America Can ‘Rise Above Racism’, Sons Of Slaves And Slave Owners Say

 A painful past united two men of different races, who came together to discover a common purpose: help Americans "rise above racism" through prayer and healing.

Will Ford and Matt Lockett are speakers and authors of the book "The Dream King" and creators of the seven-part retreat "Seven Days to Change," which facilitates racial reconciliation. But the two were formerly strangers, until God brought them together one fateful day.

Will Ford, an African-American and Matt Lockett, who is white, first met at the Lincoln Memorial during a prayer meeting right where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech. The two immediately became friends through their shared faith and beliefs.

However, six years ago the two found out that they were actually linked by a very painful past. They learned that Lockett's ancestors had owned Ford's ancestors as slaves. The sons of slaves and slave owners, who are now friends, discovered a new layer to their relationship.

Ford shared to CBN, "I had to go to a deeper level of forgiveness because now I had a face connected to these stories of slaves being beaten. And why we had to have secret prayer meetings."

Ford's ancestors used to pray near a big old black kettle so that their violent slave masters would not hear the prayers and beat them up. Lockett shared, "It was hard because all of the pain of history and the pain of a community where that pain is endured, it had a face, and it had a name. And it was a face that I love."

The sons of slaves and slave owners admitted that it was a "struggle for several months" to deal with the effect of the revelation to their friendship, but both were glad they "hashed it out." Because of this, they believe that America as a country can also has it out. Ford said, "Racism is everybody's problem. We can definitely rise above racism in America."

Lockett added that now is a good time for racial reconciliation because the United States is "in a learning moment right now, whether we like it or not." He added that racism today not only covers the black vs white discrimination, but also the the discrimination against Asian-Americans in the face of a global pandemic that began as a virus from China. In fact, the CDC had already declared racism as "a serious public health threat" earlier this month.

Ford and Lockett proposed that for America to "rise above racism," people should address the "dismissive attitude" that isn't being addressed in the Church. Lockett argued, "We dare not dismiss the pain that has historical roots, that has endured to this day." Ford added that a unified Church will be key in "healing a divided nation."

The sons of slaves and slave owners also highlighted the importance of forgiveness, just as Jesus had done for Christians. Lockett and Ford are counting on a "Great Awakening" through their "Seven Days to Change'' retreat, which facilitates racial reconciliation. This is done through seven practical teachings which have, at the center of it, Biblical principles, historical insights, and inspiring personal experiences, all geared towards healing a divided nation.



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