Pre-Post-Racial America: Spiritual Stories from the Front Lines

 
Those people. Their issues. The day’s news and the ways we treat each other, overtly or subliminally, prove we are not yet living in post-racial America. It’s hard to talk about race in America without everyone very quickly becoming defensive and shutting down.

What makes talking race even harder is that so few of us actually know each other in the fullness of our stories. A recent Reuters poll found 40% of White people have no friends of other races, and 25% of people of color only have friends of the same race.

Sandhya Rani Jha addresses the hot topic in a way that is grounded in real people’s stories and that offers solid biblical grounding for thinking about race relations in America, reminding us that God calls us to build Beloved Community.

Discussion questions at the end of each chapter provide starting points for reading groups.
 

 
Reviews

This book uses the powerful tool of storytelling to speak prophetic truth in the most disarming way. It is an excellent resource for pastors, leaders and lay people who want to help their communities journey across the complex terrain of race. Sandhya Rani Jha is a wise thinker who understands that race is best comprehended by those who are brave enough to listen to multiple perspectives. And she invites readers to lend an ear to a diverse collection of wonderfully rich and pointed stories that illuminate the various complex issues from immigration to black stereotypes to privilege that impact individuals and racial groups in our far-from-post-racial society. This book will make you want to pray, cry, laugh, reevaluate and act all in the service of true racial healing. –Cristena Cleveland, author, Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart

Weaving together a complex personal narrative, insightful stories of others, and pointed observations about faith and race in the United States, Jha bridges theory, practice, story, and faith with an economy of words and an an abundance of grace. Great for the classroom, book group, or personal study, Pre-Post-Racial America is a welcomed addition to the ongoing conversations about race. –Bruce Reyes-Chow, author, But I Don’t See You as Asian

In Pre-Post-Racial America, Sandhya Rani Jha takes us on a tour of the rocky landscape of race and faith in this country. As a seasoned anti-racism teacher, community activist, and faith leader, Jha brings sensitivity and levity to these difficult but deadly important conversations. As protests grow against racist policing and a new generation declares, ‘Black Lives Matter,’ it is vital that people of faith rise to the challenge of ending racism. Jha has given us a tremendous resource to spark much needed conversations about race and religion, and much needed reflection on how each of us can live the values of our faith and be part of courageous change for a better world. –Criss Crass, activist and author of Towards Collective Liberation

About the Author
Sandhya Rani Jha serves as Director at the Oakland Peace Center, a collective of innovative non-profits working to create justice and peace in the city of Oakland and the Bay Area. The OPC is also a physical space, and the legacy project of First Christian Church of Oakland, where Sandhya pastored for seven years. Ordained at National City Christian Church in Washington, DC, Sandhya’s passion is liberation ethics as an academic field and as a lived experience in urban communities. She published Room at the Table: Struggle for Unity and Equality in Disciples History, a book about people of color in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and co-wrote (with Ben Bohren and Paula Bishop Pochieca) And Still We Rise, a congregational study of transformation. Sandhya is an anti-racism/anti-oppression trainer with the Disciples of Christ, a public speaker and preacher, and a consultant for Hope Partnership’s New Beginnings program. Sandhya also serves as Director of Interfaith Programs at East Bay Housing Organizations, a membership organization that works to preserve, protect and expand affordable housing opportunities through education, advocacy and coalition-building in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

The daughter of a mother from Scotland and a father from India, Sandhya has been shaped by both cultures and their values. She received Master of Divinity and Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago in 2005, where her joint thesis was on the subject of environmental racism as a case study on the intersection of public policy and theological ethics. It probably goes without saying that she gets far more excited about urban policy than a normal person should.

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