Drawing on her lifelong journey to know her family's history, leading Christian activist Lisa Sharon Harper recovers the beauty of her heritage, exposes the brokenness that race has wrought in America, and casts a vision for collective repair.

Product Code: 8868
ISBN: 9781587435270
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Brazos Press
Pages: 256
Published Date: 02/08/2022
Availability:In stock
Price: $24.99

Drawing on her lifelong journey to know her family's history, leading Christian activist Lisa Sharon Harper recovers the beauty of her heritage, exposes the brokenness that race has wrought in America, and casts a vision for collective repair.

Harper has spent three decades researching ten generations of her family history through DNA research, oral histories, interviews, and genealogy. Fortune, the name of Harper's first nonindigenous ancestor born on American soil, bore the brunt of the nation's first race, gender, and citizenship laws. As Harper traces her family's story through succeeding generations, she shows how American ideas, customs, and laws robbed her ancestors--and the ancestors of so many others--of their humanity and flourishing.

Fortune helps readers understand how America was built upon systems and structures that blessed some and cursed others, allowing Americans of European descent to benefit from the colonization, genocide, enslavement, rape, and exploitation of people of color. As Harper lights a path through national and religious history, she clarifies exactly how and when the world broke and shows the way to redemption for us all. The book culminates with a powerful and compelling vision of truth telling, reparation, and forgiveness that leads to Beloved Community. It includes illustrations and a glossy eight-page black-and-white insert featuring photos of Harper's family.

Bookmark and Share

Family Tree
Foreword by Otis Moss III
Acknowledgments of Country

Part One: The Roots
1. Fortune: How Race Became Law
2. The Lawrences: Fragmented Identity
3. Lea: Slavery and Oblivion

Part Two: Degradation and Resistance
4. Lizzie: Like Dust
5. Reinaldo y Anita: Bomba
6. Sharon: Rebellion
7. Lisa: Light

Part Three: Repair
8. Truth-Telling as Reckoning
9. Reparation as Repentance
10. Forgiveness and the Beloved Community


"With skill and love, Lisa Sharon Harper weaves together nothing less than an epic and true story of race, religion, history, and identity. A small number of books convey such soulfulness and richness with every word, and this is one of them. Fortune recovers the story not just of a single lineage but of whole eras, people groups, and nation-shaping events, and it reads like both memoir and exposé. It rewards the reader with insights and emotion on every page." - Jemar Tisby, New York Times bestselling author of The Color of Compromise and How to Fight Racism

"Lisa Sharon Harper is one of our nation's most critical voices on the issues of race, gender, faith, and justice. In an era when the world feels unmoored, Harper anchors us in the truth of what brought America to the brink. Through masterful storytelling and deep spiritual reflection, Harper weaves together ten generations of her family story with the story of America. Then she points the way forward to a world where all can flourish. Fortune is necessary reading for us all." - Kirsten Powers, New York Times bestselling author, CNN senior political analyst, and USA Today columnist

"'Whoever saves a life,' the rabbis teach, 'saves the whole world.' In this brilliant story of Fortune, which is also the story of America, Lisa Sharon Harper demonstrates how one who narrates a life also tells the story of the whole world. Take and read how one family and the whole world were broken by the lies of race, and how we might be part of repairing the breach." - Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president, Repairers of the Breach; author of We Are Called to Be a Movement

"The magic of Lisa is this: she tells the whole truth of our historical existence as a nation built upon racist structures, ideologies, and laws. In Fortune, Harper lays bare the guttural facts about where America sits in the expanse between the bright promise of 'I Have a Dream' and the rayless reality of 'Make America Great Again.' In the end, she makes clear the work we must accomplish to see that our hope for true equality and justice never fades." - Jen Hatmaker, New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and host of the For the Love podcast

"It is difficult to write a book on race, faith, family, reparations, and justice in ways that are compelling to people who are either tired of or resistant to thinking about these matters. Lisa Sharon Harper has written just such a book. Harper has the rare gift of speaking honestly in ways that remind you of Tom Skinner, and of speaking intimately in ways that remind you of Maya Angelou. There are few evangelical writers who match the power of her voice. I am very glad we all get to hear it in print." - Willie James Jennings, Yale Divinity School

"Lisa Sharon Harper is a masterful storyteller. In Fortune, Harper offers us a front-row seat to the intergenerational story of her family as they moved from being a community of enslaved Africans to free African Americans. With a sociohistorical scalpel and unflinching honesty, she unpacks the sound of her family's names, an African American family in White America where the bone of racism chokes the breath out of everyone and everything it touches, including democracy itself. Faced with the choice of becoming broken-winged birds from the weight of racism, the men and women in Fortune choose to both fly in it and above it. This is the magnificent breath of fresh air that we inhale from the genius of this African American family." - Ruby Sales, founder of the Spirithouse Project, long distance runner for justice, social critic, popular educator, and Black folk theologian

Be the first to submit a review on this product!
Review and Rate this Item

You might also be interested in: