#CSLBlackHistory

Resources related to Black History in CSL. I hope these resources not only inform you, but also inspire you to learn more and share with others. /tracy

2022-04-03 (14) 01* * * * SPECIAL NOTE * * * *

If you have a question you’d like me to respond to, or a specific resource you would like to send me, please use the Contact Page.

Tracy Brown, RScP

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Honoring the Ancestors

“The role of ancestors in the African cosmology has always been significant. Ancestors can offer advice and bestow good fortune and honor to their living dependents … A belief in ancestors also testifies to the inclusive nature of traditional African spirituality by positing that deceased progenitors still play a role in the lives of their living descendants.” Jacob Olapuno

What do you know about the ancestors pictured in the slideshow below and their contributions to the Religious Science Movement or the teaching of Science of Mind?

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A Hidden Legacy

Talk given at HeartSpace Spiritual Center in February 2015

Tracy Brown and Jay Scott Neale

Intentionally Inclusive: Tracy Brown interviews Dr. Jay Scott Neale on Vimeo

https://vimeo.com/107228642

This is the recording of a 2014 interview with Dr. Jay Scott Neale by talk show host and author Tracy Brown about the history and contributions of African Americans in the Religious Science/New Thought Movement. Some specific contributions of Mother Pearl Wood and the significance of the Triangle Church of Religious Science are discussed. Other leaders highlighted include Phil Pitts, Greg Pitts, Marcus Garvey, Dan Morgan, Michael Beckwith, Robert Bitzer and Ernest Holmes. And don’t miss the great story about Rev. Ike and his connection to Religious Science! Video Credit: Rev. Carolyn Douglas

Science of Mind Black Pioneers

This four-part series was produced by the African American Circle at CSLDallas (www.CSLDallas.org). They have given permission to all CSL Member Communities to show these videos for educational purposes. I highly recommend using them in classes and special events, as well as in weekly services. Watch them here, or copy the links to the videos on YouTube that are listed below.

Science of Mind Black Pioneers – Part 1

Science of Mind Black Pioneers – Part 2

Science of Mind Black Pioneers – Part 3

Science of Mind Black Pioneers – Part 4

YouTube Links:

Uncovering the Hidden Legacy

[Essay published in Gems of Wisdom, 2020]

A few years ago, after 20 years of studying Unity Principles and Science of Mind™ I was unable to name even 10 African Americans who had been influential in the early years of the New Thought movement. In my poem, “Let the Stories Be Told,” I wrote: “Who, with brown skin and deep spiritual clarity, founded churches, taught classes and contributed to the Movement I know today?”

I refused to believe that there were no African Americans or people of color teaching and practicing Religious Science. I knew that could not be the truth; however, as I asked the leaders and the teachers I interacted with nationwide, I kept being told they had no answers to my questions. Occasionally someone would suggest I talk to a specific person who might have more information.

So, I began to call. And email. And ask questions. And read or research. And I am happy to say that today I can refer to more than 2 dozen ancestors who were active leaders within religious science before 1960, and another dozen in other branches of the New Thought family. I am using 1960 as a year of demarcation because that is the year that our Founder, Ernest Holmes made his transition. It feels important to confirm that during his human lifetime, the policies and practices of the organization were available, in an intentional way, to black and brown people.

With more than two dozen to choose from I will only highlight three: Sarah Flowers, Homer Johnson and Pearl C. Wood.

Sarah Flowers

Sarah Flowers graduated from the Major Course at the Institute of Religious Science in 1937. Her first book, “Common Sense” was published in 1941 and is 205 pages of instruction on how to apply spiritual principles to everyday circumstances. Each lesson highlighted a spiritual principle, a metaphysical instruction, an affirmation and a related Bible scripture. She hosted a radio program, was a popular lecturer and wrote and published at least five additional books.

I was both shocked and comforted when reading her book “Atomic Metaphysics: The Electrical Principle of Man.” In 1947 she described much of what we now call quantum physics, explained the metaphysical proof (that existed before science could describe it) that humanity is an expression of atomic power and then built a bridge between the science, the metaphysics and the Bible.

“In Metaphysics we must, then, recognize that there is a Power that revolves in and around, out and beyond us at a rate equal to the atomic energy in our material beings. This is no more a hidden subject – it is clearly divulged to every man, woman and child who is interested sufficiently to become informed. Let us elucidate this Power which is revolving in space as “Light.” This Light, as we understand it, is electronic, and because we possess it, we can use it for the benefit of all of us.”

Sarah Flowers

Mother Pearl

Rev. Pearl C Wood was a trailblazer in the history of Centers for Spiritual Living. There is no one who has inspired me more. Ironically, I’ve never met her in person. I’ve never heard a recording of her speak. I’ve never read anything she wrote. But, if you are familiar with the Quaker philosophy: “Let Your Life Speak” then you can understand that her life has spoken to me in ways that have shaped not only my faith, but also my self-awareness, my self-esteem and my confidence as a Black woman in New Thought.

Rev. Wood was a minister in another faith tradition before affiliating with Religious Science. Stories have been shared that describe Ernest Holmes going to Triangular Church of Religious Science, the church Rev. Wood founded, and taking other ministers, practitioners and students with him. She spiritually fed him, and so many others. And she birthed a still-standing legacy. Her son-in-law, Dr. Philip G. Pitts became an active and respected minister and leader within Religious Science and her grandson, Rev. Gregory P. Pitts became the third Sr. Minister at Triangular Church.

