On February 11th, before a crowded Knapp Auditorium, the Rev. Cheryl Kirk-Duggan, Ph.D., delivered the 2020 keynote address for Black History Month at Seminary of the Southwest. MDiv middler Lindsey Ardrey introduced the evening, noting the importance of the observance of Black History Month at Southwest.
This year’s Black History Month events focus on the theme “Tracing Our Roots,” honoring the legacy of African Americans in the U.S. and confronting the future of race in the country and the church.
Kirk-Duggan’s address, entitled “The Seductive Web of Deceit: Facing White Supremacist Patriarchal Misogyny,” took direct aim at the the societal constructs built to maintain status quo power structures. She discussed the importance of the church to acknowledge the problems in American society, to tell truth to power, and most importunately, to love unconditionally. The keynote was followed by an impactful Q&A hosted by Ardrey, and a dessert reception.
Kirk-Duggan is the seminary’s 2019-2020 Crump Visiting Professor and Black Religious Scholars Group (BRSG) Scholar-in-Residence. Southwest is in the second year of a fruitful partnership with BRSG that invites African American religious scholars to join the Southwest faculty for one academic year. She has been with Southwest since July of last year and described the campus as a place where she, “can be herself without explaining herself.” In her introduction, the Very Rev. Cynthia Briggs Kittredge described Kirk-Duggan as a “professor, poet, preacher, priest, prayer partner, prophet, performer, polyhistor, and ‘polysister’,” acknowledging Kirk-Duggan’s sisters who were in attendance for the evening.
“Professor Kirk-Duggan’s lecture took us on a journey through the very dark and fierce reality of oppression. She called for lament and repentance with the sense of joy and faithfulness that we have come to know in Cheryl,” said Kittredge.
Seminary of the Southwest will also host the Black History Month Celebration Service on February 27. The public is invited to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at 5:30 p.m. in Christ Chapel, with guest preacher Randy Callender and musical guest Ian Spencer. There will be a dinner reception to follow (please RSVP online). This event is free and open to the public.