Resources for Those Trying to Understand

Monday was Martin Luther King Day, and many want to understand our history and the current tensions in our day. It has been 50 years since the march Dr. King led from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama; a march for blacks to have full privilege of their American right to vote. Just 50 years ago, black people across this nation did not have equal access to voting. It was only 50 years ago in our nation on "Bloody Sunday" that people were beaten with clubs, trampled by horses, and gassed on national television as they attempted to march to Montgomery. My point is that not that long ago that in this country there were separate bathrooms, entrances, schools, seating, etc. based on skin color.

Within our community at Image, open, sincere, and, sometimes, awkward conversations about race and racial relations do happen. As we begin to move closer to one another, love like Jesus loves, and grow in grace together, questions are inevitable. And that is okay! You're not the only one with questions. Build your understanding of the Civil Rights Movement using the below resources. These articles can be great springboards into loving conversations about race and relationships.

  • The Civil Rights Movement- "Study the past if you would define the future.” - Confucius. The History Channel is a gold mine for congregating videos, articles, interviews, and speeches. The Civil Rights Movement is one of the richest and conveniently overlooked eras of this nation when we discuss US History. 
  • Questions you have always wanted to ask about Race- David Bailey, Founder and Director of Arrabon address a few questions on the current state of race in America. Right when you think you've heard it all when it comes to race and the church, you haven't. I found this article to be very challenging and honest.
  • Ten- Pastor Bryan Lortiss of Fellowship Memphis has compiled a list of 10 books that helped shape his perspective on race relations. Take note that this list is compiled by a pastor of a multi-cultural, multi-racial church in Memphis, TN. These books are definitely worth your time..
  • Timelines are a very helpful visual to create reference points in history. The Civil Rights Era timeline compiled by PBS/NPR is a gem.
  • 50 Years After MLK's Selma March, We're Still Fighting for Voting Rights- This article from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) highlights the victory of the Voting Rights Act signed by Pres. Johnson in 1965 and addresses current oppression some still face when trying to vote.
  • Segregation and the Church: From Where We've Come- Pastor Mark DeYmaz does an excellent job explaining the current state of affairs of Christian American churches. He uses Lifeway Research to create a strong, thought provoking article on where we are and where we can go as a growing body of Christ.
  • Racial Bias, Even When We Have Good Intentions- The New York Times looks closely at unconscious bigotry and biases that over a long time on a large scale create huge gaps between races and economic classes even if these actions are unintentional.
  • The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum gives an in depth look at the Civil Rights Movements and roles of Presidents Johnson and Kennedy.
  • Selma: the Movie Review and Relevance- The march from Selma to Montgomery was brought to life by director, Ava DuVernay. A cast of talented actors and actresses brought a racially tense Selma to life. Check out this review of a critical city in the Civil Rights Movement, Selma. 


With tension and activism at the forefront of this country, the body of Christ can play a integral role in healing past hurts, stop perpetuating ignorance, and create an atmosphere of racial reconciliation. I hope you are able to use these resources to help you better understand race relations and start the conversation.

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