“How do we really know that God cares when Black people are still getting killed? How long do we have to wait for the justice of God? I get it, that Christ is Black, but that doesn’t seem to be helping us right now.”
These questions from her son prompted theologian Kelly Brown Douglas to undertake this soul-searching reflection. The killing of George Floyd and the ongoing litany of Black victims raised questions about the persistence of white supremacy in this nation, leading her to reflect on how a “white way of knowing” has come to dominate American identity and even to shape the consciousness of Christians.
In exploring the message of Confederate monuments and the “Make America Great Again” slogan, she examines the failures of even “good white Christians” and struggles with the hope that “Black Lives Matter,” before reaching deep into her own experience and the faith of Black folks to find her way back to Resurrection Hope.
The Rev. Canon Kelly Brown Douglas is the Canon Theologian at the Washington National Cathedral. In 2017, she was named Dean of Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. She is considered a leader in the field of womanist theology, racial reconciliation, and sexuality and the black church. Her Orbis books include The Black Christ, What’s Faith Got to Do with It? and Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God.