27 Books Published by 1517 Media on AALBC — Book Cover Collage

Click for more detail about In My Grandmother’s House: Black Women, Faith, and the Stories We Inherit by Yolanda Pierce In My Grandmother’s House: Black Women, Faith, and the Stories We Inherit

by Yolanda Pierce
Broadleaf Books (Feb 07, 2023)
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"In a world eager to promote the newest wunderkind, grandmother theology carries us two or more generations back: to the kitchens, hair salons, gardens, and church basements of older Black women who are often invisible in theological discourse but without whom the American Christian church would cease to exist."

The church mothers who raised Yolanda Pierce, dean of Howard University School of Divinity, were busily focused on her survival. In a world hostile to Black women’s bodies and spirits, they had to be. Born on a former cotton plantation and having fled the terrors of the South, Pierce’s grandmother raised her in the faith inherited from those who were enslaved. Now in paperback, In My Grandmother’s House follows Pierce as she reckons with that tradition, building an everyday womanist theology rooted in liberating scriptures, experiences in the Black church, and truths from Black women’s lives. Pierce tells stories that center the experiences of those living on the underside of history, teasing out the tensions of race, spirituality, trauma, freedom, resistance, and memory. The paperback features a new readers’ guide, written by the author, that is useful for individual reflection and group discussion.

A grandmother’s theology carries wisdom strong enough for future generations. The Divine has been showing up at the kitchen tables of Black women for a long time. It’s time to get to know that God.


Click for more detail about I Wish My Dad: The Power of Vulnerable Conversations Between Fathers and Sons by Romal J. Tune I Wish My Dad: The Power of Vulnerable Conversations Between Fathers and Sons

by Romal J. Tune
Broadleaf Books (Oct 11, 2022)
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I Wish My Dad …: what a simple way to start a sentence. But those four words hold the power to heal wounds men may not even know they carry.

From author, speaker, and social entrepreneur Romal Tune and his son, Jordan, comes this tour de force for fathers and sons about healing the unfinished business between them. What do sons wish they had received from their fathers? What might honest, healing conversations between fathers and sons look like?

Tune was raised mostly without a father. He and his dad connected briefly when he was a teenager, and then had no relationship for decades. After years of inner work via therapy and faith, Tune realized that neither he nor his dad possessed what they needed to live up to each other’s expectations. He began to wonder if other men also longed to have vulnerable conversations with their fathers—about good memories, about pain, and about what their relationship could still become.

So he sat down with seventeen men of diverse ages, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds for I Wish My Dad conversations. In the pages of this book, he invites us into the room as the men unpack relationships with their fathers, learn to work through emotional pain, recount moments of tenderness and care, and describe risks they took to heal and connect with their fathers. Tune also offers us strategies and prompts for initiating our own I Wish My Dad conversations. And with no pretense, he and Jordan recount their own I Wish My Dad interview, which helped them chart the way toward a transformed relationship.

I Wish My Dad helps fathers, and their sons move through the past to find deep connection in the present. The lessons in these pages will free us to have—and become—the kind of dad we wish for.


Click for more detail about The Arc of Truth: The Thinking of Martin Luther King Jr. by Lewis V. Baldwin The Arc of Truth: The Thinking of Martin Luther King Jr.

by Lewis V. Baldwin
Fortress Press (Oct 04, 2022)
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Martin Luther King Jr. said and wrote as much or more about the meaning, nature, and power of truth as any other prominent figure in the 1950s and ’60s. King was not only vastly influential as an advocate for and defender of truth; he also did more than anyone in his time to organize truth into a movement for the liberation, uplift, and empowerment of humanity, efforts that ultimately resulted in the loss of his life. Drawing on King’s published and unpublished sermons, speeches, and writings, The Arc of Truth explores King’s lifelong pilgrimage in pursuit of truth.

