Resources for Discussion on Racism and Justice

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The recent events in our country following the death of George Floyd and other black men and women sparked important conversations around race in our country, our community and our church. In response, I have done interviews with Juan Daniel Espitia, Ramiro and Wendi Marchena, and Karla Shaw, pastor of Point Loma Church and compiled a booklist. In addition, I’ve written a prayer of lament, and offered a tangible response during this time:

Look with eyes of faith to see what God is doing in the disruption
Listen with empathy to the stories of others
Learn with humility about issues we may not fully understand
Love with sacrifice to do something difficult, and
Lament with prayers that cry out to God for help.

God bless us as we follow Jesus into important conversations and actions that strives for biblical justice and compassion and demonstrates the kingdom of God in tangible ways.

In Christ,

Pastor Mike McClenahan





1. Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America by Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith (explains the history from a sociological perspective)

2. Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Daniel Tatum (defines racism, white privilege, etc.)

3. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (gives a good perspective on what is happening in our criminal justice system)

4. The Third Option by Miles McPherson (a lighter read about relationship)

5. God of the Oppressed by James Cone (father of Black Theology–explains that perspective).

6.  Letter from Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

7.  Strength to Love, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

7.  White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, Robin Diangelo

8.  Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson

9.  The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life, Freedom, and Justice, by Anthony Hinton

10.  So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo

11.  I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, by Austin Channing Brown.


Rev. Karla Shaw, Point Loma Community Presbyterian Church:  “I am going to be reoffering the class on “Racism and the African American Experience” for those who are interested beginning Mondays, June 8, 15, 22, and 29 from 9-10:15 am. This is the same class I taught 8 or so years ago that became the launching pad for our Continuing the Conversation group (CTC). If anyone is interested, please email me directly for a Zoom link ( The class will help explain African American history and the role of the church, it will help define racism and other terms people may have heard floating out there like “white privilege” and it will paint a picture of our current context and why there is so much anger. This is a very BASIC class, so make sure people know that. I want to make sure those that are just stepping into the conversation feel comfortable sharing.”

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