Sacred Ground Lesson Topics

Session 9: Legacies: Racism’s Long Life

 

1. Materials: Watch and read all materials as listed on the Sacred Ground Webpage.   

 

A. Watch:

  • Documentary: Healing Justice  (66 min)

 

B. Read:

  • Selection from book: Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Joy DeGruy (pp. 8-10 of paperback edition)

  • Selections from book: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (pp. 1-4, 16-19, and bottom of p. 202 to p. 208 of hardback edition)

  • Core book: Jesus and the Disinherited – Ch. 4  To be discussed in Session 10.

  • Core book: Waking Up White – Chapters 26-27 and revisit p. 175

 

C. Optional:

  • Article: “Ghosts of the Masters: Descendants of Slaveholders Reckon with History” by the Rev. David Pettee and Susan Hutchison

  • Incarceration in the United States (extracts from Wikipedia) found on the ASEC webpage under Learn / Sacred Ground / Additional Resources ( 1 pg)

  • 10 Lessons for Talking About Racism found on the ASEC webpage / Learn / Sacred Ground / Where We Go From Here

    

2. In regard to the documentary Healing Justice:

  • What struck you most about Shakti Butler’s description of America’s justice system?

  • Is restorative justice a viable alternative?  What features are key?

 

3. In regard to Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome:

  • What do you consider to be some of the most lasting legacies (or traumas) of the African American history during the past 200 years?

  • What are some of the ways in which prior trauma have affected feelings and behaviors of African Americans today?

4. In regard to The New Jim Crow article on mass incarceration:

  • What strikes you most about this new “caste” system?

  • What does the author suggest is needed?

 

5. In regard to Debby Irving:

  • Debby Irving describes classroom & workshop experiments conducted by Jane Elliott.  What did you draw from these experiments?

  • How might we best have conversations with people of color as well as whites, about the legacies of racism and the opportunities for healing?

6. Engaging in conversation with others

  • We will have a 15 - 20 minute discussion on ways to engage in “courageous conversations” with others concerning race.  We strongly encourage you to look at some of the resources we have posted on the ASEC webpage under Learn / Sacred Ground / Where We Go From Here.

 

2.  With regard to the White Working Class:

  • What are the resentments and challenges facing the White Working Class?

  • How does their anxiety feed racial divisions?

  • How might we increase sensitivity and compassion in all directions, and then create solutions that work for the good of all?

 

3. With regard to Joan Williams’ article on the Working Class:

  • What do you make of the 5 major points that Democrats / progressives must remember?  (any surprises?   any disagreements?)

4. With regard to Jesus and the Disinherited:

  • What does Thurman tell us about deception and hypocrisy?

  • What does he find in the teaching of Jesus?

 

5. With regard to Debby Irving’s statement: “After years of wanting to help and fix others, I learned I had my own work to do.”:

  • What does she mean? And what can we learn from her experience?

6. What does the way of love call forth in you?

 

Session 10: Becoming Beloved Community

1. Materials: Watch and read all materials as listed on the Sacred Ground Webpage.    

 

A. Watch:

  • Documentary: Dawnland  (54 min)

 

B. Read:

  • Selection from book: America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privelege,a nd the Bridge to a New America, by Jim Wallis (Ch. 4 and pg 215 – 217)

  • Core book: Jesus and the Disinherited – Ch. 5.

C. Review the following off of the ASEC webpage under Sacred Ground:

  • Becoming Beloved Community”

  • “Repentance and Reconciliation”

  • “Repairing The Breach: The Episcopal Church and Slavery Atonement” – a summary of the documentary.

 

D. Optional:

  • In preparation for the June 16th meeting, start reviewing the resource found on the ASEC webpage / Learn / Sacred Ground / Where We Go From Here.

  • Documentary: Repairing the Breach: The Episcopal Church and Slavery Atonement (31 min)

 

2. Questions to Consider:

Session Ten focuses on our response to racism and our call as Christians to strive for justice and peace among all people and to respect the dignity of every human being.

 

a. In response to Dawnland, what was the biggest take-away? The biggest caution?

 

b. How would you define the following today:

  • Racism?

  • Repentance?

  • Reconciliation? 

 

c. How would you understand repentance and reconciliation in the context of racial healing?

 

d. How do you see Thurman’s chapter on Love in the context of Becoming Beloved Community?