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Justified by Her Children

By Roy G. Pollina
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Justified by Her Children: Deeds of Courage Confronting A Tradition of Racism

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$19.95

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ISBN – 978-1-7349136-3-7    •    Paperback    •    Page Count – 290    •    Size – 6 x 9

Many white Americans do not understand or accept the reality of systemic racism. They do not want to admit that their community, their schools, their government, their churches have a history of participation in a system of racial oppression. Frustrating the attempts to make sense of the history of racism is the exasperating argument that “you just don’t understand how it was.” Justified by Her Children bears witness to the fact that understanding “how it was” can be a precious gift to help us to understand how it is now—at a time when we need that understanding more than ever.

Racism will not be finally eradicated by one large decisive victory. The wall of racism will be undone brick by brick by the brave deeds of little-known men, women, and young people doing the right thing. Justified by Her Children reminds us that the evils of racial segregation masqueraded as the accepted way of doing things—and that confronting evil is often seen as opposing the good order of society. Justified by Her Children is written in the hope that readers will gain a better understanding of “how it was,” and from that understanding, know better how to deal with “how it is” today.

1 review for Justified by Her Children: Deeds of Courage Confronting A Tradition of Racism

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    Richard J. Jones

    Current as the antiracism course This is Sacred Ground, yet reminiscent of the old Seabury Series middleschool Stories of Christian Courage, here is a bundle of probing ethical discussion questions for today, anchored in details of the 1950s and 60s desegregation struggle in the Southside Virginia county seat town of Martinsville.

    We meet Francis T. West, a successful businessman who marshalled other laymen to resist the bishop and clergy bent on integrating the new conference center with respect to race and sex. The irritant for racial justice is a 29-year-old priest, a wrestler who drives a turquoise Thunderbird and stirs the youth to love life and listen to God. Leading this Episcopal congregation is a segregationist justice of the Virginia Supreme Court who, “with no less than the kindest regards and Christian concern for our Negro brethren”, deplores the Church’s intruding into so serious and politically explosive a “sociological problem”.

    Out of eighty-four total, here is one example of the discussion questions the author offers: “Doctrine can be defined as belief based on higher authority such as Scripture or ancient Church tradition, while policy can be defined as adopted principles of action. Was racial integration a matter of doctrine or policy?”

    Pollina has demonstrated to me that opening the pages of a scrupulously documented parish history can expose one’s own troubling cognitive dissonances and one’s comfortable lazy thinking.

    Pollina cautions: “The best discussion questions are the ones that are generated spontaneously from the material. This Discussion Guide exists only as a prompt. The questions are not intended to be the first, only, or best question for yourself or your group.”

    — Richard J. Jones
    Emeritus Professor of Mission & World Religions, Virginia Theological Seminary

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