51 books finished in 2017: White Awake

51 books finished in 2017

This book is doing good work. It’s written by a white man – a pastor from a suburb of Chicago who kept failing to plant churches in the inner city. (Cringes and eye-rolls expected.)

He’s incredibly honest and humble, and the journey of this book starts when a friend points out that whiteness is a culture of it’s own. As he becomes aware of what cultural whiteness means, the book travels through emotional states – encounter, denial, disorientation, shame, self-righteousness, awakening, and active participation.

This book is my go-to recommendation, particularly for Christians from older generations, who believe it’s helpful that they “don’t see race.” But I believe it’s useful for all of us, because I deeply identified with those middle chapters about shame and self-righteousness! It’s only when we can get past all of these unhelpful reactions (aka our white fragility) that we can truly start listening to what people of color have been trying to tell us for decades.

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