What Should I Be Reading?

For this issue of The Cord, we have asked Malcolm Foley, Director of the Black Church Studies Program, to provide a Top 10 reading list.

What Should I Be Reading?

Malcom Foley
Malcolm Foley,
Director of the Black Church Studies Program
Unfortunately, the last few months have reminded me that both the average Christian leader and the average Christian find it difficult to discuss race. Often discussions are silenced in the name of Scripture by the claim that because one’s identity in Christ is paramount, other identities need not even be discussed. To the contrary, race has so shaped the formation and continuation of this nation’s history that for the American Christian to know little about it is to be profoundly poor in their attempts to love their neighbor well. The following books offer a primer not only to understanding race, but also many of these works offer resources to begin having the conversation about why and how one’s union with Christ necessitates such an understanding and pushes the Christian toward their brother, sister and neighbor in active peacemaking. This is not merely a matter of doctrine. This is a matter of life and death!

*The following list is in no particular order.


 
1. Democracy in Black
Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.  
 
2. Doctrine and Race
Mary Beth Swetnam Mathews  
 
3. The Christian Imagination
Willie James Jennings  
 
”Democracy
4. After Whiteness
Willie James Jennings
 
”Democracy
5. Stamped from the Beginning
Ibram X. Kendi  
 
”Democracy
6. The Color of Compromise
Jemar Tisby  
 
”Democracy
7. Union with Christ: Reframing Theology and Ministry for the Church
J. Todd Billings  
 
”Democracy
8. Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?
Martin Luther King, Jr. 
 
”Democracy
9. I Bring the Voices of My People: A Womanist Vision for Racial Reconciliation
Chanequa Walker-Barnes  
 
”Democracy
10. Healing Racial Trauma: The Road to Resilience
Sheila Wise Rowe