Cover image for The color of compromise : the truth about the American church's complicity in racism
The color of compromise : the truth about the American church's complicity in racism

Physical Description:
253 pages ; 22 cm.
Forward / The color of compromise -- Making race in the colonial era -- Understanding liberty in the age of revolution and revival -- Institutionalizing race in the Antebellum era -- Defending slavery at the onset of the Civil War -- Reconstructing white supremacy in the Jim Crow era -- Remembering the complicity in the North -- Compromising with racism during the civil rights movement -- Organizing the religious right at the end of the twentieth century -- Reconsidering racial reconciliation in the age of Black Lives Matter -- The fierce urgency of now -- Conclusion : be strong and courageous.
Churches remain racially segregated and are largely ineffective in addressing complex racial challenges. In The Color of Compromise, Jemar Tisby takes us back to the root of this injustice in the American church, highlighting the cultural and institutional tables we have to flip in order to bring about progress between black and white people.


Material Type
Call Number
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Book 305.800973 TIS 0 1
Book 305.800973 TIS 0 1

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An acclaimed, timely narrative of how people of faith have historically--up to the present day--worked against racial justice. And a call for urgent action by all Christians today in response.

The Color of Compromise is both enlightening and compelling, telling a history we either ignore or just don't know. Equal parts painful and inspirational, it details how the American church has helped create and maintain racist ideas and practices. You will be guided in thinking through concrete solutions for improved race relations and a racially inclusive church.

The Color of Compromise:

Takes you on a historical, sociological, and religious journey: from America's early colonial days through slavery and the Civil War Covers the tragedy of Jim Crow laws, the victories of the Civil Rights era, and the strides of today's Black Lives Matter movement Reveals the cultural and institutional tables we have to flip in order to bring about meaningful integration Charts a path forward to replace established patterns and systems of complicity with bold, courageous, immediate action Is a perfect book for pastors and other faith leaders, students, non-students, book clubs, small group studies, history lovers, and all lifelong learners

The Color of Compromise is not a call to shame or a platform to blame white evangelical Christians. It is a call from a place of love and desire to fight for a more racially unified church that no longer compromises what the Bible teaches about human dignity and equality. A call that challenges black and white Christians alike to standup now and begin implementing the concrete ways Tisby outlines, all for a more equitable and inclusive environment among God's people. Starting today.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Tisby takes a deep dive into the history of racism in America, beginning with the seventeenth century and concluding with the present day. In this historical context, his goal is to chart the evolution of what he claims is the American church's complicity in racism. Professing believers, he argues, have used racial slurs, participated in beatings and lynchings, joined the Ku Klux Klan, fought wars to preserve slavery, or used the Bible to argue for the viability of slavery and the inherent inferiority of black people. He continues to find such complicity, though more subtle, today, asserting that churches remain among America's most segregated institutions. Making a convincing case for his claims, he offers a variety of remedies under the general rubric ARC, which stands for awareness, relationships, and commitment. More specifically, he suggests that the church consider offering reparations, taking down Confederate monuments, learning from African American churches, and more. He concludes by saying that faith without works is dead, although earlier he has stated that apathy is equally egregious. Happily, his well-reasoned and -written book is a call to action.--Michael Cart Copyright 2019 Booklist

Library Journal Review

"God is colorblind." While modern Christians might agree with this statement, the history of evangelical Christianity in the United States is unfortunately filled with both active and complicit racism. Tisby, president of the Witness, a Black Christian Collective, seeks to convey the truth about racism to spur the church to confession, repentance, and reconciliation. He traces the threads of racial persecution and oppression from the colonial era to the modern Black Lives Matter movement. Along the way, there are numerous painful and disturbing anecdotes that demonstrate the cruelty and indifference shown by the majority of churches and white Christians to the plight of African Americans. The final two chapters contain the author's personal suggestions for transforming the church and society toward acknowledging and condemning racism. For instance, he calls for Juneteenth to be declared a federal holiday and for a system of slavery reparations to be created. Since these chapters are personal opinions, they aren't the strongest parts of the book. However, historical racism is undeniable and the church must wrestle with some of these assertions in hopes of racial reconciliation. VERDICT Strongly recommended for all libraries.-Ray Arnett, Anderson, SC © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. 9
1 The Color of Compromisep. 13
2 Making Race in the Colonial Erap. 25
3 Understanding Liberty in the Age of Revolution and Revivalp. 40
4 Institutionalizing Race in the Antebellum Erap. 56
5 Defending Slavery at the Onset of the Civil Warp. 70
6 Reconstructing White Supremacy in the Jim Crow Erap. 88
7 Remembering the Complicity in the Northp. 111
8 Compromising with Racism during the Civil Rights Movementp. 130
9 Organizing the Religious Right at the End of the Twentieth Centuryp. 152
10 Reconsidering Racial Reconciliation in the Age of Black Lives Matterp. 172
11 The Fierce Urgency of Nowp. 192
Conclusion: Be Strong rind Courageousp. 213
Acknowledgmentsp. 217
Notesp. 219
Indexp. 245