Lewis Baldwin explores King’s quest for truth from his inquisitive childhood to the influence of family and church, to Morehouse College, Crozer Theological Seminary, Boston University, and other academic institutions in the Northeast. Continuing on, the book follows King’s sense that he was involved in experiments of truth within the context of the struggle to liberate and empower humanity, to his understanding of the civil rights movement as unfolding truth, to his persistent challenge to America around its need to engage in a serious reckoning with truth regarding its history and heritage. Baldwin investigates King’s determination to speak truth to power, and his untiring efforts to actualize what he envisioned as the truthful ends of the beloved community through the truthful means of nonviolent direct action. King believed, taught, and demonstrated by example that truth derives from a revolution in the heart, mind, and soul before it can be translated into institutions and structures that guarantee freedom, justice, human dignity, equality of opportunity, and peace.

Ultimately, King’s significance for humanity cannot be considered only his contributions as a preacher, pastor, civil rights leader, and world figure—he was and remains equally impactful as a theologian, philosopher, and ethicist whose life and thought evince an enduring search for and commitment to truth.


Click for more detail about The Prophetic Lens: The Camera and Black Moral Agency from MLK to Darnella Frazier by Phil Allen The Prophetic Lens: The Camera and Black Moral Agency from MLK to Darnella Frazier

by Phil Allen
Fortress Press (Sep 13, 2022)
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Martin Luther King used news cameras as a means of exposing anti-Black violence by white mobs in the 1950s and 60s. Darnella Frazier used her phone to record and post the murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin in May 2020. These are just two of many people who have captured images of injustice for the world to see.

The Prophetic Lens takes an important look at the use of the video camera as an indispensable prophetic tool for the security of Black lives and greater possibility for racial justice. Phil Allen shows how the camera can be a catalyst for cultural change, using Walter Brueggemann’s Prophetic Imagination as a framework for understanding the concept of "prophetic." Chronicling the use of the camera, particularly in film from J.D. Griffiths’ Birth of a Nation to Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, Allen’s historical approach reveals how effective this technology has been in achieving the goals of its respective storytellers.

The book highlights both the prophetic potential of the camera and the context of Blackness as a liminal existence amid a context dominated by whiteness.


Click for more detail about Batman is Jesus by Siku Batman is Jesus

by Siku
Fortress Press (Aug 22, 2022)
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Artist-theologian Siku, creator of The Manga Bible and artist on Judge Dredd, introduces the concept of Narrative Theology - and the specific subset of Graphic Theology - that informs his unique work and ministry. Through the visual language of superhero archetypes, legend and lore, he demonstrates a contemporary method of engaging with the Bible that resonates with how the Hebrew sages and prophets of pre-antiquity read Scripture. This one-of-a-kind contribution to the My Theology series is presented in full color as a mix of text and Siku’s dynamic artwork and comic-style illustration.

In the My Theology series, the world’s leading Christian thinkers explain some of the principal tenets of their theological beliefs in concise, pocket-sized books.


Click for more detail about United Stated of Grace: A Memoir of Homelessness, Addiction, Incarceration, and Hope by Lenny Duncan United Stated of Grace: A Memoir of Homelessness, Addiction, Incarceration, and Hope

by Lenny Duncan
Broadleaf Books (Aug 02, 2022)
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"This lyrical testament to life as ’a blind date with mercy’ will challenge and inspire." —Publishers Weekly [Starred Review]

In 1991, when he was thirteen years old, Lenny Duncan stepped out of his house in West Philadelphia, walked to the Greyhound station, and bought a ticket—the start of his great American adventure. But little did he know that his great American adventure would include a winding path through sex work and drug deals, prison, and eventually ministry and social justice activism.

