Tuesday Conversations S2E7 [video]: Michael Eric Dyson and Isabel Wilkerson on Race and Caste in America
Bonus: The inspiring story of the Black Faith Leader Collective in Chicago
Dear #WhiteTooLong readers,
I’m writing on the eve of a milestone. Tomorrow, for only the second time since the beginning of the pandemic, I’m traveling. On Thursday and Friday, I’ll be in Florida giving three lectures to audiences participating in a rich set of offerings provided each year by the Sarasota Institute for Lifelong Learning (SILL). On Friday, I’m heading to Texas to participate in a discussion and give a lecture at Baylor University on Saturday morning as part of conference boldly titled, “Do We Want to Be Healed? Racism in the White Church.” Sunday, I’ll be driving up to Tulsa for a few days to conduct some interviews for my next book, which should drop fall 2023 (more on that soon).
I’m so grateful for the vaccines and for the drop in Omicron cases nationwide that have made this trip possible.
For Tuesday Conversations—this one is the 25th episode since launching last August—I aim to bring you a variety of dialogues: some new, some older, some I’ve had the privilege to participate in, and some I’m just grateful to have caught. This week’s offering, a dialogue between intellectual giants Michael Eric Dyson and Isabel Wilkerson, is in that final category. My guess is, like me, you’ll find it simultaneously informative and moving, enraging and inspiring. This 50-minute video is from the Brooklyn Book Festival last year, but this discussion of race and hierarchy goes right to the heart of the central problem with which we continue to wrestle.
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Here’s the setup from the Brooklyn Book Festival:
Does the concept of race hide more than it reveals? Join Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents) in conversation with sociologist Michael Eric Dyson (Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America) about racial hierarchy, the possibility of historical change, and rethinking the frameworks that brought us here.
BONUS: The Inspiring Story of the Black Faith Leader Collective in Chicago
During the first year of the pandemic, we at PRRI had the privilege of convening a creative and innovative group of leaders who were mobilizing resources in their communities to meet immediate needs. These efforts were supported by generous grants from the Henry Luce Foundation. This short video highlights the efforts of a religiously diverse group of Black faith leaders, led by Rev. Brian Smith at Chicago Theological Seminary, to coordinate relief services. If you have 6 minutes, I promise this will lift your spirits.
Read the Books
I can’t help sharing this: I was deeply honored that Michael Eric Dyson wrote an endorsement for White Too Long. From the back cover:
Robert P. Jones’s searing White Too Long brilliantly argues that his fellow white Christians must dissent from their received faith and embrace a theology of racial justice. White Too Long is a prophetic call of redemption for folk who have too often idolized whiteness and worshipped America instead of the God of Martin, Fannie Lou, and Jesse.
Register for “Do We Want to Be Healed? Racism in the White Church,” at Baylor University’s Truett Seminary
Finally, if you’d like to participate (virtually or in person) in the Baylor/Truett Seminary event this week, it’s not too late to register! I’m speaking Saturday morning, and the conference also features talks by Catherine Meeks, Kristin Du Mez, Sean Palmer, and Beth Allison Bar.