Ernest Holmes was so connected with “Mother Pearl” (as she was affectionately referred to by her congregation) that during the ceremony held to present the charter for Triangular Church, he was quoted as saying, “If she’s your Mother, then I’m your Father.” Knowing that Rev. Wood was able to build a thriving ministry with two locations and lay a foundation that continued to grow for many decades after her retirement is a powerful example of her inner work and individual clarity manifesting a life and a ministry that has impacted thousands of people.

Involution is the cause and evolution is the effect.  When a practitioner thinks, or gives a treatment, or makes a prayer, he is dealing with involution — the first step of the creative order.   This is what the Bible calls the Word.  That which follows is evolution, or the unfoldment of the word, or concept, into objective existence.

Ernest Holmes

Homer Johnson

“Let’s go upstairs!” is the way Rev. Homer Johnson often began each prayer. I have been so inspired by stories about his commitment and devotion to spiritual practice. He was recognized as a strong leader and a great minister. But he invested the majority of his time teaching Science of Mind and offering spiritual counseling to individuals with a focus on how spiritual principles could be actively applied in daily life.

His example has encouraged me to never forget that applied spirituality is more important than intellectual accuracy. Ernest Holmes described Science of Mind as “a faith, a philosophy and a way of life.” I never want to feel the faith and know the philosophy without demonstrating it as my default way of living.

Today, there are thousands of African Americans practicing and teaching Science of Mind. There are dozens I recognize and applaud as thought leaders, game-changers and impact-makers. But I never want to forget those who came before. Those who led before. Those who wrote before. Those who prayed before.

Let the history be uncovered.

Let the wisdom unfold.

Let the pride be remembered.

Let the stories be told.

Tracy Brown

Let The Stories Be Told

This is a spoken word piece written in 2019. Audio version and PDF versions are available.

Let The Stories Be Told Poster

#BlackLightCSL

The #BlackLightCSL slideshow features 27 of the Black leaders who were shining their Light in 2019. The criteria required (a) active participation and leadership in a CSL Member Community PLUS visible and impactful leadership in Centers for Spiritual Lliving.

Please note many of these leaders have taken on different roles and/or added additional accomplishments since 2019. (And one has become an ancestor.) So please use this for historical purposes only and be mindful not to share it as if it is current information.

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#BlackLightCSL 2019: The PDF File

Lift Every Voice and Sing (long version)

In this talk, Tracy dissects the lyrics of the Black National Anthem revealing their demonstration of universal spiritual principle and timeless wisdom. (30 minutes)

Lift Every Voice and Sing (short version)

coming spring 2022

Dr. Dan Quotes

Quotations from “Guidance for a Spiritual Journey” by Dr. Daniel L Morgan

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Books by Black CSL-Affiliated Authors

This document is periodically updated. It lists books written by Black authors affiliated with CSL. There are links to amazon.com for currently available books.

Books by Black CSL Authors update 2022-04-03

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Gems of Wisdom (Black Leaders in New Thought)

Published by Unity World Headquarters in 2020,

“In the booklet Gems of Wisdom from Black Leaders of New Thought, modern leaders remember those who influenced them most—those in Unity and its Urban Ministerial School, Centers for Spiritual Living, and the Universal Foundation for Better Living, as well as Bishop Dr. Barbara King and Rev. Della Reese Lett.”

The Stained Glass Spirit Book

Stained Glass Spirit: Becoming a Spiritual Community Where Oneness Does Not Require Sameness by Tracy Brown

PDF Document with Links to conversations about each section of the Stained Glass Spirit book: Tracy talks about the book with Dr. David Ault, Rev. Karen Tudor, Rev. Masando Hiraoka, Rev. Alex Escudero, Rev. Brian Akers, Dr. Michael Gott, Dr. Petra Weldes, Rev. Sharon Ketchum, Rev Andriette Earl

About Tracy Brown, RScP

Based in Dallas, Texas, Tracy Brown has been studying and practicing New Thought spirituality for more than 35 years. She is the author of more than a dozen books, including her most recent: “Stained Glass Spirit: Becoming a Spiritual Community Where Oneness Does Not Require Sameness.”

Tracy currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Science of Mind Foundation. She previously served six years (including three as chair) on the governing board of Centers for Spiritual Living worldwide (The Leadership Council). Tracy is the only Practitioner to be awarded The Ernest Holmes Award; and she has received an honorary doctorate from Centers for Spiritual Living.

Tracy is a popular speaker throughout the New Thought Movement on applied spirituality, inclusion in New Thought spiritual communities and leadership. She is available to speak for your church or community or to facilitate sensitive conversations related to diversity and inclusion. She also leads retreats for Licensed Practitioners, Boards and other groups.

Please know you can reach out to me any time at Tracy@ReclaimJoy.com for additional ideas, suggestions or coaching. Or visit any of the websites below:

  • TracyBrown.com
  • StainedGlassSpirit.net
  • ReclaimJoy.com
  • ITurnToPrayer.com
  • WhatIsMineToDo.com

SUPPORT THIS WORK

For your convenience, I accept electronic payment through multiple platforms.

If you prefer to mail a check: PO Box 12867, Dallas TX 75225

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