Now out in paperback with a new afterword, Duncan brings us his deeply personal story about growing up Black and queer in the US. In his characteristically powerful voice, he recounts hitchhiking across the country, spending time in solitary confinement, battling for sobriety, and discovering a deep faith, examining pressing issues like poverty, mass incarceration, white supremacy, and LGBTQ inclusion through an intimate portrayal of his life’s struggles and joys. United States of Grace is a love story about America, revealing the joy and resilience of places in this country that many call "the margins" but that Lenny Duncan has called home. Fierce and incisive, Duncan challenges us and America to seek life out of death. "I was born starving for the good," he writes, "and this country can be a feast of good if we open ourselves up to it."


Click for more detail about First and Only: What Black Women Say About Thriving at Work and in Life by Jennifer R. Farmer First and Only: What Black Women Say About Thriving at Work and in Life

by Jennifer R. Farmer
Broadleaf Books (Jul 26, 2022)
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"Essential reading." —Marie Claire

First and Only is a guide for every Black woman who has found herself closing the cover on other business leadership books, convinced that something is missing. We are looking for roadmaps to on-the-job success while also acknowledging the unique barriers that Black women face in the workplace: hostile work environments, being perceived as the Angry Black Woman, being asked to do more for less than our white colleagues. But we can heal, fight for our liberation, and succeed in business and in our lives. In these pages, you will find a love letter to Black women that connects our personal growth and inner healing and the fight for liberation.

Trainer and activist Jennifer R. Farmer offers practical strategies for how to thrive in workplaces that can be ambivalent about Black women’s success, as well as tips and stories from psychologists, activists, and organizational experts that equip us to lead others and heal past wounds. Learn to shed fear and embrace courage and vulnerability. Our path to success includes a commitment to self-care, spiritual growth, and a willingness to push for progress even as we fight for our own liberation. First and Only is not just about how to lean in, or how to discover the irrefutable laws of leadership. It’s also about healing so that we can sustain work for justice and equity. It’s about finding personal and social redemption—and leading other Black women to it, too.

The paperback edition includes an added preface, a discussion guide, and a Q&A with the author.


Click for more detail about You Mean It or You Don’t: James Baldwin’s Radical Challenge by Jamie McGhee and Adam Hollowell You Mean It or You Don’t: James Baldwin’s Radical Challenge

by Jamie McGhee and Adam Hollowell
Broadleaf Books (May 31, 2022)
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After a speech at UMass Amherst on February 28, 1984, James Baldwin was asked by a student: "You said that the liberal façade and being a liberal is not enough. Well, what is? What is necessary?" Baldwin responded, "Commitment. That is what is necessary. You mean it or you don’t."

Taking up that challenge and drawing from Baldwin’s fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and interviews, You Mean It or You Don’t will spur today’s progressives from conviction to action. It is not enough, authors Hollowell and McGhee urge us, to hold progressive views on racial justice, LGBTQ+ identity, and economic inequality. True and lasting change demands a response to Baldwin’s radical challenge for moral commitment. Called to move from dreams of justice to living it out in communities, churches, and neighborhoods, we can show that we truly mean it.

Welcome to life with James Baldwin. It is raw and challenging, inspired and embodied, passionate and fully awake.


Click for more detail about The Enneagram for Black Liberation: Return to Who You Are Beneath the Armor You Carry by Chichi Agorom The Enneagram for Black Liberation: Return to Who You Are Beneath the Armor You Carry

by Chichi Agorom
Broadleaf Books (Mar 29, 2022)
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Am I worthy of belonging? Am I loved just as I am? Am I safe to exist without worry?

How do Black women return to our truest selves in systems that answer “no” to these three questions?

The Enneagram is an ancient system of human development that shows us the limiting stories that keep us stuck in unhelpful patterns, and invites us into more expansive stories. For too long, conversations about the Enneagram and its personality types have been centered on and by whiteness. In The Enneagram for Black Liberation, certified Enneagram teacher and trained psychotherapist Chichi Agorom reclaims the Enneagram as a powerful tool for Black women to rediscover our wholeness and worth that existed long before systems of supremacy told us we weren't enough.

