I majored in psychology. And although I’ve been involved in racial reconciliation work and ministry, personally and professionally, for a number of years, I took exactly one Africana studies class and one African history class in college. That is the extent of my formal, academic, I-have-any-qualifications-to-write-about-this-topic training.
I am no expert.
And despite all that, here I am. Because my guess is you aren’t an expert either. And you know what? Thank goodness for that. Because while we certainly need authors and historians and advocates and professors and people who’ve studied and practiced the hard work of racial reconciliation, the ones who have made the biggest difference for me have not come off as “experts.” Experts have all the answers and aren’t in need of asking questions. Experts like to live in a monologue rather than a dialogue. Experts have a case-closed, it-is-finished, no-room-for-mess mentality.
I didn’t start to wake up because of experts. For me, it started when a bunch of black college students showed me grace on a bus somewhere in Mississippi or Tennessee.*
So this is my warning: I don’t have all the answers. I am not here to argue or debate, just to share a bit of my own story for how a sleepy, white, midwestern girl started to open her eyes and wake up.
*We will come back to this.