Stand Your Ground : Black Bodies and the Justice of God
Overview - ""If Trayvon was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk?"" --President Barack ObamaThe 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin, an African-American teenager in Florida, and the subsequent acquittal of his killer, brought public attention to controversial "Stand Your Ground" laws. Read more...
More About Stand Your Ground by Kelly Brown Douglas
""If Trayvon was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk?"" --President Barack ObamaThe 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin, an African-American teenager in Florida, and the subsequent acquittal of his killer, brought public attention to controversial "Stand Your Ground" laws. The verdict, as much as the killing, sent shock waves through the African-American community, recalling a history of similar deaths, and the long struggle for justice. On the Sunday morning following the verdict, black preachers around the country addressed the question, "Where is the justice of God? What are we to hope for?" This book is an attempt to take seriously social and theological questions raised by this and similar stories, and to answer black church people's questions of justice and faith in response to the call of God.But Kelly Brown Douglas also brings another significant interpretative lens to this text: that of a mother. "There has been no story in the news that has troubled me more than that of Trayvon Martin's slaying. President Obama said that if he had a son his son would look like Trayvon. I do have a son and he does look like Trayvon." Her book will also affirm the "truth" of a black mother's faith in these times of stand your ground.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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Douglas (The Black Christ), an Episcopal priest and professor of religion, connects politics, theology and history in arresting ways in this meditative analysis on American cultural attitudes toward black bodies. She construes “stand your ground” as more than a law; it’s a concept embedded in American ideas and practices from manifest destiny to redlining and restrictive housing covenants. “This is a culture that turns deadly in relation to the black body,” Douglas writes. Religious thinkers and institutions are not exempt from perpetuating this particularly insidious aspect of American culture and thought, sharing the attitude that whiteness is valued and black bodies are disposable. Brown strikes a good balance between political theology and analysis. Names that have been in the news, including Michael Brown, combine with her own personal perspective as a mother to give the narrative poignancy and timeliness. The connection between Trayvon Martin and Jesus, or, more generally, black youth who have been victimized by violence initiated by whites, is not as clear or potent as her argument about the meaning of “stand your ground,” but the book nonetheless raises important spiritual and social questions. (May)