Resources on Race, Racism, Faith, and Justice

people holding a white and black signage during daytimeA note from Deacon Theresa: Many people have asked how to learn more about racism and what they can do. This is not a comprehensive list and is in not intended to cover all aspects of racism. The list includes a variety of types of resources, vetted by me or by people whom I trust. Select from it as a next step in your own personal journey about race, racism, and living your faith in community. This is a life-long learning process. I invite you to enter into it with prayer and humility. Start wherever you feel a nudge or a tug, knowing that others are on similar journeys of their own.

Episcopal Church Resources

  • Responding to Racist Violence is a curated list of resources for faithful response to racial violence. The site includes the Presiding Bishop’s articles and letters concerning racism and racist violence. His Pentecost sermon for National Cathedral is also available. Resources include links to books, articles, podcasts, and videos. Scripture references, prayers, and ways to get involved to address racist violence and support those who do are also included.
  • The Way of Love: Resources that support a commitment to a Jesus-centered way of life. The Way of Love Podcast with Bishop Michael Curry includes conversations with leaders from a variety of backgrounds and experiences.
  • The Episcopal Justice Assembly of the Poor People’s Campaign: The recording of the Episcopal Justice Assembly held on June 10 can be found at this link, and accessed with the password “Justice6-10”. 

Sign up! 

Register for the Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington Digital Gathering, Saturday June 20th and 21st using this Episcopal Justice Assembly link.

The Poor People’s Campaign is a non-partisan, interracial, intersectional, gathering of impacted people, religious and social justice partners building on the work of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign established in 1968.

Books

Discussed at St. Alban’s

  • Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman. Thurman, an African American minister, theologian, and civil rights leader, interprets the teachings of Jesus through the experience of the oppressed and discusses nonviolent responses to oppression. 
  • Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving. This book was discussed at St. Alban’s. With honesty and humility, Debby Irving shares her own story of transformation—a journey of opening herself to learning about the realities of racism and the unintended impacts of whiteness. Videos of the author discussing her journey are available on YouTube. 

Other Recommended Books

  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This book is written as a letter to the author’s teenage son about the feelings, symbolism, and realities associated with being Black in the United States. In addition to other books, Coates is the author of several Black Panther graphic novels.
  • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown. Broadly recognized as a critical resource in the modern fight for racial justice. By both empowering the Black women who are her primary audience and awakening change in the broader culture, the book captures Austin’s unique spirit, voice, and ability to transform the conversation we are in. Austin Channing Brown is a Christian writer and speaker who works for a faith-based non-profit. She describes her interactions at the office, in her family and in the world. Videos of Austin Channing Brown discussing her book and other topics are available on YouTube.
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. This memoir discusses Bryan Stevenson’s life work, defending the poor, the wrongly condemned, and those trapped in the criminal justice system. The founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, Mr. Stevenson continues to focus his work on criminal justice reform, racial justice, and public education. Videos of Mr. Stevenson are available on eji.org. A movie adaptation of Just Mercy is available to watch without charge through June 30.
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to “model minorities” in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.
  • Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God by The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas. In this timely and compelling book, The Rev. Dr. Douglas examines the myths and narratives underlying a “stand-your-ground” culture, taking seriously the social as well as the theological questions raised by this and similar events…The author also brings another significant interpretative lens to this text: that of a mother….In the face of tragedy and indifference, The Rev. Dr. Douglas arms the truth of a black mother’s faith in these times of “stand your ground.”
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin Diangelo. This book explicates the dynamics of White Fragility and how we might build our capacity in the on-going work towards racial justice. A free reader guide is available at https://robindiangelo.com/publications/. Videos of the author discussing the concepts of white fragility, white privilege, and racism are available at https://robindiangelo.com/media/.

Podcasts

“A Decade on Watching Black People Die” (Code Switch)

“How to Be an Antiracist” (Brené Brown + Ibram X. Kendi)

The 1619 Project  NYT Podcast that coincides with their 1619 Project.

OnBeing.org, Race and Healing Consider starting with the interviews of Eula Bliss and Ruby Sales.

Videos

The Rev. Gayle Fisher-Stewart on policing, reconciliation, black lives and the church’s role

The Rev. Gayle Fisher-Stewart spent 20 years working as a police officer for the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department. She joined the department in 1972, four years after riots destroyed parts of the city following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Gayle Fisher Stewart was ordained to the Episcopal priesthood in November 2015, and currently serves as assistant rector at Calvary Church, Washington D.C.

The urgency of intersectionality

A TED Talk on gender and racist violence with Kimberlé Crenshaw.

Sermons to Watch

Movies

Just Mercy is based on the work of Bryan Stevenson and his book by the same name. Available to watch at no cost on all streaming platforms through June 30, 2020.

Selma is a 2014 historical drama film is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches. Available to watch at no cost on all streaming platforms through June 30,2020.

Other Resources

WETA and PBS have made several programs available for streaming on the free PBS Video App to help foster conversation and enable meaningful change. Featured programs include documentaries by WETA partner Henry Louis Gates, Jr. such as Reconstruction: America After the Civil WarBlack America Since MLK: And Still I Rise and The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, as well as Stanley Nelson’s The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution and many more relevant titles from FrontlinePOV and Independent Lens.

Deacon Theresa

Deacon Theresa

Deacon Theresa was first appointed to St. Alban’s by the Bishop of Virginia after being ordained in 2016.

View all posts by Deacon Theresa

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