As a white guy, I'm supposed to stay off of social media today except to amplify black voices speaking to the current crisis (and the persistent 400 year old crisis) facing America, and by association, the world. And so I want to do just that with this blog post. Last year I did a post where I listed a few good books that I had read and made available in the church library, but today I want to return to what I wrote about one of those books and highlight it.
The book is called "I'm Still Here" by Austin Channing Brown, and the subtitle of this book gives you a good summary of its content: "Black dignity in a world made for whiteness." As an evangelical Christian author, Brown will challenge the often unperceived bias toward "whiteness" within the well-meaning Christian world. If you are white, this book will make you uncomfortable, it might make you angry, and it will surely make you defensive. This is not a book that will make you feel good about your presumed position of racial neutrality, but will unmask all the ways in which "whiteness" is the presumed normative cultural expression of the church. This is not a book aimed at converting overt racists, neo-nazis, or other types of bigots, it's a work aimed at generous, loving, and well-intentioned white Christians who are utterly ignorant of their own biases and structural preferences for white culture and white authority. My guess is that you will not like this book. But in light of our overwhelming racial homogeny at The Bridge, and because of our desperate need to educate ourselves about current events and the climate that has precipitated them, it might be one of the more important books you can read this summer. We currently have one copy for loan in the church library, but I would encourage you to actually buy a copy for yourself if you can. E-book purchases go to support the author in the work she is doing, and physical copies do that, and also give you something to share with others when you finish reading. You can find the book on Amazon here, and on Chapters/Indigo here. If you want to buy it somewhere else, then you know how to use the google machine.
So for today, instead of listening to another white guy pontificate on the issue, go and read what a black woman has to say and perhaps we can learn something together.