Waking up White

Sacred Conversation on Race

January 31, 2016

In tandem with posting a Black Lives Matter banner, the Council of Deacons promised to provide opportunities for discussion about race. We’ve been in touch with the MA Conference and have requested a facilitated Sacred Conversation on Race. As soon as the Conference confirms a date, we’ll let you know.

In the meantime, we are offering a book discussion. Deborah Irving, an author from Winchester, wrote a memoir about her gradual awareness of institutional racism. This is a short, accessible book that is a start to a conversation about race. Each chapter has discussion questions designed to prompt readers to think about their own thoughts and life experiences. We’ll order several copies of this book and have two discussion sessions: Tuesday, January 19 at 7:30 in the Fellowship room and Sunday, January 31 after church in the Fellowship room. If you’d like a copy, please let Jill, Mike or Kate know by January 10.

Finally, here’s a short bibliography and links to resources you can consider for further reading. If you have a recommendation for additional material, please let us know.


Waking up White by Deborah Irving. Irving is a contemporary, local author whose book has been cited as a “must read” for discussion of race and racism. Her website includes resources for further reading: http://debbyirving.com/recommended-resources/

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. This is the Nigerian author’s classic work. Set in post-colonial Africa, and written in 1958, its lessons are timeless.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The most emotionally charged resource on this short list, Coates’s book takes the form of a letter to his 15-year old son in the wake of the announcement that no charges would be brought against Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown.

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. Wilkerson chronicles the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.

UCC website:   http://www.ucc.org/justice_racism_intersections

Books for Understanding website:     http://www.booksforunderstanding.org/race/list.html

Author: Mark Tuttle

Husband, father, web master