Due to the Covid crisis and our desire to continue to play it safe, Hearts & Minds is still closed to walk in traffic, but we are busy with curbside delivery and are doing tons of labor-intensive mail-out business, sending carefully wrapped packages all over the world.
With our staff on furlough and so many complications in these difficult days, I regret that I’ve not done our weekly BookNotes book review columns in quite some time. Thanks to those who said they missed them. There are so many brand new books I’d like to tell you about, but we just haven’t had the time or energy to write.
I have been asked by several customers in the last few days for a list of books about racism written by people of color. Because there seems to be a (Pentecostal?) eagerness to listen and learn right now, I felt like I should refocus from answering emails today and processing orders and pause to offer this quick list. Sorry I don’t have the hours it takes to download and show the wonderful covers. As I write, all of these books are in stock here at the shop and we can mail them out (although there will be a bit of a delay; even working 15 hours straight some days, we’re a bit behind in our shipping.)
Allow me to say three things about this list.
Firstly, it should be obvious but I want to say it: people of color write books about topics other than race and racism. There are Black and Latinx and Asian-American and Native authors who write about prayer and marriage and science and literature, theology, psychology, parenting, politics, and art and who create novels and children’s books and poetry. Just saying.
Secondly, it should be admitted that not all people of color (again, this should be obvious but sometimes is not) have the same ideological, theological, or political convictions, not even about this topic of racism. There are black political conservatives, for instance, and there are legitimate conversations to be had about policy (and, more deeply, worldview) differences among us all. Just for instance, my friend Dr. Anthony Bradley has a different analysis of mass incarceration in his scholarly book Ending Overcriminalization and Mass Incarceration than does Michelle Alexander in her seminal The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness. Robert Chao Romero (author of Brown Church Five Centuries of Latina/o Social Justice, Theology, and Identity) has a different slant than does, say, Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. The gay Lutheran pastor and author Lenny Duncan, author of Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US has a different story to tell than does Thabitit Anyabwile, for instance, in his important The Decline of African American Theology: From Biblical Faith to Cultural Captivity or than the late Lakota/Sioux elder Richard Twiss in his One Church Many Tribes: Following Jesus the Way God Made You. Just as for white folk, no one author or public figure (not even Bey or Obama) gets to speak for all people of color.
Thirdly, while it is vital for people of all races and ethnicities (and genders and classes, while we’re at it) to read widely, to hear and learn from each other, it is also true that in this whole area of race, it is unfair to expect people of color to do all the heavy lifting in these conversations. Not all minorities feel comfortable or even want to talk much about this, even though they may be glad others are doing so. It is good that white people want to read books by people of color to get their unique experience, but it is also true that there are important books about this topic by white writers that everyone should read. I have mentioned them often at BookNotes.
Not all of us are gifted with the skills and capacities to analyze events, to explain ourselves well, to articulate things in the way that good writers can. We thank God for the artful gifts of writers who bring their abilities to the page, who have worked hard to tell us what they’ve experience, what they know, what they think and hope for. Yet, we all have stories to tell, don’t we? It is why we commend books like (just for instance) Your Story Matters: Finding, Writing, and Living the Truth of Your Life by Leslie Leyland Fields (NavPress; $16.99) and Raise Your Voice: Why We Stay Silent and How to Speak Up by Kathy Khang (IVP; $16.00.)
I put this list together hastily and is of course not comprehensive. These are books by people of color that we want to promote and minority voices we want to amplify. Most are by people of evangelical faith, but not all. We are glad that our customers are interested in these sorts of things and we appreciate your support for us as a family owned business that has long attempted to offer resources like these for living faithfully as Christians in the material world God so loves.
As always, please send an order our way by using the secure order form tab below, where it says “order here.” That will take you to our secure order form page where you can safely enter credit card info and tell us what you want to order. We don’t keep people’s credit card information on hand, unless you ask us to so unless you’ve authorized us to do that recently, it is best to enter that info again so we know just what you want us to do. If we are to bill you peronally, just tell us. If we are billing your church, just say that. Being as specific as possible about how we can help will be appreciated.