For Black women, in particular, our Enneagram personality types reflect more than just our way of being in the world; they are shaped by armor that we use to protect ourselves from pain, suffering, and shame. Breaking down each Enneagram type as a form of armor, this book offers practices to help Black women, and all who live on the margins, begin to build a sense of self separate from our mechanisms of self-protection, while working to dismantle the systems that require us to stay constantly armored up. Chichi Agorom takes readers through each of the nine Enneagram types, along with stories of Black women who identify with them, to illustrate the stories people must tell themselves in order to feel safe. In the process, Agorom seeks to inspire us to expand beyond our type patterns.

Wholeness work is justice work. Centering freedom, ease, and rest for Black women, Agorom invites each of us to claim the Enneagram as our tool for resilience-building in the continued fight for liberation.


Click for more detail about Black Girls Unbossed: Young World Changers Leading the Way by Khristi Lauren Adams Black Girls Unbossed: Young World Changers Leading the Way

by Khristi Lauren Adams
Beaming Books (Mar 22, 2022)
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Black girls are shaping the future.

Young Black leaders have always been at the forefront of the fight for justice, freedom, and equity. And Black girls today are stepping up and leading in bold, creative ways. In a world overrun by power and greed, now is the time to look to Black girls for lessons in resilience, leadership, tenacity, spirit, and empathy.

From Khristi Lauren Adams, author of the celebrated Parable of the Brown Girl, comes Black Girls Unbossed, which introduces readers to young Black girls leading the way and changing the world.

Eight young Black women are profiled, including the founder of a child literacy nonprofit, political activists, and a school shooting survivor who launched a political action committee to prevent gun violence.

These are the young Black women we will be reading about and studying decades from now. Like the young women who came before them, Black girls today are saying “enough is enough” and building a better world.


Click for more detail about Unbossed: How Black Girls Are Leading the Way by Khristi Lauren Adams Unbossed: How Black Girls Are Leading the Way

by Khristi Lauren Adams
Broadleaf Books (Mar 08, 2022)
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Black girls are leading, organizing, advocating, and creating. They are starting nonprofits. Building political coalitions. Promoting diverse literature. Fighting cancer. Improving water quality. Working to prevent gun violence.

Are we ready to learn from their leadership?

“Black women are literally at the helm of every movement,” says Tyah-Amoy Roberts, an activist and a survivor of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. “Every push for social justice. Every push for social change. We need to take our stories into our own hands.” In Unbossed, they do.

From Khristi Lauren Adams, author of the celebrated Parable of the Brown Girl, comes Unbossed, a hopeful and riveting inquiry into the lives of eight young Black women who are agitating for change and imagining a better world. Offering practical lessons in leadership, resilience, empathy, and tenacity from a group of young leaders of color who are often neglected, Unbossed includes profiles of Jaychele Nicole Schenck, Ssanyu Lukoma, Tyah-Amoy Roberts, Grace Callwood, Hannah Lucas, Amara Ifeji, Stephanie Younger, and Kynnedy Smith.

These are the young Black women we will be reading about decades from now. Like their foremothers in earlier freedom movements, Black girls are transformational leaders. They are pacesetters, strategic thinkers, visionaries, mobilizers, activists, and more. Their stories may often be overlooked. But Black girls are leading the way.


Click for more detail about Black Hands White House: Slave Labor and the Making of America by Renee K. Harrison Black Hands White House: Slave Labor and the Making of America

by Renee K. Harrison
Fortress Press (Nov 02, 2021)
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Black Hands, White House documents and appraises the role enslaved women and men played in building the US, both its physical and its fiscal infrastructure. The book highlights the material commodities produced by enslaved communities during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. These commodities—namely tobacco, rice, sugar, and cotton, among others—enriched European and US economies; contributed to the material and monetary wealth of the nation’s founding fathers, other early European immigrants, and their descendants; and bolstered the wealth of present-day companies founded during the American slave era. Critical to this study are also examples of enslaved laborers’ role in building Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Subsequently, their labor also constructed the nation’s capital city, Federal City (later renamed Washington, DC), its seats of governance—the White House and US Capitol—and other federal sites and memorials.

