Racism in America is a tragic reality. It is part of our history and tragically it is still evident in today’s world. As faithful Christians, we are called to fight institutionalized racism. One way to do this is to grow in our own knowledge and understanding of those with different experiences than our own. We each bring our own gifts and voices, but we are stronger together when we support and live into the body of Christ. We invite you to listen to a new voice on a podcast, read a book written by someone of a different race, and watch a movie telling the story of a person on the margins. Invite someone else to listen, read, or watch the same thing and discuss it together. To help get you started, check out these resources:
Our friends at the Center for Student Missions have compiled a robust list of Books, Documentaries + Movies, Podcasts, Ted Talks, and Articles on racism and justice.
For a list of movies and documentaries that explore systemic racism specifically, check out this list from Elite Daily.
From Springtime Research Institute, headquartered in a suburb just outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, here’s a list of books and other resources responding to racism from their Research Advisory Board.
A couple of specific books we’d like to recommend are:
- Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at Candler School of Theology, Rev. Dr. Gregory Ellison II’s book, Fear+Less Dialogues: A New Movement for Justice, details the principles and procedures he uses for engaging diverse people in difficult community dialogues in which they are enabled to authentically see and hear others. The book is a companion to Ellison’s larger movement and nonprofit of the same name: Fearless Dialogues.
- #1 New York Times Bestseller, How to be an Antiracist, a memoir by Ibram X. Kendi. Kendi provides historical context to racism and pushes the readers to a more hopeful and liberating future filled with activism and antiracism. This site also contains a book discussion guide you could use as you read this book with others.
We also want to highlight a children’s book that one of our CYMT alumni, Dwight Johnson (Youth Director at Preston Taylor Ministries in Nashville), wrote called Black Boy Soar. This book highlights and celebrates the amazing things in which young black boys are capable. The book highlights the importance of dreaming and while realizing the difficulty we sometimes face in dreaming, God has an amazing plan!
**If you plan to use any of these resources with a younger audience, please do due diligence in researching appropriateness, e.g., some contain graphic images and adult language.