2018 Book Selections

Jan 9 – Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman

Vince Harding in the Foreword says, “[Jesus and the Disinherited] is the centerpiece of the Black prophet-mystic’s lifelong attempt to bring the harrowing beauty of the African-American experience into deep engagement with what he called ‘the religion of Jesus.’ Ultimately his goal was to offer this humanizing combination as the basis for an emancipatory way of being, moving toward a fundamentally unchained life that is available to all the women and men everywhere who hunger and thirst for righteousness, especially those ‘who stand with their backs against the wall.’”

Howard Thurman (1900-1981) was the first black dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University and cofounder of the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples in San Francisco, California, the first inter-racially copastored church in America.  At BU, Thurman was a mentor to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who always carried with him Thurman’s book “Jesus and the Disinherited.”

 

Feb 6 – Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice by Paul Kivel

Uprooting Racism explores the manifestations of racism in politics, work, community, and family life. It moves beyond the definition and unlearning of racism to address the many areas of privilege for white people and suggests ways for individuals and groups to challenge the structures of racism. Uprooting Racism’s welcoming style helps readers look at how we learn racism, what effects it has on our lives, its costs and benefits to white people, and what we can do about it.

In addition to updating existing chapters, the new edition of Uprooting Racism explores how entrenched racism has been revealed in the new economy, the 2000 electoral debacle, rising anti-Arab prejudice, and health care policy. Special features include exercises, questions, and suggestions to engage, challenge assumptions, and motivate the reader towards social action. The new edition includes an index and an updated bibliography.

 

March 6 – All the Real Indians Died Off: And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans Roxanne Dunbar-OrtizDina Gilio-Whitaker

Unpacks the twenty-one most common myths and misconceptions about Native Americans – In this enlightening book, scholars and activists Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker tackle a wide range of myths about Native American culture and history that have misinformed generations. Tracing how these ideas evolved, and drawing from history, the authors disrupt long-held and enduring myths such as:

“Columbus Discovered America”
“Thanksgiving Proves the Indians Welcomed Pilgrims”
“Indians Were Savage and Warlike”
“Europeans Brought Civilization to Backward Indians”
“The United States Did Not Have a Policy of Genocide”
“Sports Mascots Honor Native Americans”
“Most Indians Are on Government Welfare”
“Indian Casinos Make Them All Rich”
“Indians Are Naturally Predisposed to Alcohol”

Each chapter deftly shows how these myths are rooted in the fears and prejudice of European settlers and in the larger political agendas of a settler state aimed at acquiring Indigenous land and tied to narratives of erasure and disappearance. Accessibly written and revelatory, “All the Real Indians Died Off” challenges readers to rethink what they have been taught about Native Americans and history.