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A Somali business owner stocking her store in Lewiston, Maine, is a common image these days, as the foreign-born Black population of the United States grows over the past four decades and is projected to continue doing so in future years.

Roughly 4.6 million, or one-in-ten, Black people in the U.S. were born in a different country as of 2019, up from 3% in 1980. By 2060, the U.S. Census Bureau projects that this number will increase to 9.5 million, or more than double the current level (the Census Bureau only offers projections for single race groups).

Between 1980 and 2019, the nation’s Black population as a whole grew by 20 million, with the Black foreign-born population accounting for 19% of this growth. In future years, the Black immigrant population will account for roughly a third of the U.S. Black population’s growth through 2060, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

The Black immigrant population is also projected to outpace the U.S.-born Black population in growth. While both groups are increasing in number, the foreign-born population is projected to grow by 90% between 2020 and 2060, while the U.S.-born population is expected to grow 29% over the same time span.

Migration from Africa has fueled the bulk of the growth of the Black foreign-born population from 2000 onward. In 2000, roughly 560,000 African-born Black immigrants lived in the U.S. By 2019, that number had more than tripled to over 1.9 million. And many of these immigrants are newer arrivals to America: 43% of African-born Black immigrants immigrated to the U.S. from 2010 to 2019, higher than the shares among all U.S. immigrants (25%) and Black immigrants from the Caribbean (21%), Central America (18%) and South America (24%) in the same time period.

At the same time, a notable share of Black Americans today are the offspring of immigrants. Roughly 9% of Black people are second-generation Americans – meaning they were born in the U.S., but have at least one foreign-born parent, according to a Center analysis of the March supplement of the Census Bureau’s 2019 Current Population Survey. In total, Black immigrants and their U.S.-born children account for 21% of the overall Black population.

When it comes to socioeconomic factors, Black immigrants stand out from the U.S.-born Black population and the overall U.S. immigrant population on some measures, such as household income and educational attainment.

For example, a larger share of Black immigrants ages 25 and older have a college degree or higher than does the U.S.-born Black population (31% vs. 22%). However, Black immigrants are about as likely as all U.S. immigrants in the same age group to have a college degree or higher (31% and 33%, respectively).

Households headed by Black immigrants also had a higher median household income in 2019 than those headed by Black Americans born in the U.S. ($57,200 vs. $42,000), but the median household income was higher among all U.S. immigrant-headed households than it was among Black immigrant-headed households ($63,000 vs. $57,200).

Additionally, there are key differences among Black immigrants born in different regions of the world on measures such as marital status, citizenship, educational attainment and time living in the U.S. For example, over half of Black immigrants born in the Caribbean (56%), Central America or Mexico (59%) and South America (54%) have been in the U.S. 20 years or longer, while just a quarter of Black African immigrants have been in the country for the same time span.

When it comes to religious identity, majorities of both the Black foreign-born and U.S.-born adult populations identify as Protestant, but religious identity and beliefs – such as whether people of faith have a duty to convert nonbelievers – differ among Caribbean- and African-born Black adults.

This report explores the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the nation’s Black immigrant population. It also explores the origins of Black immigrants and the history of Black immigration to the U.S., as well as the religious composition of this population.

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"Reflective Poetry" A Zoom Panel about my short film DREAM - YouTube

Jaylin Murphy was our UM guest last week for an event to showcase his reflective poetry work and show is short film entitled "DREAM". Click the link above and go to Jaylin's YouTube channel. You'll be able to view the short film there, as well as see some of his other work.

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It is now midnight for our current American Democracy!

I believe that all of us want a democracy that promotes justice for everyone. Justice and truth are closely related. Think about it. There can be no justice without truth, fairness and caring about the welfare of everyone. A Just Democracy is undergirded by the values of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 3:22-23). A Just Democracy seeks the best welfare for allcitizens…every race, culture, class, gender, sexual orientation group …EVERYONE. Such a just multicultural society is hard to achieve but it is a Worthy ideal that all of us must continually strive towards.