Given the enslaved community’s contribution to the US, this work questions the absence of memorials on the National Mall that honor enslaved, Black-bodied people. Harrison argues that such monuments are necessary to redress the nation’s historical disregard of Black people and America’s role in their forced migration, violent subjugation, and free labor. The erection of monuments commissioned by the US government would publicly demonstrate the government’s admission of the US’s historical role in slavery and human-harm, and acknowledgment of the karmic debt owed to these first Black-bodied builders of America.

Black Hands, White House appeals to those interested in exploring how nation-building and selective memory, American patriotism and hypocrisy, racial superiority and mythmaking are embedded in US origins and monuments, as well as in other memorials throughout the transatlantic European world. Such a study is necessary, as it adds significantly to the burgeoning and in-depth conversation on racial disparity, race relations, history-making, reparations, and monument erection and removal.


Click for more detail about The Lightmaker’s Manifesto: How to Work for Change Without Losing Your Joy by Karen Walrond The Lightmaker’s Manifesto: How to Work for Change Without Losing Your Joy

by Karen Walrond
Broadleaf Books (Nov 02, 2021)
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Many of us have strong convictions. We want to advocate for causes we care about—but which ones? We want to work for change—but will the emotional toll lead to burn out?

Leadership coach, lawyer, photographer, and activist Karen Walrond knows that when you care deeply about the world, light can seem hard to find. But when your activism grows out of your joy—and vice versa—you begin to see light everywhere.

In The Lightmaker’s Manifesto, Walrond helps us name the skills, values, and actions that bring us joy; identify the causes that spark our empathy and concern; and then put it all together to change the world. Creative and practical exercises, including journaling, daily intention-setting, and mindful self-compassion, are complemented by lively conversations with activists and thought leaders such as Valarie Kaur, Brené Brown, Tarana Burke, and Zuri Adele. With stories from around the world and wisdom from those leading movements for change, Walrond beckons readers toward lives of integrity, advocacy, conviction, and joy.

By unearthing our passions and gifts, we learn how to joyfully advocate for justice, peace, and liberation. We learn how to become makers of light.


Click for more detail about Toni Morrison’s Spiritual Vision: Faith, Folktales, and Feminism in Her Life and Literature by Nadra Nittle Toni Morrison’s Spiritual Vision: Faith, Folktales, and Feminism in Her Life and Literature

by Nadra Nittle
Fortress Press (Oct 05, 2021)
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When Toni Morrison died in August 2019, she was widely remembered for her contributions to literature as an African American woman, an identity she wore proudly. Morrison was clear that she wrote from a Black, female perspective and for others who shared her identity. But just as much as she was an African American writer, Toni Morrison was a woman of faith.

Morrison filled her novels with biblical allusions, magic, folktales, and liberated women, largely because Christianity, African American folk magic, and powerful women defined her own life. She grew up with family members who could interpret dreams, predict the future, see ghosts, and go about their business. Her relatives, particularly her mother, were good storytellers, and her family’s oral tradition included ghost stories and African American folktales. But her family was also Christian. As a child, Morrison converted to Catholicism and chose a baptismal name that truly became her own—Anthony, from St. Anthony of Padua—going from Chloe to Toni. Morrison embraced both Catholicism and the occult as a child and, later, as a writer. She was deeply religious, and her spirituality included the Bible, the paranormal, and the folktales she heard as a child.

Toni Morrison’s Spiritual Vision unpacks this oft-ignored, but essential, element of Toni Morrison’s work—her religion—and in so doing, gives readers a deeper, richer understanding of her life and her writing. In its pages, Nadra Nittle remembers and understands Morrison for all of who she was: a writer, a Black woman, and a person of complex faith. As Nittle’s wide-ranging, deep exploration of Morrison’s oeuvre reveals, to fully understand the writing of Toni Morrison one must also understand the role of religion and spirituality in her life and literature.


