More Resources on Race Unity

Baha’i Writings on Racial Unity | Specific Guidelines | America’s Most Challenging Issue | Race Unity in America 1912

The Spiritual Dimensions of Racial Reconciliation: a short talk given by Tod Ewing, a member of the local administrative body of the Baha’is of DC, speaks on the personal challenges of putting your Faith into action and moving from otherness to oneness.

A Vision of Race Unity Website:
For an account of the dedication to Race Unity of the Baha’i community and it’s institutions since the time of ‘Abdu’l-Baha and an overview of the important and central role Black Americans have historically played in the development of the American Baha’i community.

A statement from this site:
Privileging of Black/White Aspect of Race Unity:

Obviously the issues of racial prejudice in the US are complex and multi-layered, and not simply “black and white.” Baha’u’llah tells us that prejudice in its various forms destroy the edifice of humanity.¹ Shoghi Effendi stated “the main object of the Bahá’í interracial work is to abolish prejudice against any and every race and minority group…”² At the same time he points out that racism against Black people “epitomize the feelings of color prejudice so rife in the United States.”³ As the Bahá’í community strives to promote unity and justice amongst all people, our Writings suggest that there is a special importance to the unity between Black and white people which has implications not only for the US, but for the world. This site focuses on the early history of race amity between whites and African Americans in the Faith, however it should be noted that all activities to promote race unity, particularly as the Faith has grown in the US, are inclusive of people from all ethnic and racial backgrounds.

Pupil of the Eye: What the Baha’i Faith Says about Black Folks by Phillipe Copeland, BA University of Massachusetts MSW, Simmons College, MTS (theological studies), Harvard University School of Divinity, Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work, Simmons College

Cornel West Praises Work of Baha’is in Establishing Racial Unity: Watch Video
Dr. Cornel West, a philosopher and Princeton professor of African American Studies and Religion and a staunch defender of rights and freedoms for all people, learned about the Baha’i Faith through his race unity work and befriending Baha’is such as jazz maestro Dizzy Gillespie.

Dr. West speaks on the Baha’i perspective of Race Unity, noting the “genuine universalness of the Baha’i Faith” and stating that it is one of the “first religious groups to hit racism and white supremacy head on.”

“The Baha’i Faith will be one of the leaven in the American loaf that allowed the democratic loaf to expand because of the anti-racist witness of those of the Baha’i Faith,” declares West. “A Christian like myself is profoundly humbled before Baha’i brothers and sisters.”

Washington D.C. – The First Racially Integrated Baha’i Community in North America – 1910

Houston Bahá’í, Herman Sweatt, paved the way for Brown v. Board of Education Thurgood Marshall called Mr. Sweatt “an ordinary man who had an extraordinary dream to live in a world in which Afro-Americans and Whites alike were afforded equal opportunity to sharpen their minds and to hone their skills.

First Baha’i College, Henderson Business College, founded by George W. Henderson (1888–1944).

Baha’i Statement against Racism submitted by the Baha’i International Community – April 2009, Geneva, to the Durban Review Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance

Baha’i Choral Festival Choir singing the Remover of Difficulties a Baha’i prayer.

The annual Baha’i Choral Festival at the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois takes place on the last Sunday in May. About 200 singers from around the country and around the world assemble for three days of rehearsals, workshops and performances. The performances are a cappella (without instruments) and include classical liturgical music of the Baha’i Faith and other religions, as well as gospel music and other multicultural selections. The choral concerts are free and open to the public.

The Pupil of the Eye: African Americans in the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh quotations from The Báb, Bahá’u’lláh, Abdu’l-Bahá, and Universal House of Justice compiled by Bonnie J. Taylor