Watch the Video.
"Quakerism is opposed to the statement of strong emotion.
Quakerism is also opposed to strong emotion." - Community stakeholder
Moved By the Spirit.
Passionately Confronting Racial Disparities.
The woman at the Quaker Meeting was noticeably upset while talking, and continued her speech for over ten minutes. In the midst of this woman speaking, another person stood up silently. Then, sensing her time was coming to a close, the very same woman addressed the room thus: “Does anyone hear me?” Another person replied, “We hear you, we hear you”. This person and the one who stood up while the woman was talking were performing an act called eldering, which is when a longstanding member of the community expresses their disapproval of somebody’s behavior.
Eldering Communicates Disapproval.
Before going to Meeting that day we were planning on centering our video on Quakers’ experience navigating their language use both inside and outside the Quaker community. But after witnessing the woman passionately speaking to issues of race and inequalities in wealth and education in Philadelphia, and the subsequent reaction by the community, we shifted our focus.
About the Authors.
Miki Gilmore, a resident of Washington, DC, is a junior at Bryn Mawr College also majoring in Linguistics. She is not a member of the Religious Society of Friends, and learned about Quakers after meeting Elise.
Our special thanks to the Germantown Friends Meeting. If you’d like to learn more about the intersection of race, poverty, and Germantown Friends School, see the PBS documentary Prep School Negro (2012).