Black History Month may be over but our need to learn will never cease. Here are some suggestions from our Godspace writers and readers that can help inspire and educate us.
Suggestions from Bethany Dearborn Hiser:
- I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown http://austinchanning.com/the-book. Powerful, compelling truth-telling about what it’s like for a woman of color to navigate systems of white supremacy in the church.
- Healing Racial Trauma: The Road to Resilience by Sheila Wise Rowe. From the description: “Professional counselor Rowe exposes the symptoms of racial trauma to lead readers to a place of freedom from the past and new life for the future.”
I’ve heard these are good too, but haven’t read yet:
- ReDisciplining the White Church by David Swanson
- Roadmap to Reconciliation 2.0: Moving Communities into Unity, Wholeness and Justice by by Brenda Salter McNeil
- The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby
- White Awake: An Honest Look at What It Means to Be White by Daniel Hill
- My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by by Resmaa Menakem
Suggestions from Godspace reader:
- Lanterns by Marion Wright Edelman, founder of Children’s Defense Fund
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Olio
- The Broken Road by Peggy Wallace Kennedy
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- How to be an Anti-racist by Ibram X Kendi
- Radical hospitality, Benedict’s way of love by Lonni Collins Pratt (regardless of your belief structure, this is a great book on how to be).
Suggestions from Diane Woodrow:
- “Black and British: A Forgotten History” by David Olusoga. David is a renowned historian and a great story teller. Did you know Black African People had been coming to Britain on and off since Roman times? Some as freedmen, some as slaves. The things David reveals are surprising and shocking and so a part of this island’s history that they should be taught in schools as just a part of our history. This is a book to read slowly.
- “Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernadine Evaristo is another great book talking about the racism that goes on subtly in Britain. It is a fiction book that gently follows the lives of an intermixed group of British Black and mixed race women and the racism that just learn to go with and accept, which is very interesting. A gentle eye opening book I felt.
- https://blackbritishhistory.co.uk/ I came across this site when I had to Google to get the proper details of David Olusoga’s book. What amazes me is that I didn’t even know about Black British history until I read David’s book and now I’m finding there is a website.
- In fact, another great place I’ve found for reading about people of different races is from https://www.shelterbox.org/book-club/
Suggestions from Lisa Scandrette:
- “The God Who Sees” by Karen Gonzalez: This is a clear and compelling weaving of the stories of Ruth, Abraham, Hagar, Joseph, Jesus, modern day immigrants, and González’s family’s own immigration story, information on current immigration policies, and God’s heart and guidance for how we should care for immigrants. The book is a quick read, but it is rich!
- “The Color of Life” by Cara Meredith: Cara tells her story of marrying the son of civil rights icon, James Meredith, and her journey from a white world where everyone looked like her to a more colorful one. She explores how we navigate desperately needed conversations about race, how we teach our children a theology of love and reconciliation, and what it means to make space for the image of God in everyone.
- “Decolonizing Evangelicalism” by Randy Woodley and Bo Sanders: “Woodley and Sanders provide a unique combination of indigenous theology and academic theory to point readers toward the way of Jesus. Decolonizing Evangelicalism is a starting point for those who hope to change the conversation and see that he world could be lived in a different way.” (from the back cover)
- “Native” by Kaitlyn Curtice: “Native is about identity, soul searching, and the never-ending journey of finding ourselves and finding God. As both a citizen of the Potawatomi nation and a Christian, Kaitlin Curtice shares what it means to experience her faith through the lens of her Indigenous heritage and encourages us to embrace our own origins.” (also from the back cover.)
- “Separated by the Border” by Gena Thomas: What drives a mother to risk everything and bring her child to an unknown country? What happens when that mother and child are separated? How can we as Christians love those who are stretched to the point of desperation? This is the story of Lupe, Julia and Gena. It’s a hard, painful, heartbreaking story. It’s a beautiful and hopeful story as well. Lupe was attempting to come to the U.S. with her daughter, Julia. After braving the dangers of their home country and the journey north, Lupe and Julia are separated. Lupe is sent back to Honduras as Julia remained in the U.S. Their story intersects with Gena when Gena’s family takes Julia in as a foster child. With no easy or trite answers, “Separated by the Border” shares the complicated and traumatic story of a birth mother, a foster mother, and a migrant child’s journey. It demonstrates the tenacious love of a mother, and the love we can have for one another in our places of deepest need.
- “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson: “Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.” (from the Amazon description)
Suggestions from Coe Hutchison:
- PBS special, “The Black Church: This is our story, This is our Song” is excellent.
- These books are also recommended:
We recommend you read this excellent article that Coe wrote about what he has learned through his reading.
If there are other books you would like to add to this list please leave a comment below or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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