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SOME BOOKS TO READ ABOUT RACISM 2020 WRITTEN BY PEOPLE OF COLOR
Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church Soong-Chan Rah (Moody Press) $14.99. This isn’t exactly scholarly but it is a good study of the changing demographics in American, how former minorities are increasing in number and how mostly white churches, ministries, nonprofits and other organizations (not to mention all of us in our lives and neighborhoods) have to learn to navigate this newer diverse society. I’d read anything he does, including Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times, a remarkable study of the book of Lamentations, offered through the lens of protest and lament of contemporary racial injustices. This isn’t a passionate narrative about social reform or a poignant memoir, but solid, useful content we should all know.
Living in Color: Embracing God’s Passion for Ethnic Diversity Randy Woodley (IVP) $18.00 Randy is a Native American and brings a great Biblical perspective, with a hint of his own indigenous background. This is a great primer on this topic that I often encourage people to start with. Praise the Lord for this!
Beyond Colorblind: Redeeming Our Ethnic Journey Sarah Shin (IVP) $17.00. This makes a good, good case for not being “colorblind” and to see our ethnicity in light of God’s good creation and how it has been harmed/distorted by sin and the fallen world. So, yep, it’s really wise. She’s Asian American and a very, very solid and insightful Bible teacher. I highlight this most years at the big Jubilee conference in Pittsburgh, placing the goodness of God’s gift of race and color in the created order (not something that is primarily a result of the fall or sin.) We have to learn to steward the gift of race in a fallen world, and that is where this really gets interesting. Good stuff.
The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism Jemar Tisby (Zondervan) $19.99 Tisby is one of the bright young scholars of American history and this overview of the church’s complicity with racial terror is a must read. I’m grateful that this well-known evangelical publishing house did such a bold book. We carry the DVD curriculum on this, too, which is highly recommended. We were honored to be one of the first stores to really get behind this book, promoting it as we could. Lecrae wrote the foreword, which is cool. But more, it is important. We need to know this stuff and, some of us may think, adapt some of his radical calls to action near the end of the book. Let’s go!
Free at Last? The Gospel in the African American Experience Carl Ellis (foreword to the new edition by Sho Baraka) (IVP) $21.00 I think this is really, really important, a great black church history by an African American scholar and leader in the PCA denomination. This brand new edition was just released as a “classic” commemorative version, and we’re so glad. Very highly recommended.
Just to show I’m not alone in esteeming this amazing man of God and his important book, listen to these testimonials; do not take this lightly — when leaders say they read and re-read a book, you should take notice:
“Outside the Bible, Free at Last? has had the most influence upon my life, ministry, and identity. My twenty-five-year-old copy is wrinkled, tattered, and dog-eared on virtually every page. I reread it at least once a year and have counseled countless others to do the same. This book nourishes my soul and quickens me to action, which is why it has traveled with me to Uganda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana, and back to these shores we call home. In Free at Last? Carl Ellis invites us to believe that we too might be a jazz theologian—one who can see the way to the Promised Land.”
“Dr. Carl Ellis was and is ahead of his time. This book was first introduced in the early 1980s; however, the items Ellis deals with have been timeless issues to African Americans. I have read and reread this book and quoted from it more than I can say. In essence, this is a classic work. It has found new life, as the same question of black identity is rearing its head again. The gospel must be applied to our issues contextually without changing its content. The scope of the gospel must be engaged in the black experience. Dr. Ellis is a brilliant theologian and sage! I recommend Free at Last? as foundational cross-ethnic reading for thinking through and dealing with the issues of today. Kudos to IVP for rereleasing the seminal work. I’ll be continuing to refer to it in my ministry and recommend it to the lost and the found for shaping their journey.”
“I was a first-year seminary student in 2001 when I first heard the name Carl Ellis. My professor, John Frame, listed Free at Last? among the list of recommended books in his course syllabus. I was at a majority-white seminary in need of resources written by black authors. Little did I know the gift this book would be for my formation as a disciple of Jesus Christ and shepherd in his church. Everyone should read this book. Learn of the faithfulness of God to a particular people from this elder and sage. Thank you IVP for putting it in the hands of a new generation!”
