By: Starlette Thomas
The social construct of race creates habits - spoken and unspoken - in all of us. These patterns of behavior indicate how we're likely to treat others because of their skin color. Here are 7 we must break.
By: J.V. McKinney
In a field of dirt and grass in a small Arkansas town decades ago, a group of black and white boys learned a lesson playing baseball together - a lesson many adults never learn in their lifetimes.
By: James Ellis
Is there a right way to respond to the uproar in Baltimore? Everyone responds to feelings of injustice and prejudice differently. To suggest any group should respond in one way is misguided. We can do better.
By: Robert Parham
To understand better white Baptists of the South on race, you need to remember a forgotten figure, A.C. Miller, and a slice of history, 1954's Southern Baptist Convention.
By: Reggie Warren
As long as the United States is divided into two groups over race relations, the opportunity to find common ground seems bleak. We need leaders willing to begin to build bridges.
By: Brian Kaylor
While most Baptist churches in the St. Louis region avoided publicly commenting on the crisis in Ferguson, a few churches offered words and actions to advance the common good.
By: EthicsDaily Staff
EthicsDaily.com is coming again to your television. Soul of the South Network, an African-American network reaching more than 20 million homes, will air three of our documentaries in July.
The Web site for EthicsDaily.com's documentary Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism.
The distractions we face and forces of evil we’ll confront each day as we run our individual races are alluring and intimidating. Only a resolve which matches their intensity will overcome them. If we don’t have this “I am not giving up” attitude, we’ll fall to the side and disappoint ourselves and others. By God’s grace, don’t let that happen to you.
If it's wrong for whites to speak derogatorily about blacks, it is just as wrong for blacks to speak derogatorily about whites. Here's what goodwill people of faith can do about racial slurs.
Over time, people have come to realize that men and women of different races, cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds are all equal before God. What steps can your church take?
The first-ever gathering of a group of minority scholars was a chance to share stories of oppression in the hopes of working toward restoration, justice and reconciliation.
If race remains a part of our lives, no one wins. While some see the task of eliminating race as impossible, others see it as inevitable. The world of race is passing away.
The Southern Baptist agency headed by Richard Land, the SBC's top ethicist, will investigate plagiarism charges against him but suggested that radio shows have different standards.
Richard Land, Southern Baptists' chief ethicist, apologized on Monday for plagiarism during his radio show, saying he "failed to provide appropriate verbal attributions."
Richard Land, Southern Baptists' top ethics official, quoted liberally from a conservative writer's column about the Trayvon Martin shooting without attribution, a Baptist blogger says.
Can you rid yourself of racism without first ridding yourself of race? The more one writer understood her identity as a Christian, the less she relied on race. Here are 15 reasons she left race behind.
We behave as if we can't help being racially motivated, but race doesn't control us. It's time we die to our racial selves and be awakened to our new nature in Jesus.
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Rev. Fred Luter told his African-American congregation that he will seek to become the first black man to lead the SBC.
(RNS) Marvin Perkins says God led him to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- but friends advised otherwise.
(RNS) Catholic leaders have issued an open letter to Catholic candidates Gingrich and Santorum, warning them “to stop perpetuating ugly racial stereotypes.”
(RNS) At 87, the Rev. C.T. Vivian can still recall the moment, decades after the height of the civil rights movement.
FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) A white church secretary is suing her former employer, arguing that she was fired for marrying a black man.
WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious leaders and civil rights veterans said King's legacy is unshakable.
(RNS) The Southern Christian Leadership Conference has named a nephew of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as its new leader.
WASHINGTON (RNS) A black denomination that began in support of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has decried the “disrespect” shown to President Obama.
(RNS) The Rev. Joseph Lowery has always combined his work on secular causes with a sacred message.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (RNS) Newly sworn-in Gov. Robert Bentley said that people who aren’t “saved” Christians aren’t his brothers and sisters.
