Quakerism is so comfortable for me. I found a warm and welcoming spiritual home among Friends as a young adult and have remained happily in the fold. But for people of color, joining our faith can be a different experience. From an African-American general secretary of Friends General Conference:

“. . . I also feel isolated because as I have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles. . . I haven’t seen seventy-five black Quakers yet. You can’t know how it feels to be surrounded almost all the time with faces that don’t look like yours – I don’t expect freckles, but I would like to have some more blacks!

Sometimes when I’m weak I want to say, ‘God, why did you send me here?’ I don’t know. I know I was sent, I know I want to stay, but I wonder why we don’t have more blacks. And I feel isolated too because all my life I’ve been taught that I have to adapt to white society. And sometimes I wonder, when is somebody going to adapt to me? How come I always have to be the one to make the changes? Why do people never try to understand me?” Dwight Spann-Wilson, “Quaker and Black: Answering the Call of my Twin Roots,” lecture given at the General Conference Gathering of Friends, Ithaca, New York, July 3, 1980, pp. 11-12,

– Kate Seel (kateseel3@gmail.com)