‘After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging’ by Willie James Jennings Book Review


“The crowd is itself a destination and not a means to an end. The goal of cultivating those who can gather people centers theological education in its erotic power….Erotic power is, as Rita Nakashima Brock states, ‘the power of our primal interrelatedness’….Erotic power has been drawn in our time into the trajectories of colonial control rooted in whiteness and made malignant through racial segregation that has shaped and continuous to shape so many individuals and communities. Desire rooted in control is disordered desire that inevitably forms social prisons that drain life” (Willie James Jennings 149).

“The distorted erotic power that fuels that works must be freed from its captivity to whiteness and turned back toward its source in divine desire. We can start again. That ‘again’ being a gift from the God who raised Jesus from the dead. Theological education exists in the ‘again.’ This is education that has as its fundamental resource erotic power, and that power finds its home in the divine ecstasy in which God relentlessly gives Godself to us, joyfully opening the divine life as our habitation” (Willie James Jennings 151).

“To be invoked in theological education is to long for eternity and the end of death. It is to seek the blessed state where our words start to do new works by first joining the chorus of the words of those who live forever in the Lord and who sound the healing and redeeming voice of the living God. Then our words will heal. Then our words will build up. Then our words will help form life together. Then our words will give witness to a destiny only visible through love. Talking together then is a practice aimed at eternity, and it matters more than we often realize for bringing our hope into focus. This finally is the goal of this book and the task I want to leave you with — to bring hope into focus” (Willie James Jennings 157).

An Elegy for Dismantling White Supremacy

We must dismantle white supremacy

root out corruption in theology –

Christian nationalism heresy –

that creates oppressive hegemony.

Ending white supremacy’s tyranny

would mean co-creating God’s peaceable

Kin-dom in the now, and eternity,

Earth begets Heaven interminable.

Jesus Christ modeled how to resist

oppressive legalese of the elite

through love that is political and persists

until all people can flourish replete.

This is the Spirit-driven task to which

we are called and led as Christ followers –

to tend to the poor and not to the rich –

salvation: the welfare of all others.

Celebrate Juneteenth by ACTING toward Equity and Justice for Black and Brown Communities

Tomorrow we commemorate and celebrate Juneteenth becoming a Federally recognized holiday AND the black activists who made it happen.

But we also must ACT toward a more equitable future for the flourishing of ALL people, especially black and brown people.

Here are some ways you can commemorate and celebrate Juneteenth by ACTING:

1. Support Black Owned Businesses and Organizations in your area:

2. Call your Senators and Local Officials and demand that they support the passage of HR1: For the People Act AND HR4: Voting Rights Advancement Act. These Bills will ensure equal and fair access to our most fundamental constitutional right: VOTING!

3. Educate yourself. If you don’t know the full history behind Juneteenth, spend some time researching.

4. Attend Juneteenth events in your area.

5. Celebrate Black Joy and Excellence!

Goodreads review for ‘Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning’ by Cathy Park Hong


This book is a MUST read for those of us who are white.

“As the poet Prageeta Sharma said, Americans have an expiration date on race the way they do for grief. At some point, they expect you to get over it.”

“Patiently educating a clueless white person about race is draining. It takes all your powers of persuasion. Because it’s more than a chat about race. It’s ontological. It’s like explaining to a person why you exist, or why you feel pain, or why your reality is distinct from their reality. Except it’s even trickier than that. Because the person has all of Western history, politics, literature, and mass culture on their side, proving that you don’t exist.”

“Of course, “white tears” does not refer to all pain but to the particular emotional fragility a white person experiences when they find racial stress so intolerable they become hypersensitive and defensive, focusing the stress back to their own bruised ego.”

“Suddenly Americans feel self-conscious of their white identity and this self-consciousness misleads them into thinking their identity is under threat. In feeling wrong, they feel wronged. In being asked to be made aware of racial oppression, they feel oppressed. While we laugh at white tears, white tears can turn dangerous. White tears, as Damon Young explains in The Root, are why defeated Southerners refused to accept the freedom of black slaves and formed the Ku Klux Klan. And white tears are why 63 percent of white men and 53 percent of white women elected a malignant man-child as their leader.”

White supremacy has become so defensive that it blatantly and violently denounces and denies experiences, feelings, and realities of communities of color. This book brilliantly depicts this to us white folks in an uncompromising way. It is up to us to pursue the daily and life-long process of change.