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Learn from yesterday, live a better tomorrow

Mission Mississippi’s goal is simple: unify the body of Christ across racial lines.

With that in mind, the county branch of the organization is showing a documentary that shines a light on slavery’s impact on our nation. The hope is that by better understanding our past, we can forge a better future.

Rev. Anne Matthews with Lincoln County Mission Mississippi said “Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North” will be shown Sept. 25 at 5:15 p.m. at Church of the Redeemer Episcopal Church in Brookhaven. It’s free and open to the public. A question-and-answer session will follow the showing. Light refreshments will be served.

“The hope is that by bringing these things to light, it will actually lead to better relations and healing,” Matthews said. “It’s not for the sake of airing your dirty laundry for the sake of airing dirty laundry. It’s important for people to know our country’s history. They don’t want to look at the slave trading part of our history and how our entire economy was built around slaves — not just the Southern economy but the entire U.S. economy was entirely dependent on slave labor. I think a lot of people don’t realize how much this is a part of who we are as Americans.”

Society can only understand itself when it understands its past. The church can also benefit from a better understanding of racial division and inequality.

“Our mission is to encourage and demonstrate grace in the body of Christ across racial lines so that communities throughout Mississippi can see practical evidence of the gospel message,” said Phyllis Spearman, founder of Lincoln County Mission Mississippi.

Some will argue that the past should be left alone, forgotten. But it’s only with a clear picture of the past that we are able to work toward a better future. We are grateful for the work of Mission Mississippi and encourage everyone to see the documentary Sept. 25.