The back-to-back deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile alongside the deaths of the Dallas police offers are a defining moment in the history of the United States. Our black brothers and sisters are out of breath while our white brothers and sisters are finally asking the question: What are we to do?!
While I’m not certain that the black community can wait for the white community’s learning curve, it is absolutely critical in this moment that we move our understanding of racism in America beyond surface level and into the depths.
In what follows, I offer a learning journey for my white brothers and sisters. I’m grateful for my black friends and colleagues who have offered grace and patience with me through my own learning journey and have helped me develop this pathway. It by no means is a comprehensive pathway, but it is an important beginning.
Friends. Please take this journey. Listen long and be changed by what you hear.
Involuntary Servitude -> Mass Incarceration
- Slavery By Another Name: The Re-enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglass A. Blackmon
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblind by Michelle Alexander
- Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
- Film: The House I Live In (view trailer)
Culture of Suspicion
- Documentary: Color of Fear (view trailer)
- “When Whites Just Don’t Get It” – New York Times 6-part series by Nicholas Kristof
- I Have a Dream / Letter from a Birmingham Jail, by Martin Luther King Jr.
- Lest We Forget: The Passage from Africa to Slavery and Emancipation: A Three-Dimensional Interactive Book with Photographs and Documents from the Black Holocaust Exhibit by Velma Maia Thomas
- Documentary: Africans in America: America’s journey through Slavery (view entire 4-part series)
- A Time to Break Silence: The Essential Works of Martin Luther King, Jr., for Students (King Legacy) by Martin Luther King Jr.
- Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965 by Juan Williams and Julian Bond.
- Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion And The Problem of Race in America by Michael Emerson and Christian Smith
- Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep us Apart by Christena Cleveland
- Radical Reconciliation: Beyond Political Pietism and Christian Quietism by Curtiss DeYoung and Allan Boesak
- The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James Cone
- Race: A Theological Account by J. Kameron Carter
- Roadmap to Reconciliation: Moving Communities into Unity, Wholeness, and Justice by Brenda Salter McNeil
- America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America by Jim Wallis
- The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right by Lisa Sharon Harper
Connecting Past to Present: Violence Toward Black Boys
- Documentary: The Murder of Emmett Till (view entire film)
- Film: Fruitvale Station (view trailer)
- Documentary: 3 1⁄2 minutes, Ten bullets (view trailer)
- Documentary: Crips & Bloods: Made in America (view entire film)
Connecting Past to Present: Violence Toward Black Churches
- Documentary: 4 Little Girls (view entire film)
- CNN/ NY Times coverage of Charleston Shootings
- Global Immersion Webinar on Racial Societies and White Engagement (password: peace) featuring Rev. Ben McBride, Rev. Dee McIntosh, Pastor Daniel Hill, and Oakland-based practioner Nate Millheim.
- Black Prophetic Fire by Cornel West
- Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race, and Being by M. Shawn Copeland
- Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of Evil by Emilie Townes
- Too Heavy a Yoke: Black Women and the Burden of Strength by Chanequa Barnes