Summer 2021 Racial Equity Reading List

by | Jul 8, 2021

Happy Summer 2021! 

We are in the circling process of social change that is sweeping across the globe. As followers of Jesus and his Way of Love, we are called to be a part of that change and keep our eyes and energies fixed on addressing the root causes of systematic racism and white supremacy in all its forms.

As a diocese, we are committed to bravely uncovering, understanding, reckoning with and acting to dismantle racism within ourselves, our faith communities, the Diocese and our localities.

Here are a few books to help us engage in this work this summer. 

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness

  • Author: Austin Channing Brown is a writer, speaker, and practitioner who helps schools, nonprofits, and religious organizations practice genuine inclusion. 
  • Suggested use: solo read to go along with other personal narrative style books.
    • Good book to explore how white christianity has participated in racial injustices and ways that we can recognize God’s call for us to work toward justice. 

My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending our Hearts and Bodies

  • Author: Resmaa Menakem is an expert on conflict and violence. He works as a Community Care Counselor and teaches workshops on Cultural Somatics. 
  • Suggested use: small group study/discussion
    • The First Unitarian Church of Baltimore has put together a comprehensive study guide that includes key questions for each chapter, meditations and so much more.

Reading the Bible from the Margins

  • Author: Miguel A. De la Torre is a Cuban American who teaches at the LLif School of Theology and is the co-author of introducing Latino/a theologies.
  • Suggested use: bible and small group study
    • Feel free to follow the scriptures within each chapter. 
    • Draft mini sermons to accompany new theological findings. 

The Church Cracked Open

  • Author: Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers spearheads Episcopal efforts to follow Jesus’ Way of Love and to grow loving, liberating, life-giving relationships with God, each other and the earth.
  • Suggested use: bible and small group study
    • Free Reflection & Action Guide features bible study, small group curricula and prompts to go from reading to real life. 
    • Request the guide.

The Search for Common Ground

  • Author: Howard Thurman was a spiritual mentor to many in the global civil rights movements and leaders of the 20th century.  
  • Suggested use: solo read or an accompanying book to Sacred Ground circles
    • Howard Thurman writes about building community. He calls us at once to affirm our own identity, but also to look beyond that identity to that which we have in common with all of life.

A final note: While some of us will undoubtedly dive into reading each suggested item, you needn’t think you must read them all over the course of a single summer. The work of antiracism is a marathon, not a sprint. The important thing is to start somewhere.

Happy reading! Happy reflecting! Happy communing! 

Hazel Monae, Missioner for Equity and Justice