A genuine reparations process must focus fundamentally on achieving justice and equity for those who have been harmed, not on expiating the guilt of those who have benefitted, directly or indirectly, from the infliction of harm.
The experience of James Bradley as one of America’s first black seminarians can show us how far we have come. But, even as theology schools consider ways to address their culture of whiteness, it also shows us how far we have yet to travel.
We will not be afraid or lose hope or stop working for racial justice – meaning restitution and reparations – no matter how white supremacists and their quieter sympathizers sanitize bigotry, hypocrisy and addiction to greed with their hollow gestures.
Repairing America’s racial divide will require more than feeling remorse for sins in the past, the president of a historically black college in Louisville, Kentucky, told an audience of mixed races from various faith traditions gathered to reflect on the 400th anniversary of slavery in the United States.
“We don’t have anything against food chains, but if God gives us access to soil, to a healthy body and to seeds, why then do I see myself in a food desert? I see myself in an oasis.”
“Health is literally something you buy and it’s bought with time and money”
View the photo gallery from Conetoe.
Watch a video of scenes from Conetoe, NC
Watch the interview with Richard Joyner who discusses Conetoe’s pathway to health