Black Ministers Tell Churchgoers to Join Occupy Movement

African-American spiritual leaders are giving the Occupy movement a boost in both leadership and membership at a critical hour.

By Chris Roberts
|  Monday, Jan 16, 2012  |  Updated 2:53 PM PDT
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Occupying Wall Street and Beyond: May Day Protests

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Occupy Oakland protesters carry a banner as they march through the streets on November 12, 2011. Black ministers are urging their congregations to join up with the Occupy Wall Street movement.

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The rallying cry for the 99 percent is coming now from a perhaps unlikely location: the pulpit of African-American churches.

On Sunday morning, Rev. Harold Mayberry of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church informed his congregation that it was high time for them to connect with the Occupy Wall Street movement, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, in attendance at  services that day.

There's a movement afoot to link the nation's black communities -- often those hit hardest by unemployment, foreclosure, lack of opportunities for education, and many of the planks of the Occupy platform -- to the activists making headlines, many of whom are not black, according to reports. Mayberry is one of many attempting to make Martin Luther King Day "Occupy the Dream," according to the newspaper.

The original Occupy the Dream movement began when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama, Mayberry reminded his churchgoers.

One difference between Occupy protests and actions prior and the ones attended by the faith-based community will be a lack of "foolishness," according to Mayberry. The clashes between police and protesters and the vandalizing of businesses will not happen with the new Occupy the Dream actions, he vowed.

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