I pray these days for the Spirit to fill us all with a holy curiosity. How can we know God and others, and how can we love God and others, if we are not curious? I pray that the winds of the Spirit may blow open the doors of our minds to an increased understanding of the people who suffer under racism.
In the hope of growing understanding and compassion, I am sharing these antiracist resources.
– “Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism”, a documentary created by ethicsdaily.net. I have a hard copy you can borrow, or you can watch it for free online here. This documentary, which won the Best Documentary award at the International Black Film Festival of Nashville in 2008, considers past mistakes and future challenges regarding racial unity and social justice. From the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the current immigration debate, Beneath the Skin peels back prejudices and confronts them with biblical mandates. Interviewees come from nearly a dozen states and represent the best in Baptist life.
– I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, written by Austin Channing Brown: a first-hand account of growing up Black, Christian, and female in middle-class white America. An illuminating read. I love Channing Brown’s work because as an ordained minister, she brings her deep love of God and church to all that she does. It comes with a group discussion guide that can be found here: https://acbacademy.teachable.com/p/i-m-still-here-group
– Me and My White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World and Become a Good Ancestor, written by Layla Saad: This eye-opening book empowers white readers to reflect and grow in awareness of their own racial identity and impact on others. I appreciate this vital book. Personally, it took me a long time to learn to reflect on what it meant to be white and how that had affected my life. Meant to be read as a 28-day challenge, Saad’s book includes regular reflection questions for those forming a new consciousness, unpacking bias and learning more so they can do better.
– Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, written by Richard Rothstein. This book lays out the history of systematic housing segregation in America and how these acts continue to have serious ramifications today. Another church recommended this to me as a group read.
I am remembering these days that antiracism requires active work. Here’s to the journey. I am thinking of you as our nation walks this hard road to freedom. I welcome your calls, texts, and e-mails if you want to talk. I am here.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Joy Perkett