Book Reflection: Covenant With Black America

Category: , By Christian

Fantastic. That's all you need to know. But it's not very nice to leave it at that so I shall elaborate.

Tavis Smiley is a prominent black journalist who put together this fascinating project. The Covenant addresses 10 areas of racial and social inequality in America that need to be addressed. What makes this a stand-apart effort is that it is not only collaborative but is also constructive.

Each of the covenants is prefaced by a short essay. Each essay is written by someone in the field that is being discussed and most of them do a good job at outlining the issue at hand. Then comes a couple of pages that give stats to help the reader understand how pronounced the given inequality is, and finally the chapters conclude with action steps that can be taken to close the equality gap.

The best aspect of the application section is that it breaks down what individuals can do, what communities can do, and what we should lobby our politicians to do. The Covenant takes into account the fact that these problems are complex and are the result of many decades of systematic racism. It is not a pity party however, in that it calls the black community to action and take part in the reconstruction of healthy black communities and individuals. I really appreciated how easy it was to digest the information. At the same time the information was solid and painted a reasonable picture of the problems and the solutions.

There are a lot of people who do not think that racism is a problem right now in America. Unfortunately, a lot of people who think this way are in the Church. It is understandable in the sense that the church is very segregated and thus it is hard for people who are not black to see what the true state of Black America is. That is a sad commentary on the church, because I really think that racial divides are a big deal to God. I also think that social inequality is a problem that is addressed over and over again throughout the Biblical narrative, and if Christians are not at the forefront of reconciliation and equality efforts then we are turning our backs on paradigms that God calls us to address.

My recommendation is for people who do think racism is a problem as well as for people who don't think racism is a problem to check the book out from the library or go buy it. Read at least one chapter and really think about how we can work together to be agents for positive change.

Fair Dinkum

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