FOR FURTHER STUDY: RACE AND THE GOSPEL

The Village joins with other Christians across the globe in saying that we condemn racism in all of its forms. Racism directly opposes the teachings of Jesus, the character of God, and the mission of our church. As followers of Jesus we have made a vow to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever ways they present themselves. Therefore, followers of Jesus are called to stand in the gap, to be the presence of peace, to shine light in dark places, to bring healing to people who are hurting, and to be actively anti-racist, serving as advocates for racial justice and equity. 

Below you will find resources to help you learn more. We encourage you to lean in with a spirit of humility and a willingness to listen to perspectives that might be different from your own. If you feel uncomfortable, view that as an opportunity to lean in and listen, not a chance to lean back and tune out. 

First you will find a link to an important first step video: A Conversation on Race and the Gospel. You will also find links to other notable books and resources for both adults and children. 

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Recommended Readings

Here are some suggested readings on racial justice divided by intended audience and type of publication to help you begin to listen and learn:

First Steps

Check out these quick reads to get you started:

  1. 16 Bridge-Building Tips for White People
  2. Letter From Birmingham Jail – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Adult Books

How to Be an Antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi

In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Get it on Amazon

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism – Robin DiAngelo

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’.

Get it on Amazon

Why We Can’t Wait – Martin Luther King Jr.

In this remarkable book—winner of the Nobel Peace Prize—Dr. King recounts the story of Birmingham in vivid detail, tracing the history of the struggle for civil rights back to its beginnings three centuries ago and looking to the future, assessing the work to be done beyond Birmingham to bring about full equality for African Americans.

Get it on Amazon

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria – Beverly Daniel Tatum

Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides.

Get it on Amazon

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Parenting Books

Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America – Jennifer Harvey

Raising White Kids is for families, churches, educators, and communities who want to equip their children to be active and able participants in a society that is becoming one of the most racially diverse in the world while remaining full of racial tensions. For white people who are committed to equity and justice, living in a nation that remains racially unjust and deeply segregated creates unique challenges.

Get it on Amazon

God’s Big Table: Nurturing Children in a Diverse World – Elizabeth Caldwell

God’s Big Table uses the imagery of the communion table as a metaphor for the ways our churches engage with differences and diversity through a biblical background of welcoming all God’s children. In the 21st century, faithful Christians are being challenged with the topic of why living with diversity of faith and culture is important, the ways that it is impacting church communities, and why education is essential. God’s Big Table is an encouraging guide for church communities.

Get it on Amazon

Children’s Books

ColorFull: Celebrating the Colors God Gave Us – Dorena Williamson

Imani and Kayla are the best of friends who are learning to celebrate their different skin colors. As they look around them at the amazing colors in nature, they can see that their skin is another example of God’s creativity! This joyful story takes a new approach to discussing race: instead of being colorblind, we can choose to celebrate each color God gave us and be colorFULL instead.

Get it on Amazon

 Kid’s Book About Racism – Jelani Memory

Yes, this really is a kids book about racism. Inside, you’ll find a clear description of what racism is, how it makes people feel when they experience it, and how to spot it when it happens. This is one conversation that’s never too early to start, and this book was written to be an introduction for kids on the topic.

Get it on Amazon

Whoever You Are – Mem Fox

Every day all over the world, children are laughing and crying, playing and learning, eating and sleeping. They may not look the same. They may not speak the same language. Their lives may be quite different. But inside, they are all alike. Stirring words and bold paintings weave their way around our earth, across cultures and generations. At a time when, unfortunately, the lessons of tolerance still need to be learned, Whoever You Are urges us to accept our differences, to recognize our similarities, and-most importantly-to rejoice in both.

Get it on Amazon

God’s Dream – Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has a vision of God’s dream, which he shares here with the youngest of listeners. It involves people who reach out and hold each other’s hands, but sometimes get angry and hurt each other — and say they’re sorry and forgive. It’s a wish that everyone will see they are brothers and sisters, no matter their way of speaking to God, no matter the size of their nose or the shade of their skin.

Get it on Amazon

Watch & Listen

Watch Our Conversation on Race & The Gospel

Continuing Education

Check out these organizations and courses to continue your education on racial justice.

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