african americans


The Souls of Black Folk,
by W. E. B. Du Bois

A book I like to teach

"What does it feel like to be a problem?” For the first time in college, a line from a book rang in my head for days. W. E. B. Du Bois’s realization of his racial reality and the question of how he would choose to exist in the face of this new knowledge struck me as a deeply theological question.


White space, black lives

After I received the request to review Kelly Brown Douglas's book, I kept seeing her main thesis displayed in the news.


Unfamiliar lands

Books for the dark night

Princeton Theological Seminary can be a lonely place for an African American professor. During a difficult period, I saw Isabel Wilkerson on PBS.


Religion, Race, and the Making of Confederate Kentucky, 1830-1880, by Luke E. Harlow and The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation, by David Brion Davis

Fall books

Why did northern whites support a limited set of rights for blacks during Reconstruction, but then abandon them in the 1870s, and do little to stop the racial violence of the 1880s and beyond? Two new books shed important new light on such questions.


The Long Walk to Freedom, edited by Devon W. Carbado and Donald Weise

The runaway slave narratives compiled by Devon Carbado and Donald Weise are as moving as any story by Suzanne Collins or J.R.R. Tolkien.