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Black History Month

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

In honor of Black History Month, here are some resources that amplify Black voices:

picture of microphone


1. Disruptive Christian Ethics: When Racism and Women’s Lives Matter, Traci C. West

Description: “Bringing to the fore the difficult realities of racism and the sexual violation of women, Traci West argues for a liberative method of Christian social ethics in which

the discussion begins not with generic philosophical concepts but in the concrete realities

of the lives of the socially and economically marginalized. By presenting conscience-jarring stories of individual women’s experience and endurance of prejudice, violation, and subjugation, she demonstrates how racism can impact key ideas in Christian ethics, influence government policy on welfare, infect public practice, and invade worship. Her unique method of combining theory and practice allows these stories to critically engage the ideas of Reinhold Niebuhr as well as feminist and womanist ethicists.”

Key Ideas: Personal accounts, intersections of public policy, worship, and discrimination, ethical approach to topics of racism with Christian foundation, feminist and womanist values.

About the Author: “Traci C. West is Associate Professor of Ethics and African American Studies at Drew University Theological School, Madison, New Jersey. She is the author of Wounds of the Spirit: Black Women, violence, and Resistance Ethics.”

2. Racial Justice and the Catholic Church, Bryan Massingale

Description: “Confronting racism is difficult but essential work if we are to heal the brokenness in our society and our church. In the author's words, ‘We all are wounded by the sin of racism... How can we struggle together against an evil that harms us all?’ Racial Justice and the Catholic Church examines the presence of racism in America from its early history through the Civil Rights Movement and the election of Barack Obama. It also explores how Catholic social teaching has been used--and not used--to promote reconciliation and justice.

Massingale writes from an abiding conviction that the Catholic faith and the black experience make essential contributions in the continuing struggle against racial injustice that is the work of all people. His book is essential reading for all those concerned with justice and healing in our world.”

Key Ideas: Racial justice, intersection of Catholicism and racism, relevance of racism to everyone, Catholic Social Teaching

About the Author: “Bryan N. Massingale is professor of theological and social ethics at Fordham University in New York. He previously taught at Marquette University, where in 2009 he received that institution’s highest award for excellence in teaching. A consultant to many faith-based justice organizations, he served as president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and convener of the Black Catholic Theological Symposium.”


“Racism and the Soul of America” special by Eddie Glaude Jr.

Description: In the months before the presidential election of 2016, Glaude describes how we are in “a crisis of imagination” which prevents us from putting ourselves in the shoes of others, an inability “to see ‘as yet’, to look beyond opacity of now, to see what’s possible.” More than creativity, imagination is an instrumental of moral good and involves and “empathetic projection.”

Key Ideas: racism, racial equity, social justice

About the Speaker: Eddie Glaude Jr. is the William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African American Studies at Princeton University and Chair of the Department of African American Studies. He is the author of the award-winning book In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America and co-editor with Cornel West of African American Religious Thought: An Anthology. His latest book is Democracy in Black: How Race Still Governs the Soul of America. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Morehouse College, a master’s degree in African American studies from Temple University, and a PhD in religion from Princeton University. His scholarly pursuits and public service have been informed by his years growing up in the coastal town of Moss Point, Mississippi.

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