In this narrative I am lifting up two major reasons I think American Democracy is in deep, deep trouble…almost on its midnight deathbed. I am making a midnight call to ordinary citizens who are not currently aware and engaged in efforts to save and improve the democracy we have to become active participants. I give a few suggestions for meaningful things we can do that might make a difference. However, we must always remember that God calls us to do the best we can and leave the results to God’s Wisdom. As we do this, we are exercising our faith!

Peaceful Transfer of Power, Lies and Conspiracy Stories

As I write this article, the Trumpian wing of the Republican Party has made it very clear that democratic structures of government do not work for them anymore because such structures are working too well for movements toward an equitable Multicultural American Democracy. These Republican leaders continue to support a January 6 type of violent attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of power to President Biden, a Democrat, after the 2020 elections. The peaceful transfer of power is a key cornerstone for democracy, therefore the January 6 insurrection poses a major blow to democracy.

The former President Trump claims the election was stolen even though all official election sources of both parties say that the election was fair and just. The former President wanted to stay in power. He prefers a form of government more like a Dictatorship or an Autocracy. He and his supporters are experts at openly and intentionally spreading lies, disinformation and conspiracy stories which keep people confused and unable to recognize true facts. These are major weapons being used in dismantling democracy.

Antisemitism, Racism, Voter Suppression, Election Dismantling

Of course, antisemitism and race are major factors in the Republicans attempt to dismantle democracy. Very soon after Donald Trump was elected President in 2016, a coalition of right-wing militants and well-organized White Supremacist and Anti-Semitic hate groups held a violent demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia chanting “Jews will not replace us.” President Trump refused to denounce the hate groups, tacitly allowing them to come out of their underground status into the light of day and openly express their hate for people of color and Jewish people. Antisemitism and racism are now linked together in what is a current Republican Conspiracy Replacement Theory promoting the idea that Democrats are using people of color and Jews to replace White voters in America.

The Hate Groups were the core leaders in the on-the-ground violent implementation of the January 6, 2021 insurrection. They now seem to have a cozy relationship with the former President and his supporters in Congress, some State elected leaders and some major business leaders who seem to have actively planned and funded the well-organized insurrection.

Where Trumpian Republican leaders are in control in the State government, they are creating laws that make it harder for people of color to vote. They are using every trick possible to increase voter suppression, especially in Black communities, and are putting laws in place that will allow them to change the election results which do not match their expectations. At the same time, they are promoting the belief among their supporters that voting does not work, thus no need for elections in America. This is another way of saying that Democracy does not work. Their primary goal seems to be maintaining power at all cost. Voter suppression and dismantling elections is a deathblow to Democracy.

Why Should More Ordinary Citizen Get Involved

My sense for the urgency for African American engagement is related to the progress and advances suffering African American people, along with others, have made to change American Democracy to be more just. They laid the foundation for the current focus on Justice that we have in America today. They fought for jobs, education, decent housing, equal pay, the right to drink from any water fountain, use any rest room and much more. We enjoy these rights and privileges today without thinking about the price somepeople paid. This democratic system, as flawed as it still is and has been, allows more opportunity for those who are oppressed, marginalized and justice-oriented to make the kind of progress that we can clearly see from our own experiences and/or from our education.

The loss of our Democracy to a Trumpian Authoritarian System of government would reverse much of the progress toward Racial Justice that we have wrestled from it. That is exactly what the Trumpites want to do under the slogan “Make America Great Again” … meaning return to the time when White Supremacy ruled and benefited from Black Oppression. I have been there and I do not want to go back. I believe you don’t either.

Celebrate, Support and Get Involved

I applaud, celebrate and support all of the actions of protest and other forms of resistance that ordinary American citizens and leaders have faithfully engaged in to make this country a better place for all of us. Every privilege we enjoy was fought for by some people. These people include young and old as well as all races, genders, sexual orientations, elected officials and ordinary citizens. They have fought long and hard to make our democracy better serve a multicultural society with equity. I am very grateful for their commitment, courage and faithfulness. All of us owe them our prayers, gratitude and financial support.

