12s11e7b – The Deep Conversation
Every time Rev. Paul Robeson Ford is on the podcast you know that it is going to be great, and this is no different. However, this is the first time that Jonathan has had Paul on the podcast and did not buy him breakfast. Paul is the Senior Pastor of the 1st Baptist Church on Highland Ave. at Winston, Salem, NC.
Next year, in October, many in our country are taking time to recognize the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans sold into slavery in North America. As systemic racism and white privilege are still very real parts of who we are as a nation it is imperative that people of faith take time to discuss and wrestle with the various implications that the narrative of slavery and racism have on our lives today.
This is especially important for white Christians to come to a place of owning what it means to have privilege because of their ethnicity. This is the focus of the conversation with Paul and Jonathan.
Paul likes watching Jonathan squirm and struggle with this sensitive topic, and we are glad to say that Jonathan does not squirm too much – just the right amount. He is a white man who needs to own his privilege and the place in society. But owning it is not enough, as a person of faith he (and all white people) are called to speak a sense of sorrow, of truth, and of repentance on such an anniversary.
The history of slavery and racism has made a mark in the narrative of America that continues to harm and hurt all people in various ways. White Christians need to learn, to read, to listen, to ask, and then to listen some more. And invite others into the conversation that starts with listening.
Here are some books that Paul and Jonathan recommend you read in preparing for the 400th anniversary:
Kelly Brown Douglas, Stand Your Ground
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me
Cornel West, Race Matters
James Cone, The Cross and the Lynching Tree
Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow
Peggy McIntosh, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy
Go to the website: http://www.400yearsofinequality.org/
Listen to James Baldwin’s Pin Drop Speech https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUBh9GqFU3A