In recent months, diverse groups of Christian leaders have spoken up against injustices against people of color and other oppressed people within our society.
Beth Moore shared an open letter about the importance of women leaders and the misogyny and racism within American Evangelicalism. Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, also joined the great cloud of witnesses by taking a stand against President Donald Trump’s incitement of racism and his unjust, unethical, and immoral practices in his personal, public, and political life. When Beth Moore speaks, her posts go viral. When Russell Moore speaks, he gets featured on CNN. While I deeply appreciate when sisters and brothers like these use their platforms to influence and speak as the Holy Spirit pricks their hearts, I want us to also ask why the voices of the people of color who have been fighting the good fight and speaking against these same injustices for years, some for decades, go unheard?
White allies and sisters and brothers must acknowledge that when things are bad for White women in society and in the church, they are far worse for women of color. Allies, in their confessions and laments, must also use their platforms as an opportunity to elevate, sponsor, and share space with people of color who have been consistent in their witness and faithful in their work and convictions for years. Whenever the words “race” or “reconciliation” are mentioned within the Christian framework, I need the names and contributions of those like the Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil, professor Drew G.I. Hart, Edward Gilbreath, LaTasha Morrison, and the Rev. Efrem Smith elevated.
2016 has been a roller coaster of a year. As I sit here preparing my last presentations and talks for 2016, I am also tying up loose ends from various projects. I always find myself reflecting at this time of year. I am in awe for all the good that has transpired this year, and am overwhelmed with sadness and disappointment from other events that have taken place in our country and in our world. I wanted to take this time to give you a quick update, let you know what is coming, and to thank you for joining me on A Sista’s Journey.
This will most likely be my last post of 2016. If WordPress sends me one of those “End of Year” wrap-ups, I’ll share any interesting information by amending this post.
Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism
Authors: Drew G.I. Hart
Why I picked up this book:
I have been following Drew Hart online for a while. His voice and perspective is a relevant, prophetic, and informed one that the church needs to hear. I was pleased to receive a copy of this book which so eloquently outlines the problems of race and racism—or the denial of such— particularly among evangelicals in the church.
This book is an invaluable resource tool for church pastors and small group leaders in these troubled times. I do believe that any white brother or sister who has not wrestled deeply with the issue of race and how it impacts every part of our society needs to read this book from a humble posture of listening and learning. Throughout it, Hart speaks a deeply personal, historical, and theological truth.
What’s in Store for You:
Drew Hart—a theologically-educated seminary professor and African American male— opens the book with a real life story of his anxiety and fear for DWB (Driving While Black), and being pulled over by police. Because I know, love, and have relationships with black men, I understand that this is not an uncommon occurrence. I know about the mental races—the uncertainties, the internal questions about what to do with your hands, or the regular reminders of not making any sudden movements. I know about the immediate fear that sits in your gut if this one encounter goes wrong, and it can go very wrong, very quickly because we are DWB. This is our world of trouble as a historically oppressed people group in America. At the beginning of the book, the author asks the readers: