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Dear people of St. James, friends, and community,

A few months ago, I spoke with Brian Keith and asked him if he would help plan Black History Month at St. James. He immediately said “yes”! We had an honest conversation about how we needed his guidance as to what we can do about racism, equality, his impressions of current events, and for him to share his heart with us. The following books, podcasts, and documentaries are Brian’s recommendations for us to explore equality from a Black perspective. Brian has also written his own Prayers of the People that will be featured this Sunday; the following three Sundays’ prayers are focused on diversity. 

 I asked Brian “What can we do to attract more families of color? His answer was “Make St. James a safe place to attend” by showing hospitality, hosting events, and making education available to the community. I promised Brian that St. James will do exactly that. Please join Brian and me as we celebrate Black History Month!   

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—Rev. Cindy


Session 7–2nd video—The House We Live In

Race: The Power of an Illusion: Episode 3: The House We Live In,” from Session 7 of Sacred Ground (if you need a password to this page, email us and we will send it to you).

Video Podcast

Five Thirty Eight video podcast on polic

“Why police aggression is far more pronounced against left-leaning protesters”: A video podcast from  FiveThirty’s  Galen Druke, recommended by former president Barack Obama: 

Books for Adults

Building a Movement to End the New Jim Crow

by Daniel Hunter


So You Want to Talk about Race

by Ijeoma Oluo

Some might say this is too “raw” for our St. James congregation. Honestly, I think this is the only way to make change is to show people the “unfiltered” reality of racism. When we dumb it down and cajole the issue, we are only exacerbating the problem.

Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity

by Tim Wise

White Like Me

by Tim Wise

Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority

by Tim Wise

Black Indian

A memoir by Shonda Buchanan.

This was a particularly emotional read for me as the author shared her similar experiences of growing up as a woman of African American and Native American decent in the South and never really feeling like she truly belonged to either culture. This was very similar to my mom’s heritage and her experience growing up as a mixed-race child in North Carolina.


Raising White Kids

by Jennifer Harvey

Born a Crime

by Trevor Noah


The Truths We Hold: An American Journey

by Kamala Harris

A Promised Land

by Barack Obama


by Michelle Obama

Building a Movement to End the New Jim C
So You Want to Talk about Race book cove
Colorblind by Tim Wise book cover.jpg
White Like Me book cover—web.jpg
Dear White America book cover.jpg
Black Indian book cover—web.jpg
Raising White Kids book cover—web.jpg
Born a Crime book cover—web.jpg
The Truths We Hold book cover—web.jpg
A Promised Land book cover—web.jpg
Becoming book cover—web.jpg

Books for Children

Ambitious Girl 

by Meena Harris






Grace for President 

by Kelly Dipucchio

This was always one of our favorites . . . but it even became more meaningful this year in teaching our girls about the democratic process and the Electoral College process with this year’s historic election. A must for all children to read, for sure.


by Lupita Nyong’o

This one makes me cry every time I read it with the girls. It’s about the importance of self-love for black girls, developing a strong self-identity, and loving the color of your skin in a racist society. The illustrations are done by Vashti Harrison, who is amazing and is one of our favorite artists.

I Am Loved 

by Nikki Giovanni




Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans

by Kadir Nelson

Another one of my favorites to read with the kids. This book focuses on some of the untold stories of African American heroes and legends, many of which we have never heard of because they are not a part of our “school curriculum” on African American history. True story—a few weeks ago, one of the girls’ teachers asked the students in their third-grade class, “Who was Martin Luther King, Jr.?” One kid answered, “He freed the slaves for Black people.” This is an unacceptable answer . . . but this shows how ignorant our kids are becoming to Black history and African American culture in this country.

Ambitious Girl book cover—web.jpg
Grace for President book cover.jpg
Sulwe book cover—web.jpg
I Am Loved book cover—web.jpg
Heart and Soul book cover—web.jpg


Yarmulkes and Fitted Caps

by Aaron Levy Samuels


The Dream Keeper
and Other Poems

by Langston Hughes

Yarmulkes and Fitted Caps book cover—web
Dream Keeper and other poems book cover—

Graphic Novel


by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell

This is a great collection of three graphic novels depicting the unbelievable work and life of Congressman John Lewis and many other Civil Rights legends. The stories are amazing, and the artwork is beautiful.

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