In too many Baptist circles today, the calling of a woman to pastoral ministry is still denied or dismissed. Yet, in churches where the principle of the autonomy of the local church is truly cherished, miracles occur.
Why do many scholars of color find it difficult to get their articles published or gain tenured employment? Perhaps the academic community's call for diversity is more for political correctness than intellectual prowess.
We don't often see them, but many of us wear racial lenses that distort our reality. Somehow we must find corrective lenses to help us conquer our racist distortion of reality.
Clint Eastwood's "Gran Torino" is about death and redemption as well as the loss of an American way of life. It's theological and timely given our age of rage against people of color.
Former President Jimmy Carter created an uproar by charging that some of the opposition to President Obama is due to continued racism. One African-American pastor applauded his courage.
Protesters vilify a black president. A congressman enjoys public health care but votes against health care for veterans. And ministers are silent as black leadership is demonized. What's happening to our character?
It's difficult to look outside our own lives and look at those who are different from us. It's harder to stand up for them and make sure they're included in our circle. Shannon Johnson knows.
Members of Congress holding town hall meetings on health care reform are being shouted down by angry mobs of constituents. Pure paranoia? Not really. It's displaced racism.
Healing the racial divide is as important to Christianity as hot-button issues such as abortion and gay marriage, an African-American pastor said at a New Baptist Covenant regional meeting.
Gwen Ifill's book examines the new generation of black political leaders seeking to build futures for themselves and the people they serve in innovative ways.
Sen. John Cornyn, as well as many Euro-Americans, perceives the ideal response to racism is to claim colorblindness. As noble as this may sound, it is a policy that is detrimental to communities of color.
I was confronted by a man who said that when he was growing up, racism was accepted as fact; no one around him questioned it, so how could his failure to act differently be held against him? That is precisely the exceeding sinfulness of sin.
America has come close to moments of racial reconciliation before, and in each instance the nation found a way or a reason to turn away from that opportunity. Will the election of Barack Obama be one more missed opportunity?
"Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism" will be screened by National Ministries during a luncheon at the biennial gathering of the American Baptist Churches-USA in Pasadena, Calif., in June.
"Beneath the Skin," an award-winning documentary, and a panel of Baptists of color will headline the Baptist Center for Ethics' annual luncheon at this year's General Assembly of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
During two breakout sessions at the recent Baptist Border Crossing, Baptists viewed EthicsDaily.com’s documentary “Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism” and discussed how they could cross racial boundaries.
The minds of many people of color have become accustomed to seeing reality through the lens of the dominant culture. The horror is when they accept this false reality as truth.
Staley caught the irony of singing and talking about progress in racial relations—yet until that service, two people who work in the same church every day had never worshiped together. She made a public commitment to doing something about it.
On Feb. 7, 2008, a man walked into Kirkwood City Hall and killed six people. The shooter, a local man known quite well by several church members, was a black man. All of the victims were white.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.—New fruit is budding from a previous dying-on-the-vine event, which originated from some tiny seeds planted here in 1971.
We like to talk—and act as if our latest opinion is the right one for everyone else to embrace. But our past actions do not afford us such a position on the subject of race. It is a time to shut up, reflect deeply and listen to others.
I’m very grateful for “Beneath the Skin” as it proved to be an excellent resource to bring our two very different congregations together for meaningful discussion and planning.
Is it really better for government and religion to stay out of each other's affairs? This is a question that Joshua DuBois most likely will have to answer time and time again. May his wisdom surpass his years; and from what I've read of him, it does.
That’s the miracle of watching “Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism.” No matter where you are on the journey of race and reconciliation, the film offers a place for people to deepen their relationships with other people.
Showings of “Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism” in two tiny south Arkansas towns hit home.
It is an ambitious and even audacious idea. But it is a hopeful one. For too long we have skirted the edges of disaster existing as "us and them." It's time, not just for Baptists, but for everyone, to find a way just to be us.
