Poet Kristen Harper confronts and unpacks the language, imagery, buzzwords, and cultural touchstones that reinforce white supremacy culture and invites readers to radically transform their perceptions of blackness.

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Product Code: 6606
ISBN: 9781558968684
Publisher: Skinner House Books
Published Date: 05/24/2021
Size: 8.5 x 5.5
Availability: Not currently available.
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Price: $14.00

Too often in U.S. culture—and notably in faith communities—a culture of white supremacy is reinforced in damaging but unexamined ways. In The Darkness Divine, minister and poet Kristen L. Harper confronts and unpacks the language, imagery, buzzwords, and cultural touchstones that demean and dehumanize Black people but are so commonplace they can easily escape notice.

More importantly, in a brilliant arrangement of essays and poems in the vein of Claudia Rankine, Harper lifts up the strength, beauty, and resilience of Black people and outlines a path forward. She invites readers to explore what they have learned and assimilated so they might de-center whiteness and stretch their understanding and imagination to radically transform perceptions of blackness.

While directed at her own Unitarian Universalist tradition, The Darkness Divine is a powerful and loving challenge to all those committed to the work of dismantling white supremacy.

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1. Say It Loud, “I’m Black and I’m Proud!”

2. A Theology of Darkness

3. I Found God Inside Myself—and She’s Black

4. Anger, Anxiety, and Finding A Voice

5. I, Too, Am Beautiful

6. I Am Not Your Homegirl

7. Identity Politics and Oppressive Language

8. Quotas, Affirmative Action, and Political Correctness

9. The Greatest Trick: Internalized Oppression

10. Perseverance, Resistance, and Hope

“I have been writing poetry for most of my life. For me, poetry is the language of the heart. It allows me to pour from my soul the experiences, emotions, and thoughts I would otherwise inarticulately try to explain. The poetry in this book explores new visions of blackness and darkness; it challenges readers to look at things differently, to recognize where they contribute to or are affected by racist language; it provides a peek into the struggles of Black and brown communities, and lifts up the beauty, resilience, and defiance of Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color (BIPOC). These poems attempt to provide some of the context and history that sparked their creation.”

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