The hope I am holding onto for Obama’s leadership is the depth and candor of his Philadelphia speech on race and the fact that his most fundamental racial identity seems to be his being biracial. He represents a new generation of children of interracial families who have experienced the rich gifts and real challenges of finding intimacy across the divide, who refuse to choose between the cultures of their two parents. They want the best of both, see the flaws of self-sufficiency and are willing to lose some friends along the way for the sake of something better than the old categories of who “my people” are. —Chris Rice
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a predominantly white denomination whose structure includes five official ethnic associations for African Americans, Native Americans and Alaskans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, Latinos, and those of Arab and Middle Eastern heritage, decided in 2006 that it needed one more group.
Last month the United Church of Christ invited its congregations to conduct a “sacred conversation” about race in response to the controversy swirling around Trinity United Church of Christ and its now retired pastor, Jeremiah Wright.
Richard Lischer, professor of preaching, Duke Divinity School: “It’s been 40 years since we have heard redemptive language in the political arena. Like Martin Luther King Jr., Obama did not flinch from addressing the lingering pain and anger of racism in America. Like King, Obama understands how questions of race are bound up with religion.
You may find it strange that I, an African American, do not believe in interracial marriage. I do not believe in interracial dating or even in having friends of other races. I do not espouse trying to understand racial differences or promoting awareness of other races. I can say all of this unabashedly because I do not believe in race!
Clark and I had been dating for a few weeks when I went to church with him one Sunday. Apparently one of the kids saw us holding hands after the service and was bewildered, because later that evening, during youth group, he pulled the youth director aside and asked him in earnest curiosity, "Is it OK with God that Clark has a black girlfriend?"If you haven't guessed by now, here's the scandal: I am a Christian black woman who happens to be dating a Christian white man.
One picture has become a symbol of white resistance to James Meredith’s 1962 entrance to the University of Mississippi as its first African-American student: the Life magazine photograph, taken by Charlie Moore, showing seven white sheriffs gathered in a campus grove, one of them swinging a billy club.