Baptists have a long and storied history on the issue of race and racism.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CBF) -- More than 1,000 people gathered in Birmingham, Ala., Jan. 31 for the first regional gathering of the New Baptist Covenant. The event, which was held at the historic 16th Street Baptist Church, St. Paul's United Methodist Church and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, occurred on the one year anniversary of the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant, which drew more than 15,000 Baptists in Atlanta.
Hopefully, the enthusiasm of this new reality will continue as the hard work of true change begins.
A virus broke out in early December in Little Rock, one that infects people of faith with a passion to do justice. Ground zero was, of all places, a Baptist church. And day one wasn’t even Sunday.
Forty years after King's death, it is noteworthy that except for North Carolina and Virginia, voters in Southern states were not part of the dramatic voting that resulted in the election of Barack Obama as the next president of the United States.
Inspired by the vision and success of the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant held earlier this year, several Baptist groups are planning similar regional gatherings for 2009. Next year will also mark the 400th anniversary of the Baptist movement.
Rather than speaking about a color-blind or "post-racial" society, the pundits and other observers of the Obama election should hope that it marks a society committed to "post-racism."
Methodists have historically had the ability to hold together the concerns of both liberals and conservatives, to preach both the evangelical and social gospels, and to attempt to understand and acknowledge the important positions deeply held by people on opposite sides of the theological or political divide, bringing them together in what some might call a "radical center."
EthicsDaily.com's new video on Baptists and racism will be screened at an international film festival on Sunday, October 19, at 12:00 p.m., at the Avon Williams Campus of Tennessee State University in downtown Nashville.
Laura Cadena, a fifth-generation Tejana, recalls a story about when her grandmother moved from Laredo to Dallas, Texas: "She remembers getting on a bus and the sign saying 'Whites Only' or 'Blacks Only,' and she didn't know where she was supposed to sit."
One reason 11 a.m. Sunday remains the most segregated hour in America is because many church members want it that way, according to a recent article by CNN.
Leaders of the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. said a recent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey plotting America's religious landscape used flawed methodology in reporting the denomination as 81 percent white.
On Friday, April 4, the world remembers the 40th anniversary of the untimely and tragic death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King's legacy is large, and much of the progress we have made in race relations, although still inadequate, is due to his unwavering belief and commitment to justice, freedom, and equality for all.
Racism is racism. Sexism is sexism. Wrong is wrong. Secular hate speech is as wrong as religious hate speech. Liberal untruthfulness is as wrong as conservative untruthfulness. Yet human nature compels us to rationalize, to justify and to defend our dehumanizing action and beliefs, and those of our friends, those on our side.
The editor of the Missouri Baptist Convention's in-house publication, "The Pathway," has strongly defended the controversial Confederate battle flag and aggressively attacked those who challenge it.
An Alabama law professor who argues that fair taxation is a moral issue will present her case June 19 at a luncheon meeting sponsored by the Baptist Center for Ethics. The gathering is in conjunction with the 18th General Assembly of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, scheduled June 19-20 in Memphis, Tenn.
Growing up black in America, Aidsand Wright-Riggins says he is used to hearing the "n-word." What bothers him is as a midweek air traveler he seldom sees more than one or two fellow African-American passengers, even though the United States is more than 12 percent black.
What do Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain have in common? All three are ontologically white males. No one can become the leader of the world's most powerful country (empire?) unless they are committed to what male whiteness symbolizes within the colonial process.
Last week Barack Obama did two remarkable things. First he risked speaking directly to the reality of racism in America and American history. Obama framed his remarks with his signature phrase of "the audacity of hope." He claimed that his populist candidacy for the presidency is proof that audacious hope has a place in today's America.
This has been a remarkable morning. It started with a phone call from Tony Brown, a radio talk show host in Alexandria, La. On the show with me were Jerriel Bazile, whose brother stands accused of selling drugs to an FBI agent in Bunkie, La., and a woman whose son has been charged in a shooting. We talked about the adversarial relationship between the Bunkie police force and the poor black community. Yesterday, Mr. Bazile reported, 100 Bunkie residents gathered to protest and organize.
