There are so many Christian resources on how to fight racism!
I get overwhelmed by huge reading lists, so instead of recommending a million materials, I’m listing a few favorites, many by pastors you might already know. They’re organized by categories so you can choose your preferred time commitment and media type.
(Look for links at the end of each blog post where you can find more information about specific topics.)
Here’s a glossary of common terms and phrases you’ll encounter.
Finally, in light of recent conversations about Critical Race Theory, I’m posting Kelly Hamrin’s excellent article on CRT and Marxism. Hamrin is an assistant professor of English at Liberty University who wrote her dissertation about the damage caused by Marxist ideology in Russia. Neil Shenvi’s blog has a helpful collection of quotes from Critical Race Theorists with no commentary, so you can read a short summary of CRT straight from original authors.
Articles – the basics
I’ll post articles about more specific topics after each blog post, but in this list of articles you’ll find an introduction to systemic racism in the U.S. and racial reconciliation.
“The Sin of Racism” by Tim Keller: This article is long and thorough (it’s a little boring). Keller systematically examines why racism is sin, discusses corporate sin and systemic racism, and imagines what repentance looks like.
“Structural Racism: The Child of Structural Pride” by John Piper: Since humans are sinful, Christians shouldn’t be surprised that the institutions we create are also sinful. Those of us who are “new creations” must renounce sin in our hearts and dismantle it in the structures around us.
Online Resource Centers
I read one or two articles and then take some time to let it sink in. But when you’re feeling ready to browse, check out these websites with a ton of resources!
Redeemer City to City – This is the non-profit from Tim Keller’s church; plenty of articles, videos, and an online course you can sign up for. Fourth Presbyterian Church has compiled a list of resources, too.
Austin Channing Brown – Austin Channing Brown has a FANTASTIC newsletter for practicing anti-racism called “Roll Call.” You can sign up for free, and she has some other great stuff, too. Her book is a very personal memoir about being a Black Christian woman in mostly white Christian spaces.
Videos / Podcasts
“Liberty and Justice for All”: Mini-sermon by Rick Warren
Why Churches Should Prioritize Racial Harmony: Mini- sermon by Matt Chandler
The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby – Tisby gives a historical overview of how racism and slavery in the U.S., and the role Christians played in it. This book is short and Tisby uses simple but powerful language. He doesn’t get too theoretical or boring, but gets right to the heart of the matter.
A Testament of Hope: The Essentials Writings and Speeches by Martin Luther King, Jr. – Since both conservatives and liberals “claim” MLK, Jr. as supporting their views, I figure it’s a good idea to read what he actually says beyond the “I Have a Dream” speech. I haven’t read the whole thing, yet, but I’m working on it. This book by MLK looks interesting and I hope to read it soon, and it helps me understand why conservatives of the time accused him of being a communist.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass – Even though it was written a long time ago (obviously), Douglass’s writing feels pretty modern and easy to read.
White Awake by Daniel Hill – This book is long and jam-packed with theology! Throughout the book, Hill shares his mistakes and compelling personal stories, but he’s very thorough and analytical. If you’re a nerd, or just ready to put in some time and study, I highly recommend it!
A Prayer for Racial Healing in Our Land
Wake me up Lord, so that the evil of racism
finds no home within me.
Keep watch over my heart Lord,
and remove from me any barriers to your grace,
that may oppress and offend my brothers and sisters.
Fill my spirit Lord, so that I may give
services of justice and peace.
Clear my mind Lord, and use it for your glory.
And finally, remind us Lord that you said,
“blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.”
Shake Us From Our Slumber – A Prayer by MLK, Jr.
When our eyes do not see the gravity of racial justice,
Shake us from our slumber and open our eyes, O Lord.
When out of fear we are frozen into inaction,
Give us a spirit of bravery, O Lord.
When we try our best but say the wrong things,
Give us a spirit of humility, O Lord.
When the chaos of this dies down,
Give us a lasting spirit of solidarity, O Lord.
When it becomes easier to point fingers outwards,
Help us to examine our own hearts, O Lord.
God of truth, in your wisdom, Enlighten Us.
God of hope in your kindness, Heal Us.
Creator of All People, in your generosity, Guide Us.
Racism breaks your heart,
break our hearts for what breaks yours, O Lord.
Ever present God, you called us to be in relationship with one another and promised to dwell wherever two or three are gathered. In our community, we are many different people; we come from many different places, have many different cultures. Open our hearts that we may be bold in finding the riches of inclusion and the treasures of diversity among us. We pray in faith.
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Open Our Eyes
Father, Bless us as we strive to find our way to true racial reconciliation.
Open our eyes to all that goes on around us that contribute to racial injustice.
Grant us the knowledge to understand all that we do, both personally and as a society, which prevents as from recognizing and defending the dignity of all or our brothers and sisters, and especially at this time, our brothers and sisters of color who are now feeling so much pain.
Grant us the grace to reflect on our own actions and inactions that contribute to this pain.
And grant us the strength to take action to alleviate this pain and to end racial injustice in all its forms.
In your name we pray.
Prayer by Phil Chick