EPISCOPAL CHURCH RESOURCES
The Becoming Beloved Community initiative of The Episcopal Church is the racial reconciliation movement that fosters efforts for all people to experience dignity and abundant life and see themselves and others as beloved children of God.
Additional resources in the form of books, articles, films, etc.:
Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing:
The Equal Justice Initiative:
The Winter Institute:
Facing History and Ourselves:
From the website: “We help students learn about hatred and bigotry so they can stop them from happening in the future.” Focusing on major historical challenges such as Civil Rights, the Holocaust, Immigration and Bullying, this website provides resources and guidance to educators and students for confronting issues and helping to effect change for the future.
RACIAL EQUITY GLOSSARY
BOOKS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR STUDY GROUPS
"The Cross and the Lynching Tree" (2011). By James H. Cone
Theologian James Cone explores the two most emotionally charged symbols in the history of the African American Community and their interconnection in the
souls of black folk. (Amazon)
"Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis" (2016). By J. D. Vance
Vance explores the Appalachian values of his Kentucky family and their relation to the social problems of his hometown of Middletown, Ohio, where his mother's parents moved when they were young.
Link to study guide:
"Just Mercy, A Story of Justice and Redemption" (2015). By Bryan Stevenson
Bryan Stevenson is the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, AL, and the developer of the newly opened Legacy Museum and the National Memorial to Peace and Justice.
"Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice" (Adapted for Young Adults) (2018). By Bryan Stevenson.
The book is “an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.” (Amazon)
“Every bit as moving as 'To Kill a Mockingbird.'” —New York Review of Books
Links to Study Guides:
"Lifting the White Veil" (2002). By Jeff Hitchcock
What does it mean to be white in America, and why is it important to know? Drawing on both scholarly and personal sources, the author discusses the history, characteristics, and psychology of white American culture. (Google Books)
"Living into God’s Dream, Dismantling Racism in America" (2016). Edited by Catherine Meeks
Dr. Meeks is the Executive Director of the Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing in Atlanta, GA.
"'Living into God’s Dream' is a wonderful resource for Christian Communities seeking to deepen their engagement with racial reconciliation."—Heidi J. KIm, missioner for Racial Reconciliation, The Episcopal Church
"The New Jim Crow, Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" (2010). By Michelle Alexander
This book has been described by reviewers as “stunning,” “invaluable,” and “profoundly necessary”; a “must-read for all people of conscience.” The author outlines how the justice system, through mass incarceration, has targeted black men, not ending the racial caste system, but redesigning it. (Amazon)
Links to Study Guides:
"Outside Agitator: Jon Daniels and the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama" (2000). By Charles W. Eagles
The story of the young civil rights worker and Episcopal seminarian, Jonathan Myrick Daniels, who was killed in 1965 in Hayneville, Lowndes County, AL. An annual Pilgrimage to Hayneville every August to commemorate him and others who lost their lives for the sake of justice.
Link to Study Guide:
"Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America" (2016). By Ibram X. Kendi
Non-fiction book about race in the United States that won the National Book Award for Nonfiction (Wikipedia)
"The Sun Does Shine" (2018). By Anthony Ray Hinton
Written by one of the innocent men Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy) helped get off death row.
"Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America" (2017). By Michael Eric Dyson
Author Michael Eric Dyson is an ordained minister for 35 years, a professor of Sociology at Georgetown University, and a writer for several prestigious magazines including The New York Times. This is a book every white Christian should read especially now in light of the events in Charlottesville and the ongoing racial tensions in our America. The first step towards being a redemptive presence in our communities is to truly enter into the lived experience and the actual perspective of our African American brothers and sisters. (Mary Kate Morse, Missio Alliance)
"Under Our Skin: Getting Real About Race/Getting Free from the Fears and Frustrations that Divide Us" (2015). By Benjamin Watson
The author, a 14-year NFL veteran with the Baltimore Ravens wrote the book in the aftermath of the Ferguson, Missouri riots in 2014. He says the answer to racial discrimination – which he describes as a sin among both blacks and whites – can be found in the Bible and through prayer. U.S. District Court judge in Alabama, Madeline Haikala, took the unusual step of ordering everyone in a recent Gardendale, AL school desegregation case to read the book. (Al.com)
"The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration" (2010). By Isabel Wilkerson
A historical study of the Great Migration that received the National Book Critics Circle Award among other accolades. This work tells the story of the Great Migration and the Second Great Migration, the movement of African Americans out of the Southern United States to the Midwest, Northeast and West from approximately 1915 to 1970. (Wikipedia)
"White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide" (2016). By Carol Anderson, Ph.D
This exploration of race is a National Book Critics Circle Award Winner,
New York Times Bestseller, A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, A Washington, Post Notable Nonfiction Book of the Year, and A Boston Globe Best Book of 2016 (Amazon)
"America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America" (2017). By Jim Wallis, with a foreword by Bryan Stevenson.
From Amazon: “In America's Original Sin, Wallis offers a prophetic and deeply personal call to action in overcoming the racism so ingrained in American society. He speaks candidly to Christians--particularly white Christians--urging them to cross a new bridge toward racial justice and healing.”
Link to study guide for America’s Original Sin:
"Dying of Whiteness" (2019). By Jonathan Metz.
Physician Jonathan Metzl reveals how right-wing backlash policies have mortal consequences–even for the white populations they promise to help. Named one of 2019’s Most anticipated books by Esquire, The Boston Glibe and Publisher’s Weekly.
"Beloved" (1987). By Toni Morrison
Set after the American Civil War, the novel is inspired by the story of an African-American slave, Margaret Garner, who escaped slavery in Kentucky late January 1856 by fleeing to Ohio, a free state. Morrison had come across the story "A Visit to the Slave Mother who Killed Her Child" in an 1856 newspaper article published in the American Baptist and reproduced in The Black Book, a miscellaneous compilation of black history and culture that Morrison edited in 1974. (Wikipedia)
"The Color Purple" (1982). By Alice Walker
A feminist novel about an abused and uneducated black woman’s struggle for empowerment, the novel was praised for the depth of its female characters and for its eloquent use of black English vernacular. Celie narrates her life through letters to God. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1983. (Britannica.com)
"Their Eyes Were Watching God" (1937). By Zora Neale Hurston
Set in central and southern Florida in the early 20th century, the novel was initially poorly received, but today, it has come to be regarded as a seminal work in both African-American literature and women's literature. TIME included the novel in its 2005 list of the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923. The novel narrates main character Janie Crawford's "ripening from a vibrant, but voiceless, teenage girl into a woman with her finger on the trigger of her own destiny.” As a young woman, who is fair-skinned with long hair, she expects more out of life, but comes to realize that people must learn about life for themselves, just as people can only go to God for themselves. (Wikipedia)
"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" (1969). By Maya Angelou
This critically acclaimed autobiography describes the early years of American writer and poet Maya Angelou. The first in a seven-volume series, it is a coming-of-age story that illustrates how strength of character and a love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma. (Wikipedia)
"The Fire Next Time" (1963). By James Baldwin
A national bestseller when it first appeared, the book galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. (Amazon)
"Go Tell it on the Mountain" (1953). By James Baldwin
A semi-autobiographical novel by James Baldwin. It tells the story of John Grimes, an intelligent teenager in 1930s Harlem, and his relationship to his family and his church. The novel also reveals the back stories of John's mother, his biological father, and his violent, religious fanatic step-father, Gabriel Grimes. The novel focuses on the role of the Pentecostal Church in the lives of African-Americans, as a negative source of repression and moral hypocrisy and also as a positive source of inspiration and community. (Wikipedia)
"The Dream of God, A Call to Return" (1991). By Verna Dozier
The Dream of God is a classic rediscovery of discipleship. The church, as an institution, has fallen away from the dream that God has for us -- to follow Jesus and not merely worship him. (Google Books)
BOOK CLUB READS (Selections from popular fiction that address racism and reconciliation)
"Driving Miss Daisy" (1988). Play and movie by Alfred Uhry.
Winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize. An elderly Jewish woman in Atlanta, who can no longer drive, and her African American chauffeur develop a close relationship over the years that transcends racial prejudice and social norms. Appropriate for both adults and youth. Now a classic.
"The Hate U Give" (2017). By Angie Thomas.
Young Adult fiction but also of interest to adults seeking to understand the reality of teens today. Now also a movie. New York Times best seller. Multiple reviews rate it as one of the Best Books of 2017. From the back cover: “SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD STARR CARTER moves between two worlds: the poor black neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Angie Thomas’s searing debut about an ordinary girl in extraordinary circum-stances addresses issues of racism and police violence with intelligence, heart, and un-flinching honesty.”
"The Help" (2011). By Kathryn Stockett
“Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who’s always taken orders quietly, but lately she’s unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She’s full of ambition, but without a husband, she’s considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town…”
“This could be one of the most important pieces of fiction since To Kill a Mockingbird…If you read only one book...let this be it.”—NPR.org
"The Secret Life of Bees" (2003). By Sue Monk Kidd. Best selling book and an award winning movie.
“Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sister, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.”
"The tale of one motherless daughter's discovery of what family really means—and of the strange and wondrous places we love." —The Washington Post
"Small, Great Things" (2018). By Jodi Picoult.
Ruth Jefferson, a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience, begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The subsequent events make this an impossible book to put down and offer much to discuss regarding racism in America today.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • With richly layered characters and a gripping moral dilemma that will lead readers to question everything they know about privilege, power, and race.
“[Picoult] offers a thought-provoking examination of racism in America today, both overt and subtle. Her many readers will find much to discuss in the pages of this topical, moving book.” —Booklist (starred review)
CHILDREN & YOUTH
VIDEOS AND FILMS
"13th" (2016). Director: Ava DuVernay
In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom.
Link to study guide:
Bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church Michael Curry’s sermon at the Jonathan Myrick Daniel’s Pilgrimage (2015):
"Mobile in Black and White" (2014). A Film by Robert Gray
https://vimeo.com/37713642 Segment 1: “Why we still need to talk about race”
https://vimeo.com/52683548 Segment 2: “Race in the 21st Century”
https://vimeo.com/59608700 Segment 3: “Racialized Structures”
“Mobile in Black and White takes a hard look at the ways racism continues to pervade the structures and institutions of a supposedly post-racial world. Expertly blending the insights and experiences of local residences and leading experts, such as Peggy McIntosh, John Powell, Tim Wise, and Bryan Stevenson, as well as the poetry of Natasha Trethewey, Sonia Sanchez, and others, this documentary is a powerful, thought-provoking catalyst for constructive community conversations on race.” (anonymous, from the IMDb website)
[NOTE: Commission on Racial Justice and Reconciliation Member Rev. Jim Flowers is interviewed in this film.]
Tim Wise: "On White Privilege"
Tim Wise: "White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son"
"Traces of the Trade" (2008). A Film by Katrina Browne
A film on the slave trade created by first-time filmmaker Katrina Browne, who discovered her ancestors had engaged in the trade. It aired on PBS and was an official selection of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
"White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack." By Peggy McIntosh (See also tools list below under Articles)
An introduction to understanding white privilege, Ms McIntosh gently shares how she became aware of her privilege and offers a series of questions to help other whites understand theirs.
ARTICLES AND QUESTIONNAIRES
“11 Ways White America Avoids Taking Responsibility for its Racism” (2015). By Dr. Robin Diangelo
Outlines concepts that Dr. Diangelo includes in her book, White Fragility.
“Christian Churches Still Struggle with Race, How to Discuss it, What to Do” (2018). By Mark Curnutte.
“White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” By Peggy McIntosh (see also video above)
Becoming Beloved Community
From the Center for Action and Contemplation: Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation for July 21, 2018 entitled “Summary: Week Twenty-nine, Politics”.
Of particular note in this meditation is the section on “Practice: Breaking Bread”.