However, at this critical time of the midnight hour of Democracy, I believe that more citizen involvement is needed to meet the challenges of saving the Democracy we have and creating a more Just Democracy. Too many of us are too busy and are not paying attention to the daily political events. Many mistakenly think this is not their concern. Those working openly to dismantle democracy are counting on us to think that way as they work openly daily radicalizing people to support them. Therefore, the focus of this call to action is to those who are not engaged but could be, and to those who know that they can do more. God in us can accomplish exceedingly more than we ever dreamed.

Focused Prayer for a Just Multi Cultural Democracy

Establish a daily prayer time of 5 minutes or more. Pray to become more aware of the God-Presence in you and the world. Ask God to give you a motivating vision of a Just Democracy, one that promotes the values mentioned above for all people. Allow your vision to develop over time. See all the competing demands, the differences, the similarities, the difficulties and the joy of discovering that diversity expands your understanding of God, yourself and the world.

Enjoy a growing love of God, self, others and a diverse society. Revel in it, celebrate it and praise God for it. Share your vision and growth with others.

Form a prayer group for support. Ask God for directions on how to give your prayers feet and hands… prayfully move to action

Urge The Senate to pass the Voting Rights Bills and Stay Informed on Democracy

Write letters, emails, or call your senator and other senators urging them to pass the John Lewis and the Freedom to Vote bills. They will restore some of the voting rights and election laws that Republicans have taken away. Even if you know that your senators are already supporting the bills, they still need to hear from you, so write or call anyway. Thank them for their work on behalf of Democracy. We need to stay in the practice of contacting our elected officials. We can make it a weekly, monthly or just a regular practice. I suggest that we contact a Senator at least once a week until the Senate voting rights bills passes. At least two people are currently in the news for being on a hunger strike since November until the bills pass.

The 2022 elections are critical to the fate of Democracy. Senator Warnock says our vote is a kind of prayer…i.e., we are putting our prayers in action through the act of voting. Vote for candidates with a track record of supporting Democracy. Become an advocate for a just democracy with your Church, your friends, and other networks. As more of us move from inertia, inactions, helplessness, too busy and not knowing what to do, we become empowered, active participants in making the world a better place.

Start Preparing Now for the 2022 Elections

The 2022 elections are critical to the fate of Democracy at the local, state and national levels of our government. Begin learning about the candidates, as soon as they appear to be running for office. Identify at least 3 people who probably are not interested in voting and begin helping them to see why they should vote. Always reach out to those who may not be paying attention to the events and help them get involved because some of us have personal challenges that demand all of our attention and we can’t keep up with political news.

I believe most people want a society that values truth, justice, love and compassion. Our vote must always reflect our values. Senator Warnock says our vote is a kind of prayer…we are putting our prayers in action through the act of voting. I realize that it is often difficult to discern between competing values. Therefore, we must be wise and vigilant. If a candidate is running on a Pro-Life platform make sure that the candidate is for saving life after birth through proactive measures to save lives from poverty and the dangers of poverty. It is hard for me to believe that a person is Pro-Life if that person votes against legislature that seeks to feed and provide shelter for children and families in need, lower drug prices for the elderly, vote against mandates for health measures to protect lives during life-threatening pandemics and/or promote gun control laws that protect and preserve lives from individual and mass killings. We must vote for candidates who best support a Just Democracy, someone with a demonstrated record of fairness and support for the diversity of America.

When our values are not represented by the candidates who are running, we can either run for the office or encourage someone we can support to run.

Finally, I highly recommend that the reader view the more than excellent video of Senator Raphael Warnock speaking before the Senate on November 2, 2021 at The title of the 21-minute video is: Nothing is more important than Voting Rights: Warnock calls on the GOP to support legislature. Please do look at the longer version, rather than some of the shorter versions, for a fuller understanding of the issues. The link to this video is Share it with family, friends, clubs, church groups and other networks. It is an excellent presentation on the midnight threat to Democracy.

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