Is Christianity White Man’s Religion? How the Bible is Good News for People of Color Atipas L. Harris (IVP) $22.00 This is new and in another pre-pandemic era – in a time when Beth and I weren’t working 15 hours a day to keep up with our work here – this would have been on my own “must read” list and I’d have written about it at BookNotes. Rev. Harris exemplifies, I think, what is not uncommon among rising African American scholars and pastors: he bridges theological divides. This brother has advanced degrees from Candler School of Theology (at Emory) and Yale Divinity School and he works for Bishop T.D. Jakes. He is a contemporary church musician that has a book about worship, another about the Holy Spirit in the work of social justice, and he has now founded the Urban Renewal Center in Norfolk, VA. As Nikki Toyama-Szeto (director of Evangelicals for Social Action) says, “This book is a gift for those seeking authentic spirituality, but feeling dissonance between their spiritual hunger and how Christianity is lived out.” As T.D. Jakes puts it, “Dr. Atipas Harris courageously confronts the spiritual ramifications of a debate that has existed in the black community and beyond for years!”
Rescuing the Gospel from the Cowboys: A Native American Expression of the Jesus Way Richard Twiss (IVP) $23.00 For a contextualized Native perspective that is specific about American injustice, see the important work by the late, great Richard Twiss.
Listen to Nijay Gupta, a brilliant, young, New Testament scholar:
This is a provocative, engaging book. It brought me to tears. It challenged many of my assumptions. I did not agree with every jot and tittle of Richard’s approach to contextualization, but this is a book every thoughtful Christian should read. Pastors, missionaries, and educators in particular need to chew on the issues Richard raises about contextualizing the gospel in light of the many cultures and peoples in the world, not least those who have been condemned and silenced and forced to ‘unbecome’ themselves, whether under the authority cowboys or others.
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness Austin Channing (Waterbrook Press) $25.00 This woman named Austin Channing Brown is an amazing writer, giftne and honest, just telling her story. It is powerful, important, one of our best sellers and nearly a must-read, we’d say. Don’t miss it! Exactly a year ago (the end of March 2019) I did a special BookNotes column about recent books on race and said there why we had named I’m Still Here one of the very best books of 2018 and still wanted to promote it. I noted that “…we highly recommend this moving memoir of a young Christian woman who has particularly been involved in white middle-class evangelicalism. She tells us what it has been like for her and I am sure many will enjoy, be moved by, be horrified by, and be changed by her brave telling of her own story.”
All the Colors We Will See: A Memoir Patrice Gopo (W Publishing Groups) $16.99 We wrote a bit about this memoir at our BookNotes when it first came out and then awarded it as one of the best books of last year. She is a black skinned woman whose parents are from Jamaica who was raised in Alaska and then moved to the deep South. It’s a story of her life, her experience of race, and of not exactly fitting into the conventional African American experience. Fascinating and poignant.
Mother to Son: Letters to a Black Boy on Identity and Hope Jasmine Holmes (IVP) $20.00 I hope BookNotes readers recall my comments about this a few months ago when it was brand new. These are wonderfully written, poignant, tender, and honest letters by a Godly, evangelical black woman to her son, raising all kinds of concern about all sorts of things (as a mother would.) She writes about Christian identity, discipleship, sexuality, and, of course, being a black boy on the way to become a black man in racist America. This is a great gift to us all and a helpful window into the lives of black Christian families.
Parable of the Brown Girl: The Sacred Lives of Girls of Color Khristi Lauren Adams (Fortress) $18.99 Khristi Adams is a speaker, chaplain, and ordained Baptist minister, philosophy teacher and the founder of The Becoming Conference (which was designed to empower and inspire teenage girls.) This brand new book offers stories to celebrate the voices and experiences of black girls. I’ve only dipped in a bit but it looks like a stimulating and provocative collection of stories, some about resilience, some not, many related, then to Biblical and religious formation for us all.
A Sojourner’s Truth: Choosing Freedom and Courage in a Divided World Natasha Robinson Sistruck (IVP) $16.00 This is one of those books that was a great read, well written and moving, interesting and captivating, and that teaches much without being overly didactic. It is essentially a memoir, a good narration of her life from the rural South to the US Naval Academy, but also offering a sense of how to discern one’s own calling, finding purpose and direction. She does some good Bible study along the way (drawing on Moses, especially) inspiring us all to find ways to navigate fidelity in the midst of division, racism, poverty, and other obstacles that divide us. This is a great book, what one reviewed called “a bridge over troubled water” and what another said was “hard-won truth” spoken honestly.
