White Supremacy Needs Black Redemption

White Supremacy Black Redemption
The Black church has intentionally taught generations of people how to persevere in the faith amid persecution and oppression. 

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.

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HOT TOPIC: Why We Can’t Wait

Truth is: The past couple weeks have been filled with internal wrestling that include pain, hurt, and anger. I haven’t written much because I still don’t quite know what words to say. I understand that as a black woman, I am not alone in my suffering. I’ve been going before the Lord in prayer, reading his words, and I find myself drawing on the words, hope, and intestinal fortitude of our African American heroes and modern-day faith leaders, peacemakers, and activists.

 

I’m not very interested in sharing my opinions in this sacred moment. However, I do want to help my readers by encouraging them to listen well, and try to understand the painful history and trauma that people who look like me feel and experience in this country every day.

 

Even if you have friends who are from a different racial or ethnic minority group, you won’t know or understand these truths if the level of trust hasn’t been built, or if they don’t find you a safe person in which they can fully be themselves. That’s not your minority friend’s problem. That is a reality for you to explore.

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Book Review: Birmingham Revolution

Birmingham Revolution book coverIn his new book, Birmingham Revolution: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Epic Challenge to the Church, Edward Gilbreath recaptures what we have lost in the sound bits of King’s words and by embracing the myth of a post-racial America. Gilbreath immediately sets the stage by dropping the readers into the world, thoughts, and racial realities of the late 1950s America. He does this by interweaving historic and the racially charged events leading up to and surrounding Birmingham, along with the personal story, upbringing, challenges, and failures of Dr. King.

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