Talking about Racism.

BOOKS - MUSIC - PODCASTS, MINDFULNESS

Illustration by Morgan Harper Nichols

Like many of you, I have been deeply grieved by the events happening in our country right now. The tragic deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Robert Fuller, and Rayshard Brooks have freshly revealed the deep wounds and injustice in our nation and highlighted the work that still needs to be done.

I have never written about racism here. And until the last few weeks, I painfully admit I hadn’t recognized that as a problem. I have beautiful Black and Brown friends and family members. I have taken courses on race and ethnicity, searched out books for my children that give alternate stories of American history, read books about race and social justice, had challenging conversations with friends and family about race, supported Black organizations and businesses, and joined regular multi-racial prayer meetings for unity among our local churches. All. Good. Things. And until now, I thought my work in private was enough.  

Over the last few weeks, I have been listening in a much deeper way. I have been quietly praying and learning from the vulnerable experiences that have been shared, the collective cries in the streets, the pain beneath all the anger and lament, and the helpful guides seeking to build bridges in the midst of it all. I have been reading and watching and listening, but also prayerfully re-examining my own complicity and bias in the process, asking for discernment and wisdom to know how to better love my neighbor and help support People of Color. Opening the conversations here is one of many small, practical steps in that direction.

To my Black, Latinx, Asian, and Native friends, I am sorry for the ways you may have felt ‘othered’ in this space, for the ways the conversation gap on racism has excluded you or reinforced the traumatic cultural narrative that you do not belong. I am sorry that in critical cultural moments I have remained quiet here when you needed me to see you, stand with you, and pass the mic. I am committed to finding ways to better amplify your stories and voices in this space, to have a more inclusive voice and list of resources here going forward. You are beloved. You are worthy. You are needed.

To my White friends, I am sorry for avoiding uncomfortable, needed conversations in this space for so long, for curbing the topics and language of this space in a way that may have at times reinforced our silence or dulled the urgency that our Black and Brown friends feel. We really must do better. And as Danielle Coke beautifully illustrated and wrote last week, “Performance won’t end racism. Change your heart. Change your home. Change humanity.” As a space dedicated to the heart and home, let’s start there.

Below is a brief, highlighted list of anti-racist resources I’ve been reading and watching this month. Clearly, this is not a finite list but the beginning of many shared in this space. If you have any to add, please share it in the comments. Thank you!


IMPORTANT SHORT READS + LISTENS

“Recognizing Race in Language: Why We Capitalize ‘Black’ and ‘White’from the Center for the Study of Social Policy

“A Conversation on Race and Restoration in the Body of Christ” with Dr. Anita Phillips and Christine Caine

“I’m sorry. I’m listening. I’m learning.” by Osheta Moore

“Upward: The Sin of Silence and God’s Heart for Justice”, part 1 by Danielle Coke

“Inward: Taking Inventory and Addressing Implicit Bias”, part 2 by Danielle Coke

“Outward: Starting Conversations and Making Real Change”, part 3 by Danielle Coke

“Reject shame and take action.” by Anna Mae Groves

“How We Begin to Move Toward Racial Healing” by Latasha Morrison

“Why You Need to Stop Saying ‘All Lives Matter'” by Rachel Elizabeth Cargle

“Are You Talking to Your Kids about Race?” by Deepa Devlukia

Roots: A 30-Minute Reflection with Ashlee Eiland

“How to Respond When You Are Called Out” by Be the Bridge Builder

“10 Steps to Non-Optical Allyship” by Mireille Cassandra Harper

“Made in the Image of God” by Ruth Chou Simons

“Why White Parents Need to Do More Than Talk with Their Kids about Racism” by Dr. Margaret Hagerman featured on The Conscious Kid


BOOKS I AM READING NOW

Woke Church: An Urgent Call for Christians in America to Confront Racism and Injustice by Eric Mason

Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson (read earlier this year)

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (read earlier this year)


BOOKLISTS with DIVERSITY

Diverse Spines | Well-Read Black Girl | Never Without a Book | Ideal Bookshelf | Helping Kids Rise | The Conscious Kid | Books for Diversity


WATCHING THIS MONTH

13th | Just Mercy

Share this post:

Comments

  1. I also really like Abraham Hamilton. His podcast is called The a Hamilton Corner. He is a Black Christian Attorney and ties current events in with the Bible. Very interesting hearing his perspective.

  2. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FoJGYCc7EUg
    Hopefully this link goes through. This is a powerful explanation on just how sufficient Gods word is. Using Racial (black) Critical Theory, instead of Gods Word is simply a very sallow alternative. Dr. Voddie Baucham on racial reconciliation, I highly recommend!

  3. Bethany, I alway enjoy and am challenged by hearing your heart. Racism, or as Christians know it “the sin of partiality” is a reality in every culture and time until the Lord returns, and makes me ache for all things to be made new. And we should talk about it with our kids, amen, and confront it where we fine it! We also should be accurate with them and ourselves about the diversity of voices of who are Black. They aren’t all liberal and they don’t all subscribe to some version of critical race theory. They are politically conservative as well as politically liberal who are concerned about racism. Your list seems to lean much more left, in this regard, and I challenge you to read Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, and Shelby Steele as well as columnist Jason Riley in the Wall Street Journal. Their voices matter too.

    1. Author

      Thank you for your insight and for sharing more diverse resources, Bethany. I look forward to learning from them. x

    2. I echo this sentiment, Bethany. The Black voices we learn from needn’t be (and in fact shouldn’t be!) one-sided. These issues are far more nuanced than many are making them out to be. Thomas Sowell is an especially sage voice that should be elevated right now.

      1. Author

        I agree and appreciate you both for highlighting him. Sowell has written prolifically; do you have a favorite book to start?

    3. Also, Candace Owens is a young voice worth listening to. Her book Blackout comes out in September.

  4. Thanks for sharing all those resources! I highly recommend The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby. The author is a Christian black man is working on a PhD in history. He also has an MDiv and has written for DesiringGod.org. I had the privilege of hearing him speak last fall and started reading this book, which is written to the church.

    1. Author

      Thank you, Alana. That one is on my booklist to read this year, too. I have heard it referenced often and look forward to learning more.

Leave a Comment

You May Also Like
Being Neighborly During Shelter in Place
Being Neighborly During Shelter in Place

My 2020 Booklist

Five Books for Summer Binge Reading
Five Books for Summer Binge Reading