Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation
By Latasha Morrison (WaterBrook Press)
If you can read only one book on racial reconciliation and racial justice, Be the Bridge should be on your short list for that one. Since being published one year ago, the book has become a New York Times bestseller for good reason.
If you are looking for a more productive than critical study on race for your Sunday school class or small group, Be the Bridge fits the bill. The book is intended to be read in a group. Each chapter ends with discussion questions followed by a prayer about the specific topic of the preceding chapter.
Be the Bridge follows the arc of past, present and future. Latasha Morrison calls readers to lament what has been done, to engage in confession and forgiveness, and to step into the work of reconciliation. Each of these three sections concludes with a liturgy of responsive readings.
For those who think racial reconciliation stops short of achieving justice, the steps Morrison lays out challenge that notion. Her account of reconciliation leads one to believe true reconciliation doesn’t happen without justice. The stories she includes in each chapter subtly drive that point home.
For example, Morrison writes about her tenure on “staff of an almost entirely white church with an entirely white staff” in Austin prior to her founding Be the Bridge, a nonprofit that equips people to engage in racial reconciliation. While at that church, she came to recognize how she had adapted to the culture of the majority. For most of the people in her church, she was the first or only Black person with whom they had any contact. She began to see the disconnect between herself and the majority culture there, and she became increasingly uncomfortable with it.
The stories Morrison tells do not gloss over difficult realities, nor do they paint a smile where one doesn’t belong. She brilliantly makes use of righteous indignation in a winsome way, drawing in rather than alienating the reader.
Many books on racial reconciliation and justice are available. Be the Bridge is one of the best of them.
Eric Black, executive director, publisher and editor