Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon To White America


Written by MacArthur H. Flournoy

Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White American

Micheal Eric Dyson

January 17, 2017
St. Maartin’s Press
160 Pages

Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America is not your typical grandmother’s Sunday sermon. In these 160 pages – or audio-book (my personal favorite) this book speaks to America’s love affair with racism, and more importantly – it names America’s pathological relationship with the pervasive nature of “whiteness” and its vitriolic affect on the world.

The author, Michael Eric Dyson, professor, ordained Baptist minister, scholar and culture critic, makes his point clear from the initial pages: “America is in trouble, and a lot of it, if not most it, has to do with race. . . Everywhere we turn – there is discord and division – death and destruction….there is a racial gulf that seems impossible to overcome”

The writer contends that White Americans have little to no idea of the lived experience of black people, people of color, and many others. “Black and white people don’t have merely different experiences – we seem to occupy different universes with world views that are fatally opposed to one another.”

Tears We Cannot Stop is a treatise on race, identity, racial discourse, white privilege and whiteness, weaving together a tapestry of scholarship, preaching, scripture (you may be surprised by the source of the text) personal reflection and real talk – Very real talk.

Voices of African American sages, such as James Baldwin, W.E.B. Dubois, Toni Morrison, David Walker, and others infuse this razor edge critique, while incorporating the voices  other cultural critics, NWA, Kendrick Lamar and others

This book offers us language, a depth of understanding and some tools to broach themes of race, racism, white privilege and whiteness; all issues that many Americans rather not discuss.

Without reservation, I recommend Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White. This is a sermon that calls us to think, listen, shout, feel, and affirm spoken truth with “Amen”, Ashe and “so-it-is.”


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