Coracle has been deeply committed to the work of racial healing from our inception; God’s Kingdom encompasses all things, people, races, and cultures, and it breaks God’s heart to witness the systemic and sustained devaluation of men and women of color created in His image that has occurred in this country for over 400 years. We still have a long way to go towards healing the deep wounds inflicted on our hearts, minds, finances, policies, and institutions by slavery, Jim Crow, mass-incarceration, etc., etc. The world is broken. AND Jesus is real, which inspires and enables us to be his transforming, redeeming presence in those very broken places of the world.
The Corhaven Graveyard is one example of how something evidencing the deep racial brokenness of America (an abandoned slave graveyard), can– with much prayer, collaboration, and hard work– be renewed into a place that honors all God-given life and enables people of all stripes to encounter His loving, healing presence. Out of the Corhaven Graveyard grew the work of the Repentance Project, and you can learn more about both below.
All of our hearts need to encounter this love and healing in order to be whole; many of our hearts and minds also need renewal when it comes to our participation in the God-honoring work of racial healing.
Some of us know we need to grow but don’t know where to start… You are welcome here.
Some of us feel mired in guilt but are not sure how to move forward in a healthy way… You are welcome here.
Some of us have been on this journey for a while and want to know how to go deeper… You are welcome here.
We hope the resources contained below will bless you as you seek to cultivate a heart that breaks for the things that break God’s heart.
A LAMENT SERVICE
“When God Said ‘Yes’” by Bill Haley: The dramatic and uplifting story of the Repentance Project’s founding.
Repentance Project Resources:
- The Story of Its Founding by Bill Haley: What would you do if you were given the bodies of the victims of a long and violent oppression perpetrated by your own people?
- “Clearing Sacred Ground” by Sarah Kohrs: The sacramental experience of working together to clear invasive plants from the Graveyard.
ARTICLES TO READ
Our most robust offering on this topic is “Race in America & A Christian Response” by Bill Haley
- “An Open Letter to White Christians: The Most Important Thing We Can Do Right Now” by Bill Haley
- “What is the Father’s Heart for Justice?” by Jacalyn Barnes
- “What is Justice, Anyway?” by Bill Haley
- “Contemplation or Action? Yes!” by Bill Haley
- “On the Prayer Life of Dr. King… and Ours” by Bill Haley
- “The God Who Sees” by Karen McNary
- “Prayers for Ferguson and Similar Settings” by Bill Haley
- Soundings Seminar “On Race in America & a Christian Response”: Featuring remarks from Bill Haley, David Hanke, Erin Clifford, Kendrick Curry, Nikki Toyama-Szeto, Justin Fung, Young Lee, Steve Park, and Shireen David.
- George Hopkins on Race in America Today: George Hopkins is the pastor at Gallery Church SoWeBo (South-West Baltimore)
Other Essential Resources:
7 THINGS TO READ
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson: This transformative narrative follows Stevenson’s early career defending death-row inmates in the American South. He has a singular gift of weaving together history, story, and faith into a true must-read.
- The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby: An acclaimed, timely narrative of how people of faith have historically– up to the present day– worked against racial justice. And a call for urgent action by all Christians today in response.
- Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: In his final, prophetic manuscript, Dr. King offers his hopes, plans, and dreams for America’s future that still resonates today.
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander: In this seminal work, Alexander points a spotlight on the epidemic of mass incarceration in America and its tragic ripple effects across our cultural landscape.
- Beloved by Toni Morrison: This classic novel looks at the searing evil of slavery through the lives of one family who, while able to escape life on a plantation, nevertheless remains haunted by the trauma they endured there.
- “A Letter Concerning the Death of George Floyd and So Many Others”: This letter from a group of Bishops in the Anglican Church in North America offers a thoroughly biblical and grounded response to the ongoing racial strife in our country.
- “Civil-Rights Protests Have Never Been Popular”: In this article for the Atlantic, MacArthur Fellow Ta-nehisi Coates offers a helpful, historical overview of civil-rights protests and their public reception (or lack thereof).
8 THINGS TO WATCH
- The Color of Compromise Video Series (available for free on Prime Video): Across 11 episodes, Jemar Tisby walks viewers through an overview of the historical narrative explored in his book. He calls the American church to repent of its complicity in racism across the centuries and to become a courageous Christianity that actively fights racism and builds a society resembling the Kingdom of God.
- “What is Systemic Racism?”: An 8-part video series produced by Race Forward that shows how racism shows up in our lives across institutions and society from the Wealth Gap, to Incarceration, to Infant Mortality.
- “We Need to Talk about an Injustice”: In this TED Talk, human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about the racial imbalances in America’s justice system.
- “Racism and Our Need for Repentance”: In this sermon at the Together for the Gospel Conference, David Platt addresses the pressing topic of the church’s role in racial justice and reconciliation and exhorts Christians to pursue multi-ethnic communities of faith united together in Christ.
- Just Mercy: Although not an adequate substitute for reading Bryan Stevenson’s book by the same title, this 2019 film adaptation grants a strong portrayal of one of the central stories of the book: the wrongful imprisonment of Walter McMillian and Stevenson’s fight to liberate him.
- 13th: Ava Duvernay’s Oscar-nominated documentary offers an in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality. (Available on Netflix)
- Emanuel: A beautiful, painful documentary following the 2015 murder of 9 African American men and women in Charleston’s historic Emanuel AME Church and the complex conversations that emerged following the victim’s forgiveness of the murderer.
- 12 Years a Slave: This Best Picture-winning film tells the true story of Solomon Northup, a free man living living in the north who is kidnapped in Washington, D.C. and sold into slavery in the South, where he remains for over a decade.
3 THINGS TO LISTEN TO
Seeing White Podcast: a 14-part investigation of the historical origins and pervasive significance of “whiteness” (Required listening for all Repentance Project Board members).
Pass the Mic: a podcast hosted by Jemar Tisby (author of Color of Compromise which we recommend above) that dives into issues at the intersection of race and Reformed Christianity.
The Disrupters: a podcast produced by InterVarsity Press and hosted by Wheaton Professor Esau McCaulley that interviews authors, scholars, and activists whose Christianity is causing them to be “disrupters” in their fields.
STILL HUNGRY FOR MORE?
Check out these other compilations of resources:
- Resources on Race from the Repentance Project
- “Statement on Racialized Violence” and Action Items from the &Campaign
- Anti-Racism Resources for White People from Alyssa Klein and Sarah Sophie Flicker
- Scaffolding Anti-Racist Resources from a collection of seminary students
- 11 Essential Films on Anti-Racism from The Love