#StayWoke White Folk

Anne Braden and Rosa Parks, 1950s
Anne Braden and Rosa Parks, 1950s

Our friends over at #StayWokeAdvent are providing explosive Christian analysis on the Black Lives Matter uprisings in the context of Advent.

In that spirit, I invite you–especially if you are a “white” American Christian–to commit to two study sessions this Advent.

1. Read the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), then watch this video of a woman in Indianapolis (5 minutes) addressing a community panel in October 2014. Read the Magnificat again. Compare and contrast the two addresses. What story would you tell if you were in her place?

2. Listen to Lauryn Hill’s “Black Rage” and read “Most White People in America Are Completely Oblivious,” by Tim Wise (published November 25, 2014 on Alternet). This is a long article and parts of it are hard to read and will likely make you very uncomfortable. That’s okay. Just sit with it. Then read Malachi 3 in The Message version. When did you first realize you were white?

Remember, “whiteness” is a social construct resulting from the Fall. It’s part of what John Kinney refers to as “snakeology” –lies our culture tells us. Each one of you, however, is God’s beloved. Nothing takes that away. You are strong enough and courageous enough to look at hard truths. You are not “white.” You are Christian. Shedding our “whiteness” means looking at hard truths of  unconscious bias and unearned privilege. That’s okay. That’s what we are here on earth for — to look at hard things in ourselves and allow God to make them new in us. Jesus is always with us, always making all things new. God is with us in this. Emanuel. God has our backs. Be not afraid.–Rose Marie Berger



  1. Thanks for these reflections & suggestions. Yesterday’s Liberation Bible Study at the Wilderness Way Community in Portland, Oregon, focused on the Magnificat, and we watched the video linked from Option 1. Thank you! Incidentally, I’ve been trying to find out the name of the woman in that video so she can be credited. Do you happen to know it? Blessings, -Matt Guynn


    • Thanks Matt. I looked all over for the name of that powerful woman in the video, but couldn’t find it anywhere. Frustrating. Very biblical. (smile) Thanks for letting me know that y’all included this at Wilderness Way. It makes me happy to know I’m there in spirit at least!


  2. Hi Rose – I am so grateful for your study suggestions and will find a way to integrate them into either my personal community or professional community (or both!). I had come across the #StayWokeAdvent blog recently but hadn’t seen any entries yet from this year. Do you know if they will be posting again?


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