by Rev. Dominique C. Atchison, M. Div., United Church of Christ

“…We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see—we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” -2 Corinthians 6:9-10 (New Revised Standard Version)

“Be amended, five-fifths human.”-Lonnie Lynn

I can only trace my family history but so far using traditional methods like Census data before I hit the wall that is slavery. The further back I go, the more likely I am to have to search for my ancestors in documents related to estate sales and wills. It is a reminder the people I come from were seen as property.

My faith teaches me that hope is born out of seemingly contradictory paradigms: big fulfillment that comes through a little baby, eternal life through death. Honoring God and my ancestors means claiming the fullness of my humanity in the midst of things that might seek to question it. The Census is an opportunity for us to overcome the ways that our respective communities have been underrepresented, to bring resources to the margins, gain power and a voice.