Fall 2020 Adult Study White Fragility
Tuesdays  6:30pm-7:45pm
September 22-October 29
Facilitated by:  Rev. Toppie Bates
To Register:  Email Toppie@stjamesskan.org
Conversation Around The Book, White Fragility
We here at St. James have a wonderful opportunity for conversation around a very sensitive and as you can attest to, a predominantly national subject. Now is the time to listen and learn how the relationship, over America’s past centuries, between white and non-white people has come to be and how we personally and collectively are called now to address the old standards.
As many of you know a book was published back in 2018 by Robin DiAngelo entitled White Fragility. Robin is a PhD author, former professor and present lecturer, whose focus is Racial Discrimination and Education. She speaks all over the country to corporations, school districts, and non-profits. She is invited as one well experienced in guiding large and small groups through the evaluation of their hiring processes as well as their communication practices among the diversity of employees and clientele. “DiAngelo explores how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.”
We are offering 6 sessions of discussion of the book White Fragility, starting on September 22nd, all Tuesdays and concluding the 29th of October. We will start at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom and finish before 8:00. It is not necessary to read the book ahead of time, though I will be offering references and chapters for review ahead of the next session. The first session will be an overview and summary of the book’s Author’s Note, Introduction and chapter 1. As the book is subtitled Why It’s So Hard For White People to Talk About Racism, it gives us the opportunity for deep listening to others in a way that we might find challenging but we pray ever enlightening. It is the time to explore and learn about our white identity as something taught by our society in the U.S. from our very young years. We as a collective white society have been “carefully taught” and are so often blind to the effects of our assumptions. Honest and difficult conversations are necessary for us to practice as we address our fears and potentially our opposing viewpoints on this emotional subject. Our faith will guide us as we begin this journey and our church provides the platform for this kind of respectful exploration.
Otis Moss III is a renowned third generation southern style preacher. He writes in one of his books on preaching* that there is a condition called the “blue moan” where the real truth is told of the enduring pain to the black world. This is a necessary starting point before one can preach the “gospel shout”. He says, “Before you get to your resurrection shout, you must pass by the challenge and pain called Calvary.” Such honesty reveals and cleanses, we pray.
Dear Promising Lord, enlighten us. Bring together Your gentle souls hoping to contribute to improving the long standing injustices in our country today. Amen.
Please email me at toppiebates1@gmail.com to register for our series. I will then send you the Zoom link closer to our first session.
Blessings, Toppie+
*Blue Note Preaching in a Post-Soul World, by Otis Moss lll