper responses to it, both among the general population and within the Bahá'í community itself. [about]
    13. Hayden, Robert, by Christopher Buck and Derik Smith, in Oxford Research Encyclopedia, Literature (2019). In his poetics of history and his nuanced representations of black life, Hayden's art showed that the African American experience was quintessentially American, and that blackness was an essential aspect of heterogeneous America. [about]
    14. Intimate Diversity: The Presentation of Multiculturalism and Multiracialism in a High-Boundary Religious Movement, by Kathleen Jenkins, in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 42:3 (2003). On the construction and maintenance of multiracial/ethnic networks in religious movements, through a comparative analysis of International Churches of Christ, The People's Temple, and the U.S. Baha'i community. [about]
    15. Introduction to a Statement on Race Unity, by National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States (1997). An informal letter on the "most challenging issue confronting America." [about]
    16. Letter to the United States and Canada on racism, 1961, by Ruhiyyih (Mary Maxwell) Khanum (1961). [about]
    17. New Creation, A: The Power of the Covenant in the Life of Louis Gregory, by Gayle Morrison, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 9:4 (1999). [about]
    18. Pupil of the Eye, The: African Americans in the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, by Báb, The and Bahá'u'lláh, 2nd edition (1998). [about]
    19. Race and Man: A Compilation, by Maye Harvey Gift and Alice Simmons Cox (1943). A collection of words of scientists, sociologists and educators, arranged to present the problem of race relations in this modern world and the solutions as great thinkers envision them, followed by Baha'i teachings on the same topics. [about]
    20. Race and Racism: Perspectives from Bahá'í Theology and Critical Sociology, by Matthew Hughey, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 27:3 (2017). Review of the concepts of race and racism based on social scientific understanding, in order to better understand their definition and to delineate their relation to one another, and correlate them with the Bahá'í Writings. [about]
    21. Race, Place, and Clusters: Current Vision and Possible Strategies, by June Manning Thomas, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 27:3 (2017). Division by place affects the possibilities for racial unity, especially in fragmented U.S. metropolitan areas. The "institute process” as a strategy could overcome challenges that place-based action poses for racial unity. [about]
    22. Seeking Light in the Darkness of "Race", by Jamar Wheeler, in Journal of Bahá'í Studies, 27:3 (2017). A historical sketch of how race concepts evolved, with analysis at macro and micro levels of society. Oneness of mankind is an enlightening force that, through individual agency and collective social action, can transform society. [about]
    23. Spatial Strategies for Racial Unity, by June Manning Thomas, in Bahá'í World (2020). On the nature and approaches of Bahá’í educational programs and community building efforts which seek, in the context of neighborhoods and villages, to raise capacity for service to humanity. [about]
    24. Vision of Race Unity: America's Most Challenging Issue, by National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States (1991). A formal statement from the US NSA on "the most challenging issue confronting America." [about]
    25. World Vision of a Savant, The, by Auguste Henri Forel, in Star of the West, 18:11 (1928). Ruminations on the nature of the human brain, causes of racism, how to stop wars, the meaning of "God," and Baha'i principles. [about]
     
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