Click for more detail about Parable of the Brown Girl: The Sacred Lives of Girls of Color by Khristi Lauren Adams Parable of the Brown Girl: The Sacred Lives of Girls of Color

by Khristi Lauren Adams
Fortress Press (Feb 04, 2020)
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Enlightening and extremely helpful Parable of a Brown Girl deepens cultural awareness by relaying heartfelt stories from girls of color. Author, speaker, minister, and youth advocate, Khristi Lauren Adams introduces readers to the resilience and hope held within each of their diverse lives. Loaded with valuable insights from people of color, referencing Black feminist and political thought, Adams brings each story front and center with grace and wisdom.

By sharing encounters she’s had with girls of color, profound cultural and theological truths are highlighted. Adams magnifies the struggles, dreams, wisdom, and dignity of these important voices that offer deep understanding of social justice and reconciliation for all readers. Thought-provoking and inspirational, Parable of the Brown Girl is a powerful example of how God uses the narratives we most often ignore to teach us the most important lessons in life. It’s time to pay attention and learn from the societal pressures, expectations, and stereotypes often put on multi-ethnic girls. Now is the time to forge new understanding and engage in community dialogue that Adams so confidently leads us into.


Click for more detail about Bitty Brown Babe by Deborah Lefalle Bitty Brown Babe

by Deborah Lefalle
Beaming Books (Sep 10, 2019)
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Bitty brown babe, how soft your round nose
As soft as a petal one finds on a rose.

Feel the love and delight in this darling board book about bonding with a new baby in the family. Deborah LeFalle’s poetic descriptive text and Keisha Morris’ vibrant mixed-media illustrations, showcase the wonder and beauty of a beloved baby and the joy that comes with new life.

Bitty Brown Babe is the perfect gift for new parents, grandmothers, aunts, birthdays, Mother’s Day, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Grandparents Day, baby showers, and story time any day of the year.


Click for more detail about Bipolar Faith: A Black Woman’s Journey with Depression and Faith by Monica A. Coleman Bipolar Faith: A Black Woman’s Journey with Depression and Faith

by Monica A. Coleman
Fortress Press (Jul 01, 2016)
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Overcome with mental anguish, Monica A. Coleman’s great-grandfather had his two young sons pull the chair out from beneath him when he hanged himself. That noose remained tied to a rafter in the shed, where it hung above the heads of his eight children who played there for years to come.

As it had for generations before her, a heaviness hung over Monica throughout her young life. As an adult, this rising star in the academy saw career successes often fueled by the modulated highs of undiagnosed Bipolar II Disorder, as she hid deep depression that even her doctors skimmed past in disbelief. Serendipitous encounters with Black intellectuals like Henry Louis Gates Jr., Angela Davis, and Renita Weems were countered by long nights of stark loneliness. Only as Coleman began to face her illness was she able to live honestly and faithfully in the world. And in the process, she discovered a new and liberating vision of God.

Written in crackling prose, Monica’s spiritual autobiography examines her long dance with trauma, depression, and the threat of death in light of the legacies of slavery, war, sharecropping, poverty, and alcoholism that masked her family history of mental illness for generations.


Click for more detail about Ain’t I a Womanist, Too?: Third Wave Womanist Religious Thought by Monica A. Coleman Ain’t I a Womanist, Too?: Third Wave Womanist Religious Thought

by Monica A. Coleman
Fortress Press (May 01, 2013)
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Third wave womanism is a new movement within religious studies with deep roots in the tradition of womanist religious thoughtwhile also departing from it in key ways. After a helpful and orienting introduction, this volume gathers essays from established and emerging scholars whose work is among the most lively and innovative scholarship today. The result is a lively conversation in which “to question is not to disavow; to depart is not necessarily to reject” and where questioning and departing are indications of the productive growth and expansion of an important academic and religious movement.


