WEEK 2 (Sat. July 11): Examining Racism in the American Church
Moderator: Shancia Jarrett
This week, we will look at two sources: White Savior: Racism in the American Church (Amazon Prime; see preview) and an episode of the Color of Compromise (Amazon Prime and Hoopla Streaming; extended preview of the series here).
—-White Savior explores the ways in which racism and White supremacy have informed American government, religion, and culture since the founding of the nation. It also investigates the historical influences of racism in the American church and the challenges of racial reconciliation. We will look at six of the seven thematic sections: (1) What is Race?; (2) The Bible and Race; (3) Anti-Blackness in the United States; (4) Erasing Native Voices; (6) Christianity in Black and White; (7) The Problem of Reconciliation.
—-The TV docuseries The Color of Compromise is based on the book by the same name by Jemar Tisby who also narrates the TV show. In episode 10, Tisby discusses contrasting definitions of racism between African Americans and white evangelicals. He also discusses how Christians can understand Black Lives Matter as a movement in which they can participate by embracing the principle they represent while not necessarily agreeing with every aspect of the organization.
Reading and viewing that you can do ahead of time:
WEEK 1 (6/27, 6:30 pm): Systemic Racism in the US: Historic Roots and Generational Trauma
Moderator: Jennifer Brown
This week we will view excerpts from 13th and Unchained. The documentary 13th (free viewing here on Youtube) is an exploration of the historic, racist roots of mass incarceration in the United States. Director Ava Duvernay argues that racism has always been a pervasive reality in the United States that has simply taken on different expressions over time. She contends that the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude except as punishment for a crime, has been used as a legal loophole to continually exploit and suppress African Americans.
Unchained (can be viewed here) examines the legacy of generational trauma among African Americans and the damage done by the sins of racism and White supremacy. The film offers hope through Jesus Christ for repentance, healing, and reconciliation.
In the session we will view the films by screen sharing for about 1h15 at most, then devote about an hour to discussion and questions. If participants would like to view the films ahead of time, or watch them in their entirety, please use the links provided above.
For those who want to do background reading:
Research Shows Entire Black Communities Suffer Trauma After Police Shootingshttps://www.yesmagazine.org/health-happiness/2018/08/03/research-shows-entire-black-communities-suffer-trauma-after-police-shootings/
I Inherited My Grandfather’s Trauma–And His Healing Culturehttps://www.yesmagazine.org/issue/mental-health/2018/08/27/i-inherited-my-grandfathers-trauma-and-his-healing-culture/