Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation

Dear White Christians For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation In this provocative book Jennifer Harvey argues for a radical shift in how justice committed white Christians think about race She calls for moving away from the reconciliation paradigm that currently

  • Title: Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation
  • Author: Jennifer Harvey
  • ISBN: 9780802872074
  • Page: 336
  • Format: Paperback
  • In this provocative book Jennifer Harvey argues for a radical shift in how justice committed white Christians think about race She calls for moving away from the reconciliation paradigm that currently dominates interracial relations and embracing instead a reparations paradigm.Harvey presents an insightful historical analysis of the painful fissures that emerged among actIn this provocative book Jennifer Harvey argues for a radical shift in how justice committed white Christians think about race She calls for moving away from the reconciliation paradigm that currently dominates interracial relations and embracing instead a reparations paradigm.Harvey presents an insightful historical analysis of the painful fissures that emerged among activist Christians toward the end of the Civil Rights movement, and she shows the necessity of bringing white racial identity into clear view in order to counter today s oppressive social structures.A deeply constructive, hopeful work, Dear White Christians will help readers envision new racial possibilities, including concrete examples of contemporary reparations initiatives This book is for any who care about the gospel call to justice but feel stuck trying to get there, given the ongoing prevalence of deep racial divisions in the church and society at large.W atch a 2015 interview with the author

    One thought on “Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation”

    1. A powerful argument that Christians are misguided when they pay lip service to diversity, colorblindness, and racial "reconciliation" without reckoning with the very real and economic power imbalances between white and black Americans. Harvey argues that white Christians need to let go of reconciliation language entirely until they address the more difficult and consequential topic of reparations, which can take the shape of as scholarships for black students, funding for black media, culture, a [...]

    2. Jennifer Harvey presents a strong argument against racial reconciliation models as it focuses more on integrating Black people into white spaces while ignoring histories of white violence and privilege at the expense of Black bodies. It is a good argument, but I believe she needed to cite more Black theologians, sociologists, and race theorists. Too often she describes events and attitudes of Black people during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements without citing where she learned the info [...]

    3. Challenging and insightful. This book, along with the reading group that we went through this with, has deeply affected how I think about approaches to engaging racial injustice.

    4. The author mixes history and research to make the case for reparations in the USA because racial reconciliation "misses critical aspects of what race is." I think it makes a good companion book to John Perkins' writings about reconciliation and Ta-Nehisi Coates' writings about reparations. I would recommend all three authors' works be part of any Christian group that is serious about racial justice and seeks to educate their group as they take action together. This book is obviously addressed to [...]

    5. Appreciated this dense but really helpful book. The biggest takeaway for me was Harvey's argument that the "reconciliation paradigm" has largely failed to bring about racial justice that progressive churches long for. Instead we must adopt a "reparations paradigm." I didn't know about the efforts of the Episcopal Church and the PC(USA) to engage in a conversation around reparations in the 2000s. This was timely to read alongside of Ta-Nehisi Coates' magisterial article, "The Case for Reparations [...]

    6. Harvey makes a compelling case for churches to work towards reparations, not embracing diversity. As appealing as embracing diversity is, it ultimately cannot sufficiently address the generational harm caused by slavery, Jim Crow, and ongoing segregation. White Christians and white churches on the side of God's freedom, justice, and liberation are invited to do the actual work of repair - and to pay for it.

    7. A proactive thesis. A highly academic and dense work. It is well worth the time it will take to get through. But it will take a lot of time to read.

    8. Ms. Harvey is thorough and convincing in her arguments regarding what we need to finally move forward in black/white relations. Chapter by chapter she explains her case, providing historical perspective demonstrating how we arrived where we are today and why we cannot move forward without a commitment to radical change. She demonstrates that the commonly suggested solution--Reconciliation--is not enough. Before we have reconciliation, we must make reparations, because racism is part of a sometim [...]

    9. In 1865, the year all slaves were officially freed in the United States, African Americans owned 0.5 percent of the country’s wealth. Time hasn’t changed much. In 1990, they owned 1 percent. When freedom has given so little to African Americans and the legacy of slavery continues to cripple communities 150 years later, it is time to talk about whether reparations are in order. Jennifer Harvey’s Dear White Christians (2014) offers a compelling critique of the idea of reconciliation and then [...]

    10. If I could do fractional stars I'd add another star. I think this book made some very important points and put its finger on why many reconciliation efforts stall and don't accomplish the intended goal. I think there was a lot of good information here but would have liked to have seen it distilled a little more. I can understand the likely reason why the author laid such careful groundwork. The term "reparations" is one of those loaded terms. A careful introduction is needed to overcome a likely [...]

    11. This is an important and necessary book that shows the only rational way out of the racial impasse for white Christians. The reason I'm giving it three stars is the writing, which is dense, abstract and academic and provides few concrete entry points for a laypersons' discussion group. Our pastor thought it was great, but most of the lay participants did not get through the book and I had to provide chapter summaries for our discussion. Perhaps it wasn't the best book to start the conversation a [...]

    12. It's worth reading by all Christians involved in racial justice especially by whites.It defines the meaning of reparations in a positive framework that should be used to transform the effects of slavery especially by white people who most resistant to the idea.

    13. Reparations and the theological grounding for them. Harvey establishes how the Evangelical desire for reconciliation hasn't worked and has to be rethought.

    14. Well worth the read. Started out slow but got more engaging. Good explanation of what is wrong with reconciliation paradigm. Glad too see focus on whiteness as an issue

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