London Black Lives Matter Peaceful Protest from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square via Buckingham Palace.
Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

I hope it’s helpful to bring together some of the Black British voices speaking into the issue of racial injustice and particularly the church’s role and response in this.

There are plenty of articles and videos by white people telling black (and white) people want to think and do; however well-intentioned they are, that just feels like yet more white privilege. Surely at this time, it’s for those of us who are white to listen, learn, repent, apologise, and consider how to make reparation. In other words, to respond rather than assume that we are the centre.

Soundtrack all this with Kiwanuka by Michael Kiwanuka (Polydor, 2019). It's music full of soul, confident and questioning, rooted in the past but sharply contemporary.

Let's start with the statues, which are simultaneously not the point and exactly the kind of cultural blind spot which shows how pervasive this problem is. Historian David Olusoga gives context to the simple fact that the 8th of June was "the first full day since 1895 on which the effigy of a mass murderer [did] not cast its shadow over Bristol’s city centre."

Interviewed by Marie Claire, four women speak about their "everyday" experiences of racism in the UK:

The actor John Boyega expresses his pain in more chaotic circumstances:

Owen Hilton, church pastor and author of Crossing The Divide: A Call To Embrace Diversity (IVP, 2009), shares his honest response: "I’m tired, tired of repeating the same things, being pushed back again and again and hearing excuses being made for stuff." He doesn't stop there, however, giving faith-led practical responses.

As well as powerful anecdotal evidence, there is plenty of empirical research to show the problems facing black people and other races in the UK. David Shepherd brings together some of the evidence of systematic injustices and Sachin Nakrani reports on a new study showing racial bias in football commentary.

Two podcast series that tell the longer stories of racism in the UK are About Race by Reno Eddo-Lodge and We Need To Talk About The British Empire by Afua Hirsch. Whether you agree with the perspectives presented or not, the chances are that if you're white you haven’t even considered them.

Blending personal experience, sociological insights, and biblical truths, Ben Lindsay has written We Need To Talk About Race: Understanding the Black Experience in White Majority Churches (SPCK, 2019). I found it helpful in bring clarity and challenge (read some quotes from it here). Lindsay recently hosted BBC Radio 4's Sunday Worship programme on Father's Day (available online until mid-July 2020), addressing racial injustice and the role of faith and fatherhood in seeing change.

Pastor Tope Koleoso shows what the Bible teaches us about diversity and about reconciliation:

If you want to go beyond a British perspective, IVP and Christianity Today have produced "The Anti-Racist Curriculum White Evangelicals Need" (though not all of the resources are from or for Christians). There are books, articles, films, and resources for children.