Called to Forgive: The Charleston Church Shooting, A Victim’s Husband, and the Path to Healing and Peace Anthony B. Thompson (Bethany House) $17.99 In BookNotes a while ago I exclaimed how much I was moved by reading this gripping report from the husband of Myra Thompson, who was gunned down by Dylann Roof during a prayer meeting in the infamous shooting at Emmanuel AME Church. How could Thompson (himself a clergy-person in the Reformed Episcopal denomination) follow his conscience and his Lord’s teaching and forgive Roof? How would others respond if he went public with a statement of that sort? How might he minister to Roof during the ugly trial and publicity about how was he influenced by the teachings of white supremacy those on the alt-right? This is one account of that horrible episode and its aftermath.
Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism Drew G.I. Hart (Herald Press) $16.99 We recommend this book often in part because Drew is an old friend and has a background in doing campus ministry in central Pennsylvania – he mentions living in Harrisburg in this narrative – but also because it is a great read, deftly telling his own story as a black young adult in a mostly white denomination (the Brethren in Christ) with Biblical, theological, and social analysis. This is a thoughtful primer on race, a great tool to learn more about Christian discipleship and wholistic theology, and a lively testimonial about his own experiences. Dr. Hart earned his PhD from the Lutheran seminary in Philadelphia and now teaches at Messiah College. You can PRE-ORDER from us his eagerly anticipated next book that comes out this September that will be called Who Will Be a Witness: Igniting Activism for God’s Justice, Love, and Deliverance (Herald Press; $18.99.) It’s going to be very useful, I’m sure.
Dream with Me: Race, Love, and the Struggle We Must Win John Perkins (Baker Books) $15.99 No list of contemporary writers about race and social justice from a Christian perspective would be complete without several books by this elder statesman and remarkable leader, the great John Perkins. Read any of his many books; this one I mention here is recent… His first is still a classic, Let Justice Roll Down (Baker Publishing; $17.00) and his newest is He Calls Me Friend: The Healing Power of Friendship in a Lonely World (Moody Press; $14.99.) By the way, we were given the permission to transcribe a commencement speech he gave a few years ago for my book for college grads, Serious Dreams: Bold Ideas for the Rest of Your Life. I thought if I were compiling great graduation speeches into a little anthology, I wouldn’t want to go to press without a chapter from John. We are honored and grateful. You should know his work.
Aliens in the Promised Land: Why Minority Leadership Is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions edited by Anthony B. Bradley (P&R) $15.99. I mentioned Dr. Bradley in my prelude — he is a theologically conservative Reformed scholar and yet serious as a black Christian about attending to the ways institutional racism (and, yes, individual prejudice) offends God’s holiness and hurts God’s people. Here he compiled a series of top notch essays offering wise insight, protest and lament, and calls for reformation and change within mostly white mostly evangelical church and para-church organizations. Whether you are evangelical or not, engaged in leadership of ministries or not, these fairly scholarly essays by leading writers of various ethnic backgrounds are very much worth reading. I am glad for the brilliant Reformed theologian John Frame’s comment when he says says “this is a terrific book, a game changer. If you are tired of the usual arguments about race, as I am, this book will wake you up with some new ideas.”
Insider Outsider: My Journey as a Stranger in White Evangelicalism and My Hope for Us All Bryan Loritts (Zondervan) $17.99. I have read several of Loritts’s good books and he is known in evangelical circles, a respected pastor, thought leader, author. He loves the Lord, he loves the church, and serves largely within the context of the mostly white evangelical sub-culture. (This is not to be confused with the far right fundamentalism culture, by the way.) Still, even in the broader, more socially relevant world of the moderate evangelicals, he has experienced racism, a sense of his own outsider status, this journey of being in the middle. He says it is “tiring to always play the part of a stranger. We long for home.” This is a very good read, a helpful expose of how the white evangelicals world creates contexts where folks like Bryan feel like they are not really at home. The poignant, freighted title of this really says it all — “insider outsider.” Very good.
Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America Michael Eric Dyson (St. Martin’s Press) $24.99 Dyson is a scholar, professor, pastor, writer, radio host and pop culture icon who is very well respected in some circles. From Philly, he now teaches sociology at Georgetown. We should know his fierce work. This is honest, hard, real.
