The challenge to Christians: Black Lives Matter symposium

Putting up signs is great. Talking about racism together is even better.

The Black Lives Matter movement that has unfolded in cities and on campuses across the nation is writing a new chapter in black people’s struggle for liberation. We asked writers to reflect on what the movement has accomplished, where its energies should be focused, and what implications it has for churches. (Read all responses.)

Could the Black Lives Matter movement in­vig­orate churches across America? I believe it can, because it reveals the systemic racism that African Americans experience, it bridges the generation gap within the civil rights movement, and it is a marked improvement over the “racial reconciliation” movements of the 1990s which did not push forward the conversation on race or act significantly to eradicate racism.

Like the civil rights movement, Black Lives Matter has attracted not only African Americans but persons from different social, ethnic, and class backgrounds. There are Black Lives Matter chapters located throughout the United States. While it is not a movement rooted in religion per se, it is open to those who believe. It is open and affirming, and unapologetically black. It states that “to love and desire freedom and justice for ourselves is a necessary prerequisite for wanting the same for others.”