Baldwin’s “mystical” solution to the lies of white supremacy is immensely practical. Such spirituality looks like organizing our communities to attend to the political and economic wounds our nation inflicts and to bring into practice a community that is at once more grounded and more beautiful than we have dared to imagine.
White navel-gazing is not the proper orientation toward Black History Month. We’ve got to do the needed self-examination, but we are not the center of the narrative. Using the work of blacks to put ourselves back at the center of the story is not the right strategy. But while reading all that black history, it does help to know what seat we are sitting in.
At this moment in history, how can American Christians, themselves deeply divided over scripture, doctrine, sexuality, abortion, and other culture war accoutrements, foster a common compulsion to speak out against white supremacist fiction before it gains an even stronger implicit or explicit influence?