The Cross and the Lynching Tree James Cones (Orbis Books) $27.00 This is one of the most important books in recent years, a major contribution from the grandfather of radical, black theology. I have written more about this important author before. His final book was a reluctantly-written memoir, published before his death in 2018, Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody: The Making of a Black Theologian (Orbis; $26.00.)
Race Matters Cornel West (Beacon) $15.00 You know know this scholar, university professor, philosopher, pop culture guru and street activist, one of the most lively public intellectuals working today. He is deeply and very intentionally rooted in the grand American tradition of revolutionary thinking, he is a serious theologian (his first book published by Westminster/John Knox Press) and clearly in the line of Dr. Martin Luther King, committed to faith-based, nonviolent social change. West is a great writer, a serious moral thinker and public philosopher and whether one agrees with his verbose and colorful public style or not, he is one to be read. This is the place to start, I think.
(By the way, God bless The Trinity Forum for hosting a wonderfully robust civil discussion between West and his dear friend, the conservative white Princeton scholar Robert George. They did their lively debate amidst accolades for each others integrity and their genuine friendship shined through. Check that out here if you’d like and you’ll be edified and entertained, learning much and seeing how to disagree and yet be friends.)
Healing Racial Trauma: The Road to Resilience Sheila Wise Rowe (IVP) $17.00 When I reviewed this at our BookNotes newsletter (which, as I’ve said, has been on sad hiatus in recent weeks due to the stress of quarantining, etc.) I observed that it has two audiences: firstly, for people of color who need to find healing from the stress and trauma of all they face, but also, I think, also, for white brothers and sisters to learn what our friends might be going through. One can’t be an ally in solidarity without understanding how it is for others and what sorts of deep healing they may need. It is really important. Foreword by Soong-Chan Rah.
Woke Church: An Urgent Call for Christians in America to Confront Racism and Injustice Eric Mason (Moody Press) $14.99 Mason is a powerful, feisty, strong black pastor in urban Philly. He’s a lively character and fun speaker and serious Bible teacher. This is hard hitting while still being utterly gospel centered. Wow.
Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God Kelly Brown Douglas (Orbis Press) $24.00 Written in the agonizing days after Trevon Martin’s death and the discussion of “stand your ground” laws, this former Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary, a black priest and professor and street activist and black mother, writes profoundly about the historical, cultural, even philosophical forces that have shaped our current individualism and idolatrous views of property and our twisted views of racial differences. Womanist theologian Katie Cannon says it is a “theological touchstone…an incredibly important and timely examination…” We must insist, as Jim Wallis writes on the back, endorsing this serious text, “that violent enforcement of white supremacy is no longer acceptable.”
Roadmap to Reconciliation 2.0: Moving Communities Into Unity, Wholeness and Justice Brenda Salter McNeil (IVP) $20.00 This is a brand new expanded and updated edition of an evangelical classic by a lively evangelist for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. This book is really excellent and there is a discussion guide, too, for congregations wanting to work through some of this.
Listen to the great Curtis Paul DeYoung, who writes:
Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil is one of the most admired and powerful witnesses to the ministry of reconciliation in the United States. Roadmap to Reconciliation is Brenda Salter McNeil’s magnum opus! Here she distills for us the wisdom of a life’s work of significant reconciliation engagement with congregations, universities, denominations and communities. Salter McNeil calls us to embrace transformed worldviews and practical action. Pastors, seminarians, lay leaders, university students, activists and anyone hoping for a more reconciled world should read this book!”
Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation Latasha Morrison (Waterbrook Press) $17.99 She has a ministry of starting these multi-racial conversation groups, and this page-turner of a book is honest, raw, Godly, good. It’s an amazing, hard ministry, but really good stuff. Keep an eye on this woman, she is a rising star. Beautiful.
Here is what her publisher info says about her: Ebony magazine recognized her as one of their 2017 Power 100 for her work as a community crusader. Tasha has spoken across the country at events that include: IF: Gathering, Justice Conference, Youth Specialties, Catalyst, Orange Conference, MOPS International and many others. A native of North Carolina, Tasha earned degrees in human development and business leadership. In 2016 she founded Be the Bridge to inspire and equip ambassadors of racial reconciliation. In addition to equipping more than 1,000 sub-groups across five countries, Be the Bridge hosts a closed, moderated online community of bridge-builders on Facebook with more than 20,000 members.
