August Antiracist Read: I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, by Austin Channing Brown
My August antiracist read was I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, by Austin Channing Brown. I experienced this book via the audiobook, which the author read herself.
Here is some information about the book, from the AustinChanning.com:
In a time when nearly all institutions (schools, churches, universities, businesses) claim to value “diversity” in their mission statements, I’M STILL HERE is a powerful account of how and why our actions so often fall short of our words. Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice, in stories that bear witness to the complexity of America’s social fabric–from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.
For readers who have engaged with America’s legacy on race through the writing of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Michael Eric Dyson, I’M STILL HERE is an illuminating look at how white, middle-class, Evangelicalism has participated in an era of rising racial hostility, inviting the reader to confront apathy, recognize God’s ongoing work in the world, and discover how blackness–if we let it–can save us all.
Austin’s New York Times’ Bestseller has taken her across the country speaking to universities, mass audiences, churches, and businesses. By facing head-on the systemic ways our world was built for whiteness, Austin’s every word unapologetically yet winsomely kicks down the door and brings the Black American experience into center stage.
So much of this book centered around race and racism in the context of Christianity, which, as a white Jewish woman, I know nothing about. It was interesting to get a peek into the complexities of that world.
Many readers, especially white women, first heard of this book when it was announced as the June 2020 pick for Reece Witherspoon’s mega-popular book club. Reese’s Book Club has shared resources to go along with I’m Still Here, and you can find many of them here.
There are so many incredible resources available to dig into this text and learn more from the brilliant author. Here are just a few:
Austin Channing Brown: White People are Exhausting, from Sojourners
The antiracist read I’m attempting in September is Not Light, But Fire: How to Lead Meaningful Race Conversations in the Classroom, by Matthew R. Kay.
I try my best, but not all of my antiracist thoughts and reflections make it to the blog. Find more on Instagram.