What color was Jesus? Was it skin pigmentation that determined Jesus' message or was it the prophetic imagination that defined his mission? Are pigmentation and imagination separable or inseparable? How is it that we remake Jesus in our own image?
Now we have a chance to see what the Religious Right is made of--if it truly stands for ethics and values, as its leaders profess, or whether its leaders can continue to engage in gutter politics and get away with it.
A Southern Baptist leader lecturing at Criswell College used a gutter word to describe a Jewish U.S. senator.
Americans are leaving Baptist churches at nearly twice the rate that others are joining them, according to details of a study released Monday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
Goodwill Baptists in North America are having feverish public and private conversations about next steps. Of course, trying to get Baptists heading in the same direction is like herding cats, a near impossibility.
As a person of color who attended the New Baptist Covenant, I was and continue to be a bit skeptical about the outcomes. I have learned in my 32 years of life how important it is for a person of color to keep his or her expectations low when discussing race and ethnicity with others. It's not that we do not hope for the best, but it is a way to protect ourselves from further cultural wounding.
The church's struggle against racism is no longer primarily about skin color, but institutions that bestow privilege on some and penalties on others, an activist, denominational leader and scholar said in a special-interest session Friday at the New Baptist Covenant Celebration in Atlanta.
A controversial "pro-majority" group gathers today in Jena, La., to protest both the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and last September's rally that brought thousands of African-Americans to the small town in solidarity with six arrested black teens now famous as the Jena Six.
On Jan. 2, 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. led a "mass meeting" at Brown Chapel in Selma, Ala. This meeting kicked off the involvement of King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Selma's voting rights campaign.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday affords Americans a built-in opportunity to revisit the issue of racial justice. It is also a window through which we may re-view the lives of others who, like King, pushed America toward becoming a "beloved community" of racial justice.
The great modern-day theologian--Steven Colbert of the popular Comedy Central show "The Colbert Report"--recently began accepting applications for the position of his very own "black friend."
In his elegant little book, "Finally Comes the Poet," Walter Brueggemann writes that the task of the preacher is to be "a voice that shatters settled reality and evokes new possibilities." If he is right about that, then no preacher in the last century has been more effective than Martin Luther King, Jr. His words helped shatter the settled reality of segregation. He also gave voice to the possibility of what he called the "beloved community."
North American Baptists will soon have one of the best opportunities in our history to address the racial divisions that have too long defined us.
Denzel Whitaker turned 17 while shooting "The Great Debaters," the new movie directed by and starring Whitaker's namesake, Denzel Washington.
Earlier this year, I posted about my excitement about the New Baptist Covenant. And I encourage as many people as possible to attend next January's celebration.
"Amazing Grace" finally arrives on DVD today, nine months after its theatrical release.
Last month I watched the events in Jena, La., unfold with particular interest. Jena is hometown to one of my aunts. I have friends from college and in Louisiana life who grew up in Jena and who have family living there now. I was born in Alexandria, about 30 miles away.
Protests sparked by the hanging of three nooses from a Louisiana schoolyard tree have sparked a series of copycat acts, further fueling a debate over America's lingering legacy of racial injustice and violence.
In the late 1970s, I was a not-yet-30-year-old pastor with four or five years of grassroots ordained experience under my belt. I was serving a congregation of fewer than 50 members in south-central Los Angeles, in a converted restaurant located in a community whose racial makeup was rapidly transitioning. Whites had long since made their flight from the economically declining neighborhood to points westward, seeking enclaves of homogeneity.
I often have college students do an essay on race relations and the Christian heritage in light of reading Martin Luther King, Jr. Most students express an appreciation of King's life and work but many add: "We are glad that the issue of race relations is over. We are glad that we don't have to work on that problem anymore."