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Racial Reconciliation

Black Masculinity, Societal Indifference, and Church Socialization

Steven Randolph Cureton

Racial Reconciliation: Black Masculinity, Societal Indifference, and Church Socialization pursues the deconstruction and construction of black masculinity. This book is partly exploratory in that it presents an abundance of profound quotes from historical and contemporary blacks who have a vested interest in race relations. It could be that the United States of America has not been ready to be receptive to the idea that blacks not only can recognize their own oppression but also can articulate with accuracy the human nature of the oppressor. This book aims to directly confront the nature and extent of racism and discrimination in an era that boasts about racial progress and a similar era whereby modern day churches perceive themselves as beacons of morality and racial harmony.

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6. A Time to Listen: A Conversation about Race, the Church, and Where Do We Go from Here?

Extract

Chapter Six

A Time to Listen

A Conversation about Race, the Church, and Where Do We Go from Here?

This chapter reproduces my keynote speech delivered on January 28, 2015 at Christ Church Greensboro in Greensboro, North Carolina. The keynote was delivered in front of a predominantly white Presbyterian audience pastored by Jeff Miller. Pastor Jeff Miller had examined the mood of emotions that seemed to hold the country hostage over the controversial racially polarizing killings of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Tamir Rice. During the months of July, August, and November of 2014, three black males, one as young as 12 (Tamir), a teenager of 18 (Michael) and a 44-year-old (Eric) had their lives cut short via lethal policing. Officers were cleared of any wrongdoing, which fundamentally translates to three black males were somehow to blame for their fatal demise. Certainly, the failure to find fault in lethal policing delivers a message of officer impunity when killing black males, even if they are unarmed. The optics of policing seemed to have an open eye of justice for exonerated police officers and a blind eye with respect to justice for the dead. Communities were in revolt, grassroots movement groups sprang up declaring that black lives should matter as something more than corpses or target practice for police officers. The court of public ←111 | 112→opinion seemed to be split down racial lines for the most part and at the end of the day, neither...

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