Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta’s Salute to Black Families

 Excerpted from The Conductor – 3rd Quarter 2012 

In celebration of the many contributions and accomplishments of African American families, the Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta, presented their 2012 Annual Salute to Black Families Celebration on Saturday, November 3, 2012, at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, Georgia. The theme for this year’s celebration was “Realizing the Beloved Community.” We were proud to honor numerous outstanding families in our churches and other community leaders in areas such as education, business, politics, religion and medicine. More than 800 people attended the event as we celebrated the outstanding work of some very deserving persons in our community.

Concerned Black Clergy, better known as CBC, was officially chartered in 1983 in response to the problems emerging in the city related to missing and murdered children. The founding leaders, both clergy and lay, were concerned about the negative black male images that were prevalent and being internalized by black children, especially black boys. The idea emerged that CBC needed to aggressively tackle the problem of negative black male images prominent in the black community. As a result, the salutes to the black community, to its heritage, to its leaders, and to its achievements were launched. Since the beginning of CBC, it has sponsored yearly salutes to the fathers, to the mothers, and to the black heritage as a way to promote positive images not only for black boys but also for black girls.

With so much negative press permeating through the African American community due to high rates of divorce, single parents, and out of wed-lock births, we have witnessed an all too familiar story of our families being ripped apart due to a constant cultural crisis that often leads to people being kicked to the curb. If we continue to allow our families to fall apart, our society will remain on a path of increasing deterioration. Systemic problems related to education, racism, lack of resources and institutionalization are major contributors to this persistent problem.

As servants of God, the CBC believes that our number one ministry is our family. Therefore, we believe that this event is significant because the heart of the black community is family. As one of the key anchor institutions for our people, family has always been the social fabric which moves us forward. Family provides a safe, nurturing atmosphere where children can be conceived, born, adopted, disciplined, loved, encouraged, instructed, and ultimately released to form their own families. It’s the place that is designed to meet our basic human needs. A place to experience belonging. It’s a place to teach established social, community, moral and spiritual values. Family provides us with a safe place to discover the meaning of life. Everybody needs a family.

Subsequently, CBC is sounding the trumpet to engage people of faith and goodwill in an effort to celebrate the highest ideals of our people, and place emphasis on establishing and developing strong familial relationships.

Historically, part of the CBC salutes has been the effort to recruit other churches into the process of honoring and promoting people who have made significant contributions to the positive uplift of the black community. Consequently, individual black churches select several people from their congregations who will be publicly honored at the salute as well. As we continue to expand our reach, this will enable us to make a more impressive impact on our community at large.

Some of the benefits for clergy being involved in CBC are that it provides an opportunity for clergy to identify resources for doing ministry; gives them a platform to discuss and share ministry ideas and challenges with other clergy; consistent engagement of the issues that adversely impact the lives of people, and persistent fellowship opportunities. As the primary, principle centered, proactive organization of faith in metro Atlanta, we pray that our efforts will always serve as the catalyst by which change occurs in our community as we address the systemic, social, economic, political, and cultural ills affecting our community.