Here is what Lisa Sharon Harper, founder of Freedom Road and author of the above mentioned Very Good Gospel says:
“Through Be the Bridge Latasha Morrison offers a feast to the body of Christ. Vivid storytelling combines with sharp exegesis to draw readers onto the bridge of racial healing and justice. There, Morrison calls the body to face the truth–the whole truth and nothing but the truth. She does not pull punches. She does not make it pretty. Yet, this consummate bridge-builder lays foundations that hold the tension–and hold us together on the journey toward God’s kind of love.” –Lisa Sharon Harper
A FEW KEY BOOKS BY AUTHORS OF COLOR THAT ARE NOT EXCLUSIVELY ABOUT RACISM, BUT ARE VERY HELPFUL IN THIS CONVERSATION
The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right Lisa Sharon Harper (Waterbrook) Press $17.00 Lisa is a friend and one of the most important public voices in the faith communities these days; you should follow her on social media. She runs Freedom Road and has written or co-written several books about Biblical social ethics and just policy perspectives. This is her best-known book and the first half is about how reconciliation is a theme of the Bible — the world was made in shalom, sin caused alienation, and God promises reconciliation, which is accomplished in Christ. She is trying to formulate a way to tell the gospel story in a manner that would be perceived as truly good news to her enslaved forebears. (Her genealogy also includes Cherokee ancestors and she tells in the beginning about going on a commemorative, historical tour learning about the Trail of Tears. Whew.) The second half, after this “very good news” of real restoration and hope through the Christ-centered Kingdom of reconciliation, she explores what reconciliation might look like. There are chapters about race, but also about gender, the earth, immigration, our own bodies, even between nations. This is excellent, Biblical, theology made practical for all of us. Highly recommended.
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption Bryan Stevenson (OneWorld Publishing) $17.00 Simply one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read (have you seen the movie?) Bryan Stevenson is an amazing person and we have long been evangelists for this book. It’s about his work with those imprisoned unfairly, attempting to get them a fair trial and true justice, so it is mostly about the courts and prison and institutional racism. What a great writer and justice champion. He went to Eastern University before graduating from Harvard Law School and now directs the Equal Justice Initiative. Fans of his should know he is one of four conversation partners in a small book edited by central Pennsylvania Sherrilyn Ifill, called A Perilous Path: Talking Race, Inequality, and the Law (New Press; $15.99.)
Rethinking Incarceration: Advocating for Justice That Restores Dominique DuBois Gilliard (IVP) $18.00 There is so much we could suggest about this whole area of studying mass incarceration — the phrase made famous by Michelle Alexander and her serious The New Jim Crow — but this is one by a vibrant, young African American leader that offers Christian insights about reforming the criminal justice system. Very impressive for those in this particular struggle.
Race and Place: How Urban Geography Shapes the Journey to Reconciliation David Leong (IVP) $20.00 Yes, this is about racism, but it is also about urban planning, city life, geography, place, and how all of that material built environment influences cultural divides that are both caused by racism and continue to reinforce it. An amazing, informative read.
The Soul of Hip Hop: Rims, Timbs and a Cultural Theology Daniel White Hodge (IVP) $22.00 There are a lot of books reflecting on the interface of black culture, hip hop, rap, and God’s mission of justice. Hodge is a name we should know; he has some scholarly work on this topic as well. This is an eye-opening and (if you’re into pop culture) fun. In BookNotes a year or so ago I raved about the more academic and hard-hitting Homeland Insecurity: A Hip Hop Missiology for the Post-Civil Rights Context (IVP Academic; $27.00.)
Healing Our Broken Humanity: Practices for Revitalizing the Church and Renewing the World Grace Ji-Sun Kim and Graham Hill (with a foreword by Willie James Jennings) (IVP) $17.00 Wow, what a scholar and leader Dr. Kim is – she has done academic works, popular magazine writing, activism, missional conferencing, and here brings it all together on how congregations can be renewed in ways that lead to awareness about racial injustice and forming communities that foster action for healing the world. This is less directly about racism, as such, and more a feisty guide to activating the missional church to be a new humanity in Christ and all that that may mean. Her early chapter on renewing the practice of lament is worth the price of the book. Her chapter on reinforcing agency is potent. There are useful appendices for leading conversations and even an “accountability form” for the nine transforming practices.
Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God Kaitlin Curtice (Brazos Press) $17.99. This new book is getting a lot of press right now and she is a really great writer. (We loved her book about the spirituality of the ordinary Glory Happens.) This really is a blending of her deepening Native experience and her Christianity. Not exactly or only on racism, but it’s a powerful voice and a major new author. Highly recommended by folks as diverse as Nick Estes (founder of The Red Nation) and Barbara Brown Taylor and Sarah Bessey.
Being Latino in Christ: Finding Wholeness in Your Ethnic Identity Orlando Crespo (VIP) $16.00. Not just on racism, but on the experience of evangelical Christ followers who are Latinx, especially those that are second generation Latino. It’s for those who are Latino/a but it’s a great read for anyone wanting a window into that experience. Very nicely done.
Hermanas: Deepening Our Identity and Growing Our Influence Natalia Kohn Rivera, Noemi Vega Quiñones, Kristy Garza Robinson (IVP) $16.00 Not on racism directly, but this is a great Bible study, or set of Biblical reflections, by Latina women. What a great book to see how the lived experience of these minority sisters informs how they see the Scriptures. Really, really good stuff, for men or women.
His Testimonies, My Heritage: Women of Color on the Word of God edited by Kristie Anyabwile (Good Book Co.) $16.99 Again, not on racism as such but it is great to hear the Biblical insight and testimony of women of color. We loved writing about this at our BookNotes newsletter and wish more people would consider it. This is a great, inspiring read, helpful insight into Psalm 119 by solid Christian leaders.
Voices Rising: Women of Color Finding and Restoring Hope in the City edited by Shabrae Jackson Krieg, Janet Balasiri Singleterry (Servant Partners Press) $15.99 We celebrated this rare one at BookNotes when one of our customers alerted us to it. This offers the voices of women of color doing urban ministry from all over the world, actually. This is a vital, remarkable work.
Honoring the Generations: Learning with Asian North American Congregations edited by M. Sydney Park, Soong-Chan Rah, and Al Tizon (Judson Press) $19.99 There are many kinds of Asian American churches and many struggle – as do many others – with being cross-cultural and cross generational. This is a richly theological volume but aimed at those working in (or wanting to understand) the dynamics of many Asian congregations in North America. It is not mostly about racism, but wanted to include it as a few chapters about church life within marginalized communities are very good. Dr. Park is a leading Korean-American scholar (she co-wrote The Post Racial Church years in 2011.) Dr. Rah is an urban ministry scholar who teaches at North Park; before that he founded Boston’s multiethnic Cambridge Community Fellowship and is a leading voice for racial justice. Dr. Tizon is Filipino; he got his PhD from the Graduate Union and long been a good friend of Hearts & Minds. Al was formerly on staff at Palmer Theological Seminary and worked for Evangelicals for Social Action. Now at North Park Seminary, he serves as executive minister of Serve Globally, the international ministries arm of the Evangelical Covenant Church. Tizon’s latest book is Whole and Reconciled: Gospel, Church, and Mission in a Fractured World.
Well, I haven’t even mentioned any of the mainstream best sellers, notable and important works such as Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates to the jarring memoir Heavy by Kiese Laymon to the beautifully written essays Black Is the Body: Stories from My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, and Mine by Emily Bernard or the delightful “part memoir, part manifesto” Not Quite Not White: Losing and Finding Race in America by the South Asian American Sharmila Sen.
And you must know the passionate, award winning work of Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning and his recent Becoming an Antiracist. We have the new “remixed” version for younger readers that abridges and edits these two into one called Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-Winning Stamped from the Beginning.
I am glad that The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race edited by Jesmyn Ward, is now in paperback. I should list White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Racial Divide by Chandler’s Carol Anderson. And, of course, there are the classics, from Dr. King, of course, as well as Ida B. Wells, Howard Thurman, Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks, Vincent Harding, Malcom X, the works of James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, bell hooks, and more.
We are grateful for folks to support these sorts of books by these splendid authors. We are a bit backlogged due to the pandemic, but we would still be very glad to get to send some of these out.
As always, please place an order using our secure order form page. Just click on the order tab below and fill out the necessary info. If we don’t get back to you with 24 hours, that means something went haywire, so do call us as soon as we are able. We look forward to confirming your order and send out these good books. Despite all, read on!
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