In one of my first posts, I wrote about racism and the need for white theologians to deal with it. This January, I will be leading an interim seminar that is a study of the issues of racism, classism, sexism and heterosexism in urban ministry with a focus on the city of Detroit. The class will meet for two days at Trinity where I will introduce the students theoretically to these problems and then we will spend approximately 10 days in Detroit where they will be instructed by pastors engaged in city ministry in Detroit -- "Acts in Common" -- and myself.
I have been doing some research in order to determine what the students should read for this course. The pastors of Acts in Common will help shape the reading list. I probably will show most (if not all) of the excellent PBS series, "Race: The Power of an Illusion" during the two days in Columbus.
Students who took the course previously read The Autobiography of Malclom X and White Women's Christ, Black Women's Jesus by Womanist theologian Jacquelyn Grant.
I just came across this interview in The Other Journal in which second generation Black theologian Dwight Hopkins offers an excellent (and at times personal) introduction to Black Theology [as an aside, his piece, "The Religion of Globalization" appeared in a previous issue of The Other Journal]. He also discusses his latest book (which has since been published by Fortress): Being Human: Race, Culture and Religion. I will probably use at least one chapter from his book in the reader I put together for this new course.
I also hope to include readings by White theologians who are addressing racism and White privilege, such as James Perkinson (who teaches at Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit) who has written White Theology: Outing Supremacy in Modernity. On-line articles by Perkinson include "Theology and the City: Learning to Cry, Struggling to See" and "Like a Thief in the Night: Black Theology and White Church in the Third Millennium."
I welcome suggestions with regard to resources (books and other media) from those of you who have taught (or taken) courses on racism, classism, sexism, and heterosexism.