One of this week’s best new releases is:
The Charleston Syallbus:
Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence
Chad Williams, Kidada Williams, Keisha Blaine, Eds.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]
This book captures a lengthy Twitter conversation, in the wake of the Charleston shootings, about essential readings on racism and racial violence.
Included below are some of the readings that are excerpted in this new book. The book is divided into six sections and we offer at least one reading from each section.
Section 6: Contemporary Perspectives…
Esther Armah –
Black Bodies, White Terrorism:
A Global Reimagining of Forgiveness
My mama is 79. Wednesday night is her bible study. Just like Ms. Ethel Lee Lance, mama has her circle of church going elders—black women in their 60s, 70s, and 80s for whom church is home. Maybe even safer than home. Their pain was safe in the hands of this particular Jesus. Unshed tears from the Middle Passage were here. Friendships decades deep were here. Sanctuary was here. Comfort, too. Prayers unheard by a black community too often deaf to the pain of black girls and women were heard here, by this Jesus. Or so they thought.
Mama goes to Roman Ridge Church in Accra, Ghana, is proudly Ashanti and deeply Christian. Ms. Ethel went to AME in Charleston, South Carolina. She was one of six black women, two of them elders, killed by a white terrorist doing the work of white supremacy: attack, destroy, bury black bodies, dreams, and lives.
“I forgive you”; “We forgive you”; “My family forgives you”; we heard these pardons again and again as family members of the massacred lined up and spoke during the first court hearing of Dylann Roof. That outpouring prompted swift reaction. Their words of forgiveness were both praised and criticized.
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