Tears we cannot stop : a sermon to white America / Michael Eric Dyson.

By: Dyson, Michael Eric
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2017Edition: First editionDescription: 228 pages ; 20 cmISBN: 9781250135995; 1250135990Subject(s): Racism -- United States -- History -- 20th century | Racism -- United States -- History -- 21st century | Race discrimination -- United States -- History -- 20th century | Race discrimination -- United States -- History -- 21st century | Race relations -- Religious aspects -- Christianity | United States -- Race relations -- 20th century | United States -- Race relations -- 21st centuryDDC classification: 305.800973 Summary: Fifty years ago Malcolm X told a white woman who asked what she could do for the cause, 'Nothing.' Michael Eric Dyson believes he was wrong. Now he responds to that question. If society is to make real racial progress, people must face difficult truths, including being honest about how Black grievance has been ignored, dismissed, or discounted.
List(s) this item appears in: Confronting Racism in America
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Adult Book Phillipsburg Free Public Library
Adult Non-Fiction New Books 305.800973 DYS Available 36748002337360
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

<p> NOW A NEW YORK TIMES, PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY, INDIEBOUND, LOS ANGELES TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, CHRONICLE HERALD, SALISBURY POST, GUELPH MERCURY TRIBUNE, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER | NAMED A BEST/MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2017 BY: The Washington Post * Bustle * Men's Journal * The Chicago Reader * StarTribune * Blavity * The Guardian * NBC New York's Bill's Books * Kirkus * Essence <br> <br> "One of the most frank and searing discussions on race ... a deeply serious, urgent book, which should take its place in the tradition of Baldwin's The Fire Next Time and King's Why We Can't Wait ." -- The New York Times Book Review <br> <br> Toni Morrison hails Tears We Cannot Stop as "Elegantly written and powerful in several areas: moving personal recollections; profound cultural analysis; and guidance for moral redemption. A work to relish."<br> <br> Stephen King says: "Here's a sermon that's as fierce as it is lucid...If you're black, you'll feel a spark of recognition in every paragraph. If you're white, Dyson tells you what you need to know--what this white man needed to know, at least. This is a major achievement. I read it and said amen." <br> <br> Short, emotional, literary, powerful-- Tears We Cannot Stop is the book that all Americans who care about the current and long-burning crisis in race relations will want to read.<br> <br> As the country grapples with racist division at a level not seen since the 1960s, one man's voice soars above the rest with conviction and compassion. In his 2016 New York Times op-ed piece "Death in Black and White," Michael Eric Dyson moved a nation. Now he continues to speak out in Tears We Cannot Stop-- a provocative and deeply personal call for change. Dyson argues that if we are to make real racial progress we must face difficult truths, including being honest about how black grievance has been ignored, dismissed, or discounted.<br> <br> "The time is at hand for reckoning with the past, recognizing the truth of the present, and moving together to redeem the nation for our future. If we don't act now, if you don't address race immediately, there very well may be no future."</p>

Fifty years ago Malcolm X told a white woman who asked what she could do for the cause, 'Nothing.' Michael Eric Dyson believes he was wrong. Now he responds to that question. If society is to make real racial progress, people must face difficult truths, including being honest about how Black grievance has been ignored, dismissed, or discounted.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • I Call to Worship (p. 1)
  • II Hymns of Praise (p. 9)
  • III Invocation (p. 19)
  • IV Scripture Reading (p. 35)
  • V Sermon (p. 41)
  • Repenting of Whiteness (p. 43)
  • 1 Inventing Whiteness (p. 44)
  • 2 The Five Stages of White Grief (p. 71)
  • 3 The Plague of White Innocence (p. 95)
  • Being Black in America (p. 125)
  • 4 Nigger (p. 126)
  • 5 Our Own Worst Enemy? (p. 143)
  • 6 Coptopia (p. 170)
  • VI Benediction (p. 195)
  • VII Offering Plate (p. 213)
  • VIII Prelude to Service (p. 217)
  • IX Closing Prayer (p. 225)

Reviews provided by Syndetics

New York Times Book Review

ONE SUNDAY IN 1984, my father did something unexpected, at least for a white man in Georgia. He drove us past the little rural church we usually attended and kept going 40 miles south, ah the way to Atlanta's Ebenezer Baptist - home parish of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and an epicenter of the American civil rights movement. Reading Michael Eric Dyson's "Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America," I was often reminded of that morning, when I was first exposed to the righteous anger, wry humor and unflinching honesty of a black pastor, determined to guide and teach his flock. While Dyson is best known as a writer and sociologist, he is also an ordained Baptist minister, and his new book draws both its impassioned style and its moral urgency from his years in the pulpit. At a time when one video after another has forced us to acknowledge that unarmed African-Americans are regularly killed by the police, Dyson desperately wants his readers to confront the sources of that violence in our nation's longstanding culture of white supremacy. But he also knows how many political arguments and sociological studies have fallen on deaf ears. And so rather than a treatise, "Tears We Cannot Stop" is a fiery sermon, and an unabashedly emotional, personal appeal. "What I need to say" to white America, Dyson writes, can only be said in "a plea, a cry, a sermon, from my heart to yours." The result is one of the most frank and searing discussions of race I have ever read. This is a book that will anger some readers, especially those who reject Dyson's central premise: that if we want true racial equality in America, whites themselves must destroy the enduring myths of white supremacy. Even sympathetic readers might mistake this extraordinary work for merely a catalog of white sins. But such a reading fails to account for the actual experience of Dyson's sermon, in which a black preacher speaks to his white congregants in the most tender, intimate terms, even as he preaches against a culture of "whiteness" that "grows more shameless, more cruel, more uncaring by the day." Dyson is ah too familiar with the claims of innocence and the kneejerk defensiveness that will surely greet this book, and yet he sets out to conquer such denial not only with the difficult truth but also, astonishingly, with love. "Beloved," he writes, in the voice of one ministering to the sick, "your white innocence is a burden to you, a burden to the nation, a burden to our progress. It is time to let it go, to let it die in the place of the black bodies it wills into nonbeing." Many white readers may wince, as I did, to hear their own indifference to black suffering named with such precision, and some, desperate not to face their involvement in America's systems of racial oppression, might abandon this book altogether. But that would be to miss an essential lesson. For again and again Dyson makes it clear that more than white guilt, he seeks action, and more than condemnation, he wants change. He wants readers to wake from their sleep of ignorance about "what it means to be black in America." Reading his praise for James Baldwin, I couldn't help thinking that the same is true of Dyson himself: "His words drip with the searing eloquence of an evangelist of race determined to get to the brutal bottom of America's original sin." If there is a criticism here, it is that Dyson gathers steam slowly, and his opening "Hymns of Praise" to hip-hop artists give little indication of the moral power to come. But this is a small quibble with a deeply serious, urgent book, which should take its place in the tradition of Baldwin's "The Fire Next Time" and King's "Why We Can't Wait." The comparison might at first seem hyperbolic, but like those books, "Tears We Cannot Stop" is a lament, originating from within the grieving heart of black America, aimed directly at white readers who are often too frightened, or indifferent, or ashamed, to look a man like Michael Eric Dyson in the eyes. I can only hope that others will read and be changed by this book. It ends with a desperate plea for white Americans to rise up in defense of, and in solidarity with, our African-American brothers and sisters. In response, I say simply: Amen. ? PATRICK PHILLIPS is aprofessor of English at Drew University and the author of "Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America."
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