Heads of the Colored People: Stories
Hardback: Oxford UP, 2018
Buy Now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]
Reviewed by Claire Johnson
During this past Easter Break, I exited what was supposed to be a unified, city-wide prayer and worship service in my hometown of Nacogdoches, Texas. Instead, the event was marked with sharp racial divisions of black and white. Catholics and far-fetched liberals weren’t present, or if they were, the white, evangelical event planners had stripped their voices. The body of Christ was not unified. The service was held in a conservative, white Protestant church with white contemporary Protestant Christian music led by the white band from the Southern Baptist church down the street. White pastors from white Protestant churches led the inter-song devotionals. The façade of unity came only from the closeting of diversity. Unity with no diversity is not unity at all.
A Feature Review of
Reviewed by Cara Meredith
Sometimes realizing your privilege starts with looking at your bookshelf.
Perhaps like you, I’m a book person. I read and consume books like it’s my job, because sometimes it really is my job to learn and grow and put words to the stories and experiences of those who’ve gone before me. But it took me nearly three decades to realize that it was a privilege to even have than fifty books in my house, let alone to choose to read books about characters that looked like me written by people who looked like me.
After all, having the ability to choose is oftentimes the biggest privilege of all.
In honor of the occasion, we offer this series of brief video clips that introduce her work on race and the criminal justice system.
Alexander is author of the important book
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Whether you love or loathe his work, it’s hard to argue that he is one of the most thought-provoking essayists writing today.
His atheistic naturalism, for instance, challenges us as Christians to take the Incarnation, and our bodies, more seriously.
In honor of his birthday, we offer the following list of eight of Coates’s finest essays from THE ATLANTIC!
An excerpt from Between the World and Me
Published: July 4. 2015
Skot Welch and Rick Wilson met in the late 1990s when they were both members of a large Christian church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They later joined another large church desiring to be “multi-ethnic” but was over 99% white. Under the leadership of a visionary pastor the church started on a path to become more authentically multi-ethnic. Skot and Rick were part of a group called “Mosaic” whose job it was to facilitate the church’s transition to this new multi-ethnic status. However, their efforts were quickly undermined by the overwhelming congregational resistance to the pastor’s multi-ethnic vision. Despite this frustrating experience, Skot, who is black, and Rick, who was white (Rick died in 2014), created a radio show called Radio in Black and White, which addressed issues of racism, diversity and inclusion in society at large and the church in particular. This book is a result of that program and all that the authors learned in their dialogues and conversations with their guests, listeners and each other.
Katharine Gerbner’s Christian Slavery is a meticulously researched, insightful, and at times haunting read—haunting because it feels like the past is always with us. First and foremost, this is an academic work of religious history, but as Gerbner goes into the historical roots of, to use Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove’s phrase, “slaveholder religion,” the book’s significance doesn’t seem confined to the past. Throughout its pages, Gerbner endeavors to trouble accounts of this historical period that overly-focus on searching for possible early precedents of the 19th century antislavery movement. She argues that it’s significant to acknowledge and recognize that the history of early Protestant missionary efforts unfortunately includes both ideological accommodation to slavery as well as struggle against it (3-4).
In honor of the occasion, we offer this series of brief video clips that introduce his work.
If you want to read his work, we recommend
starting with The Fire Next Time
*** Since this is a holiday week and since I was on vacation last week, this list includes titles from both last week and this week…
(Where possible, we have also tried to include a review/interview related to the book…)
Stanley Hauerwas / Jean Vanier
*** New, expanded edition of this classic book!!!