Conflicted Churches in the United States and South Africa
Through the window of congregations, the landscape within churches after racial conflict
Contributions by William Ackah, Allan Boesak, Ebony Joy Fitchue, Leah Gaskin Fitchue, Walter Earl Fluker, Forrest E. Harris Sr. , Nico Koopman, AnneMarie Mingo, Reggie Nel, Chabo Freddy Pilusa, Anthony G. Reddie, Boitumelo Senokoane, Rothney S. Tshaka, Luci Vaden, Vuyani Vellem, and Cobus van Wyngaard
After the 2008 election and 2012 reelection of Barack Obama as US president and the 1994 election of Nelson Mandela as the first of several blacks to serve as South Africa's president, many within the two countries have declared race to be irrelevant. For contributors to this volume, the presumed demise of race may be premature. Given continued racial disparities in income, education, and employment, as well as in perceptions of problems and promise within the two countries, much healing remains unfinished. Nevertheless, despite persistently pronounced disparities between black and white realities, it has become more difficult to articulate racial issues. Some deem "race" an increasingly unnecessary identity in these more self-consciously "post-racial" times.
The volume engages post-racial ideas in both their limitations and promise. Contributors look specifically at the extent to which a church's contemporary response to race consciousness and post-racial consciousness enables it to give an accurate public account of race.
In light of the continuing systemic misdirection and misinformation around the world about post-racialism, so-called, there is an urgent need for prophetic truth-telling in the United States, South Africa, and wherever peoples of African descent are found. With critical acumen and refreshing candor, the contributors to this volume serve to remind us that the near permanence of racism in its most subtle and incendiary forms requires the need for people of vision and faith to fight on.- Dr. Alton B. Pollard, dean and professor of religion and culture, Howard University School of Divinity
Contesting Post-Racialism is a powerfully persuasive analysis of the ways that race still operates in the United States and South Africa. This book effectively dispels the notion that we now reside in a post-racial or post-apartheid society. The arguments represent perspectives that are theological and sociological, as well as ecclesial and communal. Not without hope for a day when race will be less definitive, the authors propose both the dismantling of systems of racism and the building of an inclusive and egalitarian society. This book needs and deserves a wide readership.- Curtiss Paul DeYoung, executive director of the Community Renewal Society and former professor of reconciliation studies, Bethel University