Jemar Tisby: Overcoming passivity is crucial to overcoming racism

www.faithandleadership.com | 4/2/2019 | Staff
dorkyrocker (Posted by) Level 3
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Reading book after book in his Ph.D. program on race and religion in American history at the University of Mississippi, Jemar Tisby noticed that too often, the stories of Christian Americans found them on the wrong side of issues of race and justice.

He became burdened. This burden began to inform his public ministry -- speaking at events, conferences and churches -- and he felt called to compile all the things he had been learning and reading about into one book.

People - Time - Opportunity - Dozens - Dozens

“Most people will not have the time or the opportunity to read these dozens and dozens of books that I’m reading for this program,” he said. “So in part, writing the book was just a way to collate the data in one spot for easy access.”

Tisby is president of The Witness, a black Christian collective, and co-host of Pass the Mic, the collective’s podcast. He published his first book, “The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism” in early 2019.

Tisby - Faith - Leadership - Book - Work

Tisby spoke to Faith & Leadership about his book and his work toward racial reconciliation. The following is an edited transcript.

Q: Why did you want to write this book in the first place?

Intersection - Threads - First - Spaces - Time

It was the intersection of three related threads. First of all, I’ve been in and around predominantly white Christian spaces for a long time. I’ve had firsthand experience of the burdens that go along with being a racial minority in Christian spaces that really don’t have a good understanding of those dynamics.

Second was theology. I got my M.Div. at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. In studying the Bible, it seems really apparent how the Bible promotes equality among all people no matter what their racial or ethnic background is.

Third - Study - History - Events

Then third was my study of history and how that coincides with current events.

When Ferguson happened...
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