Reconciliation Replay (July 17, 2014)

highlighting the best reconciliation words around

BE STRATEGIC: "Strategies to Promote Women Should Vary Across Cultures" by Soo Min Toh and Geoffrey Leonardelli

"According to psychologists, people rise to the top when they are seen as matching a set of pre-existing beliefs that individuals hold about leadership. The problem is that, across cultures, this leader prototype has historically emphasized characteristics thought to be masculine rather than feminine. Some blame the circumstances of early human history, when leaders needed physical strength to help the group survive and protect it from outside threats. But the prototype persists. Often, even women candidates themselves don’t see how they fit into the leadership mold...Read more"

THINK about code-switching and educational outcomes: "Teaching Students How to Switch Between Black English and Standard English Can Help Them Get Ahead" by Jennifer Guerra

"Lee himself is a pro at code switching. He grew up in the ghettos of Philadelphia but received a full-ride scholarship to attend a predominately white prep school when he was 14 years old. So he was constantly having to negotiate two vastly different linguistic worlds. He says he experienced a lot of shame around the way he spoke, and it wasn’t until high school that a teacher told him how he spoke at home was OK – that it wasn’t wrong or bad. He wishes that conversation would’ve happened a lot earlier...Read more"

USE these teaching tools: "23 Quotes that Perfectly Explain Racism (to People who Don't See Color)" by Erin Cossetta and "9 Clueless Things White People Say When Confronted with Racism" by Derrick Clifton

"In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate. - Toni Morrison ...Read more"

"8) 'I’m sick of pretending that [people of color] need special rights and programs just because they aren’t white. We have problems too, you know.'

To have problems in life is an inherent part of the human condition. But it takes humility, grace and empathy to take the time and space for reflection and self-examination to truly understand that some of us have it much better than others—despite our often half-hearted efforts to ensure equal opportunities for everyone, especially blacks and people of color. Yes, whites can be poor, or female, or LGBT, or immigrants, or have white skin but actually be multi-ethnic, the list goes on. That’s why intersectionality matters, and it includes an interrogation of racial privilege...Read more"

READ THIS BOOK: Too Heavy a Yoke: Black Women and the Burden of Strength by Chanequa Walker-Barnes

Here's my 5-star Amazon review:

This is the best book I've read on black female identity and spirituality. I've read many books on "strong women" but none of them have understood or described the black female psyche as well as Walker-Barnes does.

The author deftly integrates history, theology, psychology and health sciences to help black women (and the people who care about them) understand why so many black women cling to the unhealthy and oppressive identity of the "StrongBlackWoman" -- an identity that is excessively independent, caregiving and emotionally strong. At first glance, this identity might seem liberating and empowering, but Walker-Barnes expertly dismantles that notion and shows that true freedom lies in interdependence and emotional authenticity.

As a recovering StrongBlackWoman, this book has helped me see how my black feminine identity has been greatly impacted by hegemonic societal forces, and has helped me take off the StrongBlackWoman mask and live free.

I'll be giving this book to all of my black female friends, but they're not the only ones who should read it. Pastors, friends, and relatives of black women should read this book too!

DEVELOP a social justice theology: "The Lord's Prayer: A Social Justice Theology" by Ebony Adedayo

"In the Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in Matthew 5 – 7 of the New Testament, Jesus gives His disciples some pretty clear instructions on how to pray. But this prayer is extremely radical because it suggests that those who pray it will live radically different. Jesus assumes that those who pray this prayer, which emphasizes God’s justice and peace on earth, will in fact reorient themselves in light of the very things they are praying.

Over the next several weeks, I am going to unpack the parts of this prayer which I believe serve as a model for crafting a theology on social justice while also continuing to explain the importance in doing so...Read more"

EXPERIENCE/IMAGINE/EMPATHIZE: "What Fighting Racism is Like as a Black Woman" by Grace Biskie

"Your necessary air is restricted.  You take short breaths.  You wait for relief.  One day, it hurt so bad you took a viability assessment.  Will you live?

Verdict’s out.

There’s a gatdamn boot on your neck.  One day, it will come off, you reason.  You wait.  One day, you’ll take a long, deep breath.   Until then, short, quick breaths are gold.  Just survive.

It’s been so long, this boot made its home.  You’ve readjusted.  You will live, boot-in-neck.  You will live.  Boot-in-neck living is your new normal, rather, your only normal.  You take the quick, fear-laced breaths because you have to...Read more"