Click for more detail about Strength to Love by Martin Luther King, Jr. Strength to Love

by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Fortress Press (Jan 10, 2010)
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"If there is one book Martin Luther King, Jr. has written that people consistently tell me has changed their lives, it is Strength to Love."

So wrote Coretta Scott King. She continued: "I believe it is because this book best explains the central element of Martin Luther King, Jr.’ s philosophy of nonviolence: His belief in a divine, loving presence that binds all life. That insight, luminously conveyed in this classic text, here presented in a new and attractive edition, hints at the personal transformation at the root of social justice: " By reaching into and beyond ourselves and tapping the transcendent moral ethic of love, we shall overcome these evils."

In these short meditative and sermonic pieces, some of them composed in jails and all of them crafted during the tumultuous years of the Civil Rights struggle, Dr. King articulated and espoused in a deeply personal compelling way his commitment to justice and to the intellectual, moral, and spiritual conversion that makes his work as much a blueprint today for Christian discipleship as it was then.

Individual readers, as well as church groups and students will find in this work a challenging yet energizing vision of God and redemptive love.


Click for more detail about Making a Way Out of No Way: A Womanist Theology by Monica A. Coleman Making a Way Out of No Way: A Womanist Theology

by Monica A. Coleman
Fortress Press (Sep 01, 2008)
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In her new book, Monica A. Coleman articulates the African American expression of making a way out of no way for today’s context of globalization, religious pluralism, and sexual diversity. Drawing on womanist religious scholarship and process thought, Coleman describes the symbiotic relationship among God, the ancestors, and humanity that helps to change the world into the just society it ought to be. Making a Way Out of No Way shows us a way of living for justice with God and proposes a communal theology that presents a dynamic way forward for black churches, African traditional religions and grassroots organizations.


Click for more detail about Witnessing and Testifying by Rosetta E. Ross Witnessing and Testifying

by Rosetta E. Ross
Fortress Press (Jan 01, 2003)
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After a chapter exploring black women’s religious context and presenting early examples of this work by women of the ante-bellum and post-Reconstruction eras, Ross looks at seven civil rights activists who continue this tradition. They are Ella Josephine Baker, Septima Poinsette Clark, Fannie Lou Hamer, Victoria Way DeLee, Clara Muhammad, Diane Nash, and Ruby Doris Smith Robinson. In a fascinating narrative style that draws on biography, social history, and original archival research, Ross shows how their moral formation and work reflect both womanist consciousness and practices of witness and testimony, both emergent from the black religious context. Ross’ major work is engrossing history and moving ethical challenge. Examining black women’s civil rights activism as religiously impelled moral practices brings a new insight to work on the movement and lifts up a paradigm for engagement in the mountainous challenges of contemporary social life.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Race, Racism, and the Biblical Narratives (Facets) by Cain Hope Felder Race, Racism, and the Biblical Narratives (Facets)

by Cain Hope Felder
Fortress Press (Sep 01, 2002)
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Felder’s important work clarifies the profound differences in racial attitudes in the biblical world and now. He shows processes at work in both testaments that reflect ancient ambiguity about what we call race. He uncovers misuses of the biblical text (such as the so-called curse of Ham) in subsequent interpretation and shows how the Bible has been used to trivialize African contributions and demean and enslave black people. Felder challenges scholars and church people alike to deeper and more honest engagement with the biblical text.


