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Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Hosts “Racism in America and Why We Should Care” Series

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Hosts “Racism in America and Why We Should Care” Series

Moderated by the Reverend Dr. Arnold Isidore Thomas, Pastor

Location: Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 273 Vermont Route 15, Jericho, Vermont


Tuesday, September 18, 2018, 6:30-8:30 PM, Professor Harvey Amani Whitfield, UVM
How Did We Wind Up Here? The Historical Context of American Racism

Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 6:30-8:30 PM
Abolitionism: When the Church and Republicans Were Radicals

Wednesday, November 7, 2018, 6:30-8:30 PM, (Because Tuesday is Election Day)
The Great Migrations from South to North

Tuesday, December 4, 2018, 6:30-8:30 PM, Rabbi Amy Small, Ohavi Zedek Synagogue
The Alliance of African Americans and Jewish Americans

Tuesday, January 15, 2019, 6:30-8:30 PM
Us and Them: To What Extent Do We Identify with the Norm or the Abnormal?

Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 6:30-8:30 PM
Power, Privilege and Prejudice: The Present-day Infrastructure of Racism and Oppression

Tuesday, March 12, 2019, 6:30-8:30 PM, Dr. Debra Leonard, UVM Medical Center
Is Race a Social Construct, and Why Does It Matter?

Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 6:30-8:30 PM
What Did an African American President Reveal about American Racism?

Tuesday, May 7, 2019, 6:30-8:30 PM
The Browning of America: Reconciliation or Retribution

Recommended Readings 

Race: Are We So Different? by Alan H. Goodman, Yolanda T. Moses and Joseph L. Jones

“Once in a while, but very rarely, a book comes along that clarifies and reorients a whole field of study. Race: Are We So Different? is such a book. Goodman, Moses, and Jones clearly and powerfully inform and enlighten the reader, not only about the latest scientific understandings of race, but also about why democracy and freedom depend on those understandings.   This book is a triumph!  Highly recommended for course adoption across the disciplines…” – Howard Winant, University of California, Santa Barbara

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

“Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper’s wife, left Mississippi for Milwaukee in 1937, after her cousin was falsely accused of stealing a white man’s turkeys and was almost beaten to death. In 1945, George Swanson Starling, a citrus picker, fled Florida for Harlem after learning of the grove owners’ plans to give him a “necktie party” (a lynching). Robert Joseph Pershing Foster made his trek from Louisiana to California in 1953, embittered by “the absurdity that he was doing surgery for the United States Army and couldn’t operate in his own home town.” Anchored to these three stories is Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wilkerson’s magnificent, extensively researched study of the “great migration,” the exodus of six million black Southerners out of the terror of Jim Crow to an “uncertain existence” in the North and Midwest. Wilkerson deftly incorporates sociological and historical studies into the novelistic narratives of Gladney, Starling, and Pershing settling in new lands, building anew, and often finding that they have not left racism behind. The drama, poignancy, and romance of a classic immigrant saga pervade this book, hold the reader in its grasp, and resonate long after the reading is done.” – Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

“I’ve been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates. The language of Between the World and Me, like Coates’s journey, is visceral, eloquent, and beautifully redemptive. And its examination of the hazards and hopes of black male life is as profound as it is revelatory. This is required reading.”Toni Morrison

Waking Up White by Debby Irving

“Waking up White is a brutally honest, unflinching exploration of race and personal identity, told with heart by a truly gifted storyteller. Much as Irving’s family sought to shield her from the contours of the nation’s racial drama, so too do far too many white Americans continue to do the same. For their sakes, and ours, let’s hope Irving’s words spark even more truth-telling. They certainly have the power to do so.” – Tim Wise, author, White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son

Guest facilitators may require additional readings prior to their presentation of which you will be notified.

For more information, contact the Rev. Arnold Thomas (

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