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I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
Brown, Austin Channing
Austin Channing Brown’s first encounter with a racialized America came at age seven, when she discovered her parents named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. Growing up in majority-white schools and churches, Austin writes, “I had to learn what it means to love blackness,” a journey that led to a lifetime spent navigating America’s racial divide as a writer, speaker, and expert helping organizations practice genuine inclusion.In a time when nearly every institution (schools, churches, universities, businesses) claims to value diversity in its mission statement, Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice. Her stories bear witness to the complexity of America’s social fabric—from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.For readers who have engaged with America’s legacy on race through the writing of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Michael Eric Dyson, I’m Still Here is an illuminating look at how white, middle-class, Evangelicalism has participated in an era of rising racial hostility, inviting the reader to confront apathy, recognize God’s ongoing work in the world, and discover how blackness—if we let it—can save us all.
Becoming Brave: Finding the Courage to Pursue Racial Justice Now
McNeil, Brenda Salter
Reconciliation is not true reconciliation without justice! Brenda Salter McNeil has come to this conviction as she has led the church in pursuing reconciliation efforts over the past three decades. McNeil calls the church to repair the old reconciliation paradigm by moving beyond individual racism to address systemic injustice, both historical and present. It's time for the church to go beyond individual reconciliation and "heart change" and to boldly mature in its response to racial division.Looking through the lens of the biblical narrative of Esther, McNeil challenges Christian reconcilers to recognize the particular pain in our world so they can work together to repair what is broken while maintaining a deep hope in God's ongoing work for justice. This book provides education and prophetic inspiration for every person who wants to take reconciliation seriously.Becoming Brave offers a distinctly Christian framework for addressing systemic injustice. It challenges Christians to be everyday activists who become brave enough to break the silence and work with others to dismantle systems of injustice and inequality.
Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing
Barber, William J., II
A collection of sermons and speeches that lay out a groundbreaking vision for intersectional organizing, paired with inspirational and practical essays from activists in today's Poor People's Campaign.The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II has been called "the closest person we have to Martin Luther King Jr. in our midst" (Cornel West) and "one of the most gifted organizers and orators in the country today" (Ari Berman). In this age of political division and civic unrest, Rev. Barber's message is more necessary than ever. This volume features Rev. Barber's most stirring sermons and speeches, with response essays by prominent public intellectuals, activists, and faith leaders. Drawing from the history of social movements in the US, especially the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Poor People's Campaign, Rev. Barber and the contributors to this volume speak to the most pressing issues of our time, including Black Lives Matter, the fight for a $15 minimum wage, the struggle to protect voting rights, the march for women's rights, and the movement to overcome poverty and unite the dispossessed across all dividing lines. Grounded in the fundamental biblical theme of poor and oppressed people taking action together, the book suggests ways to effectively build a fusion movement to make America fair and just for everyone.
Consumed by Hate, Redeemed by Love
Tarrants, Thomas A.
As an ordinary high school student in the 1960s, Tom Tarrants became deeply unsettled by the social upheaval of the era. In response, he turned for answers to extremist ideology and was soon utterly radicalized. Before long, he became involved in the reign of terror spread by Mississippi's dreaded White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, described by the FBI as the most violent right-wing terrorist organization in America.In 1969, while attempting to bomb the home of a Jewish leader in Meridian, Mississippi, Tom was ambushed by law enforcement and shot multiple times during a high-speed chase. Nearly dead from his wounds, he was arrested and sentenced to thirty years in the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman Farm. Unrepentant, Tom and two other inmates made a daring escape from Parchman yet were tracked down by an FBI SWAT team and apprehended in hail of bullets that killed one of the convicts. Tom spent the next three years alone in a six-foot-by-nine-foot cell. There he began a search for truth that led him to the Bible and a reading of the gospels, resulting in his conversion to Jesus Christ and liberation from the grip of racial hatred and violence.Astounded by the change in Tom, many of the very people who worked to put him behind bars began advocating for his release. After serving eight years of a 35-year sentence, Tom left prison. He attended college, moved to Washington, DC, and became copastor of a racially mixed church. He went on to earn a doctorate and became the president of the C. S. Lewis Institute, where he devoted himself to helping others become wholehearted followers of Jesus.A dramatic story of radical transformation, Consumed by Hate, Redeemed by Love demonstrates that hope is not lost even in the most tumultuous of times, even those similar to our own.
Be the Refuge: Raising the Voices of Asian American Buddhists
A must-read for modern sanghas--Asian American Buddhists in their own words, on their own terms.Despite the fact that two thirds of U.S. Buddhists identify as Asian American, mainstream perceptions about what it means to be Buddhist in America often whitewash and invisibilize the diverse, inclusive, and intersectional communities that lie at the heart of American Buddhism.Be the Refuge is both critique and celebration, calling out the erasure of Asian American Buddhists while uplifting the complexity and nuance of their authentic stories and vital, thriving communities. Drawn from in-depth interviews with a pan-ethnic, pan-Buddhist group, Be the Refuge is the first book to center young Asian American Buddhists' own voices. With insights from multi-generational, second-generation, convert, and socially engaged Asian American Buddhists, Be the Refuge includes the stories of trailblazers, bridge-builders, integrators, and refuge-makers who hail from a wide range of cultural and religious backgrounds.Championing nuanced representation over stale stereotypes, Han and the 89 interviewees in Be the Refuge push back against false narratives like the Oriental monk, the superstitious immigrant, and the banana Buddhist--typecasting that collapses the multivocality of Asian American Buddhists into tired, essentialized tropes. Encouraging frank conversations about race, representation, and inclusivity among Buddhists of all backgrounds, Be the Refuge embodies the spirit of interconnection that glows at the heart of American Buddhism.
Do All Lives Matter?: The Issues We Can No Longer Ignore and the Solutions We All Long For
Something is wrong in our society. Deeply wrong. The belief that all lives matter is at the heart of our founding documents--but we must admit that this conviction has never truly reflected reality in America. Movements such as Black Lives Matter have arisen in response to recent displays of violence and mistreatment, and some of us defensively answer back, "All lives matter." But do they? Really?This book is an exploration of that question. It delves into history and current events, into Christian teaching and personal stories, in order to start a conversation about the way forward. Its raw but hopeful words will help move us from apathy to empathy and from empathy to action.We cannot do everything. But we can each do something.
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