Click for more detail about Spiritual Maturity: Preserving Congregational Health and Balance (Prisms) by Frank A. Thomas Spiritual Maturity: Preserving Congregational Health and Balance (Prisms)

by Frank A. Thomas
Augsburg Fortress (Apr 02, 2002)
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Like all human bodies, the body of Christ that we call "church" needs to attend to its health or it may become ill. Renowned pastor, preacher, and teacher Frank Thomas believes that many congregations exhibit a number of dysfunctional habits in conducting business that leads to rifts, divides, and even congregational splits. Often they are caused by leadership styles that are ineffective and controlling. Thomas examines how poor congregational leadership is often the result of personality conflicts among leaders and how many key leaders both clergy and lay participate in keeping unhealthy methods alive.

Thomas's book will help lay and clergy leaders improve the health of their congregation by taking a close look at the styles of church leadership, methods of information flow, and levels of participation that exist within the body. Thomas offers a holistic solution based on a model of spiritual maturity for creating and preserving a healthy congregation.


Click for more detail about The Measure of a Man (paperback) by Martin Luther King, Jr. The Measure of a Man (paperback)

by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Fortress Press (Oct 19, 2001)
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Two brief yet powerful meditations from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. defining humanity’s worth and completion relate to strides toward social justice.

Eloquent and passionate, reasoned and sensitive, this pair of meditations by the revered civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. contains the theological roots of his political and social philosophy of nonviolent activism.

In supporting reconciliation, Dr. King outlines human worth based on Scripture, encouraging the reader to know each person has worth, rational ability, and an invitation to fellowship with the Creator. In addition, Dr. King explains the three dimensions of life: length, breadth, and height; they must all be present and working harmoniously in order for life to be complete as an individual and as a community. Black and white photos from Dr. King’s life along with simple prayers from the reverend round out this short but poignant offering.


Click for more detail about Refiner’s Fire by Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan Refiner’s Fire

by Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan
Fortress Press (Nov 17, 2000)
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What does religion have to do with fomenting or transcending violence? In this fascinating work, Kirk-Duggan documents and analyzes religion’s involvement in violence, for good and ill, in the Bible, slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, and the youth scene of today.


Click for more detail about Battered Love by Battered Love

by
Fortress Press (Nov 30, 1995)
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Weems’s pioneering study explores the puzzling ways in which the Hebrew prophets’ portrayals of divine love, compassion, and conventional commitment often became associated with battery, infidelity, and the rape and mutilation of women. She wrestles with the prophets’ rhetoric and sexual metaphors to uncover Israelite social structures, asking, What is implied about women, men, and God by the language that the prophets use to describe the covenant between Yahweh and Israel? This provocative work by a leading African American biblical scholar delves deeply into issues of intimacy and power, violence and control, seduction and betrayal, and is a searing indictment of the axial points of Israelite religionits covenantal and prophetic traditionsand their authority today.


Click for more detail about Stony the Road We Trod: African American Biblical Interpretation by Cain Hope Felder Stony the Road We Trod: African American Biblical Interpretation

by Cain Hope Felder
Fortress Press (Jun 01, 1991)
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Contents: Preface; Map; Introduction. Part One: The Relevance of Biblical Scholarship and the Authority of the Bible. 1. Interpreting Biblical Scholarship for the Black Church Tradition. 2. The Hermeneutical Dilemma of the African American Biblical Student. 3. Reading "Her Way" Through the Struggle: African American Women and the Bible. Part Two: African American Sources for Enhancing Biblical Interpretation. 4. The Bible and African Americans: An Outline of an Interpretative History. 5 "An Ante-bellum Sermon:" A Resource for an African American Hermeneutic. Part Three: Race and Ancient Black Africa in the Bible. 6. Race, Racism, and the Biblical Narratives. 7. The Black Presence in the Old Testament. 8. Beyond Identification: The Use of Africans in Old Testament Poetry and Narratives. Part Four: Reinterpreting Biblical Texts. 9. Who Was Hagar? 10. The Haustafeln (Household Codes) in African American Biblical Interpretation: "Free Slaves" and "Subordinate Women." 11. An African American Appraisal of the Philemon-Paul-Onesimus Triangle. Index of Ancient Sources. Index of Topics and Names. Contributors.