The questions and answers continue on a more personal note:
4. What has been the hardest part of the racial learning process so far?
When I was answer this question last week I wrote that "admitting that I am part of the problem" was most difficult. I have been brought up in a post-apartheid state where it seems racism is in the very air I breathe and water I drink, and I was unaware. I must begin to see myself as a racist, perhaps a recovering racist. It's like recovering from an addiction. Admit that there's a problem.
5. If I was just getting started learning about race and racial reconciliation, what are the top five pieces of advice you'd give me?
- Pray. Seek God. You will absolutely need him on this journey.
- Get in the Word. Find someone to study with you. Learn God's heart for racial diversity.
- Find a few people from both your race and other races with whom you can engage in real conversations about the difficult subject of race, racism, and reconciliation.
- Be honest with yourself about your own racism and ethnocentricity.
- Be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry. Be very slow to judge.
- Keep talking with people I've met here and learning from their wisdom.
- Place myself under the spiritual authority of someone who doesn't look like me.
- Get involved in the life of a younger black man as a mentor.
- Connect to Detroit's poetry scene via open mics, etc.
- Hang out with the old guys at the garage.
- Read some more books, particularly to study some history of the civil rights movement (of which I've realized I'm largely ignorant).
So, I was working through this sheet the day after my first experience of Cliff Bells open mic, while I still had the poetry wiggles. So, my answers for #6 are kind of poems, and thus get their own post...
(And now you know why 7 came after 5)