calendar June 2, 2021 in anti-racism, Communications, Youth

Mediator Youth Honored in Tulsa Centennial Writing Contest

Tredon Stevenson, a member of Mediator Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, received second prize in the youth (ages 14-17) division of the ELCA African Descent Lutheran Association’s national writing contest to honor the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre.

He is an excellent student and participates in youth programs and choir and is a worship assistant and acolyte at Mediator. He was named second place in his age category, with his poem entitled “The Mirror of the Past”.

The Mirror of the Past by Tredon Stevenson

Rainy clouds storm above for the past century and beyond
The constant fear that so many bear and are dealt with
A constant society in which man can not live,
All so truly simply because of the shade of their skin

That dark age had taken place but a hundred years ago
Where every man, woman, and child were slaughtered
A flame of hatred sparked over the land
The opportunity to be set free suddenly squandered

That mirror that sits still on the wall
Holds reflections of my past
The pain, the sorrow, the frustration I carry with me
And the markings forced onto their backs

The water in the oceans move freely
The bird that flies into the morning sun
while gallantly tweeting their song
But a man shall be restrained and strippen of all freedom
Worrying about Winter nights and how long

How long must it take for things to change
How many more souls will be claimed
What will it take for equality for all
Why must the victim constantly be blamed

Forwarding into a time, shouting and proclaiming “I can’t breathe”
But to them we are just repulsive beings
Liars, traitors, and unforgivable thieves
Why must I live in such a world
A world that mirrors the past

And so I come forth to say we have to make a stand
Equality shall exist in all man
As all man and woman were created equal and so I’ll plead
To change the way this system works and show that we are all the same

For our ancestors who sought this equality in the past
The words we cry to make amends
I pray and ask for the sake of us all
That may God Bless America


The creative writing contest to gather thoughts, tributes, and sociological/theological understandings of the detrimental impact of this community’s demise on Black American wealth and economic equality. There are three age divisions: high school (ages 14-17), young adult (ages 18-22), and adult (age 23+). Entries should be based on the following questions:


“How does the history of injustice related to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre reflect and relate to modern day injustice in the United States of America? How can the Church recognize its historical complicity with racial injustice and be moved to respond and proclaim truth, equity, and justice for all in our nation today?”