I have probably posted this in the past, but I read it every year to remind myself of how far I, personally, have NOT come in my own life. (HERE for Dr. King’s letter)
Over the past few years I have been deeply grateful for friends who have guided me to places that have convinced me of the systemic racism we STILL deal with in this country. I am grateful for being around people who work HARD to fight uphill battles and we see some amazing things happen, but it does not take away from the fact we still have a long way to go.
Three reads we need in our lives to start as white people (in my opinion). First, Dr. King’s letter from a Birmingham jail. (Linked above)
Second, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. This isn’t a book that is based on emotion, but on statistics and real ife situations. Since I read that book there have been some fixes in laws that make more sense, but, again, there is still a long way to go.
Third, The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. I ran across this one last year and again was deeply impacted by the story. Wilkerson does a study on the 100 year migration of African Americans from the South to the North and West through statistics and story.
When I read Dr. King’s words in the letter, though, I feel his impatience with me. It is a feeling I am sure he would have if he were alive today and talking to me. His words need to stir our hearts again. His words need to stir our ACTIONS again.
Our nation was nearly 100 years old before we finally ended slavery, but it took a war. It was then ANOTHER 100 years to solidify what SHOULD have been understood as a result from the Civil War: African Americans had the right to VOTE!
Let it not be another 100 years in our country for new action. Let it not be a war that precipitates that action. Let it be a move of the Spirit of God that convicts hearts of attitudes and feelings and stirs us to repentance and THEN justice can roll down with immense authority. Lord… change our hearts as only YOU can do.