Resources for My Journey
To Listen To
Resources from the Presbyterian Church (USA)
To Help Me Teach My Children
Act through Our Congregation’s Partnerships
Consider ordering books from black-owned bookstores. You may discover online options HERE.
How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
“Kendi dissects why in a society where so few people consider themselves to be racist the divisions and inequalities of racism remain so prevalent. Punctures the myths of a post-racial America, examining what racism really is—and what we should do about it.”
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity In A World Made For Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
From a powerful new voice on racial justice, an eye-opening account of growing up Black, Christian, and female in middle-class white America.
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.
Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving
In this book (recommended by the PCUSA as an “all-read” a couple of years ago), Irving tells her often cringe-worthy story with such openness that readers will turn every page rooting for her-and ultimately for all of us.
Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad
Encourages the essential work of unpacking your biases, and helps white people take action and dismantle the privilege within themselves so that you can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice. (Was developed into a movie, which is listed below.)
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
Short, emotional, literary, powerful – this book is one that all Americans who care about the current and long-burning crisis in race relations will want to read.
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
This book 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.
The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias by Dolly Chugh
Reveals the surprising causes of inequality, grounded in the “psychology of good people”. Offers practical tools to respectfully and effectively talk politics with family, to be a better colleague to people who don’t look like you, and to avoid being a well-intentioned barrier to equality.
The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
This “powerful and disturbing history” exposes how American governments deliberately imposed racial segregation on metropolitan areas nationwide.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
A stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement.
The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone
The cross and the lynching tree are the two most emotionally charged symbols in the history of the African American community. In this powerful work, theologian James H. Cone explores these symbols and their interconnection in the history and souls of Black folk. Both the cross and the lynching tree represent the worst in human beings and at the same time a thirst for life that refuses to let the worst determine our final meaning.
There’s A Storm Comin’: How The American Church Can Lead Through Times of Racial Crisis by Harold Dorrell Briscoe
Provides insights that are synthesized with biblical data to create a framework that gives churches practical steps to prepare for and respond to racialized crises that inflict trauma to the social fabric of America.
The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap by Mehrsa Baradaran
“Baradaran’s point is to show how white and Black Americans effectively live in two separate economies. A must read for anyone interested in closing America’s racial wealth gap.”
Good White Racist? Confronting Your Role In Racial Injustice by Kerry Connelly
Exposes the ways white people participate in, benefit from, and unknowingly perpetuate racism—despite their best “good person” intentions.
Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman
In this theological treatise, theologian and religious leader Howard Thurman (1900-1981) demonstrates how the gospel may be read as a manual of resistance for the poor and disenfranchised. Jesus is a partner in the pain of the oppressed and the example of His life offers a solution to ending the descent into moral nihilism. Hatred does not empower–it decays. Only through self-love and love of one another can God’s justice prevail.
Race Matters by Cornel West
This classic treatise on race contains Dr. West’s most incisive essays on the issues relevant to black Americans, including the crisis in leadership in the Black community, Black conservatism, Black-Jewish relations, myths about Black sexuality, and the legacy of Malcolm X. The insights Dr. West brings to these complex problems remain relevant, provocative, creative, and compassionate.
Articles, Essays, and Letters
Letter from a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr.
An open letter to area white clergy making the case that people have a moral responsibility to take direct action rather than waiting potentially forever for justice to come through the courts.
The 1619 Project
An ongoing project developed by The New York Times Magazine with the goal of re-examining the legacy of slavery in the United States and timed for the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia. (Also a podcast, listed below.)
Being Antiracist from the National Museum of African American History and Culture
“To create an equal society, we must commit to making unbiased choices and being antiracist in all aspect of our lives.”
Ahmaud Arbery Holds Us Accountable by Jim Barger, Jr.
“I and all of the other people in my community and in this nation failed to protect our neighbor, Ahmaud Arbery. In short, we loved ourselves more than we loved him..”
75 Things White People Can Do For Racial Justice by Corrine Shutack
Which ones challenge you the most? Try doing a few things each week.
Witness Now, Before It Is Too Late by Dr. Brian K. Blount
Blount serves as the president of Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA. He offers a powerful message to the church: “White Christians are not witnessing. Not enough.”
Local Black Authors
Frank X. Walker
DaMaris B. Hill
(**Thanks to Tom Eblen for helping us to develop this local list.)
Just Mercy (available to rent – FREE ON STREAMING PLATFORMS THROUGH JUNE)
A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice. (Based on the book, as listed above.)
Ava DuVernay’s Netflix film ’13th’ reveals how mass incarceration is an extension of slavery. Slavery technically ended over 150 years ago, but there’s something complicated about the amendment that abolished it. The title refers to the 13th amendment, which formally abolished slavery.
Colorblind: Rethinking Race
For years, we have talked about racism and healing, but until we understand the root of racism, examine its origins and confront the history, we can never get to a place of healing.
White Savior: Racism In The American Church
This documentary available through Amazon Prime Video explores the relationship between racism and American Christianity, the ongoing segregation of the church in the U.S., and the complexities of racial reconciliation.
Short Videos or Clips
Race in America – A Holy Post Video by Phil Vischer
Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales, offers a powerful analysis of how we developed the systems that hold us, as well as some ways forward.
Being Anti-Racist: A Primer by Landon Whitsitt
“Being racist” is not simply a personal behavior thing. It’s about the water we swim in, and if racism is going to be eradicated it’s a lesson people need to learn.”
God of the Movements and Martyrs
A marvelous new hymn by David LaMotte commissioned by the North Carolina Council of Churches. It offers a rousing call to do justice.
The 1619 Project
An audio series on how slavery has transformed America, connecting past and present through the oldest form of storytelling. (Also available to read online, as listed above.)
Hosted by journalists of color, this podcast tackles the subject of race head-on. It explores how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between.
DENOMINATIONAL RESOURCES (PCUSA)
Stated Clerk Remembers Recent Victims of Racial Violence
An 8-minute video that calls the church to act in response to the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.
No Longer Can We Hide Behind Not Being Controversial
An article by Mike Ferguson from Presbyterian News Service on a recent webinar presented by the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, the Stated Clerk of the PC(USA).
“Facing Racism: A Vision of the Intercultural Community” — PC(USA) churchwide antiracism policy, approved by the 222nd General Assembly (2016). | Companion study guide.
The Confession of 1967
Written with the specific resolve to work toward reconciliation and forgiveness, especially in light of racial division.
Social Justice Resources by The Children’s Community School
From this link, you will find a wealth of resources to help you teach your children about issues of race, gender, and equality.
Joining Others from Second in Justice Work
BUILD (Building a United Interfaith Lexington through Direct Action)
Organizes the faithful to work for justice. They begin with community listening sessions that then move through a democratic process to determine issue focuses for the year. Next, research yields proposals for practical solutions. Finally, 2,000 or more persons representing 26 religious groups across the county gather in an annual Nehemiah Action Assembly to hold public officials accountable to pursue proven strategies meant to bring Lexington nearer to the reality of the City of God. (Contact Pastor David Holden for more information.)
Black Church Coalition
Aids households via funds for utilities, medical, and emergency transportation when the resources of social service agencies have been exhausted. Based on referrals from these agencies, the BCC funds grants of up to $100 paid directly to client service providers. Opportunities for building connections and cooperative ministry are made possible through this partnership. (Contact Pastor David Holden for more information.)