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Confronting Racism

by Anna Hartge

God gave me the vision to establish Grace and Race Ministries, Inc. in 2008. The most frequent response I hear is “talking about racism is too hard.” But I know the most difficult conversation about race and racism is the one we never have.

This work must be personal. It starts with the word “I” and a look in the physical and spiritual mirror as we discover who we are and how we are called to live our lives. The work requires moments of introspection and moments of intentional engagement to grapple with the complexity of the race related issues that shape our ideas and experiences. We must be ready to press toward what Howard Thurman called “our growing edge.” Reflect with me on this meditation from one of his sermons, entitled “Confronting the Enemy.”

Golden indeed is it to welcome the return of the period of quiet in the midst of all by which we are surrounded; to have moments of solitariness in the midst of community, when we may dare to reveal ourselves to God. What great relief comes from being under no necessity to pretend anything, to have no awareness of the service that the alibi can give; but in the quietness to finger one by one the pieces that go to make up one’s life, to expose them to utter honesty and integrity before the scrutiny and the love of God. The weaknesses, the strength, the heartaches, the heart balms, the anxieties and the tranquilities, the good and the evil, the desires and ambitions and dreams and hopes, we finger them, we turn them over, one by one, before God.

This we do, our Father, seeking only the gift of Thy understanding, the trust of Thy love and the strength of Thy judgment.

 Let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be inacceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, our rock and our redeemer.

Grace and Race will use this space to invite readers into “safe learning and sharing space” opportunities to read, write, listen, discuss and develop pathways toward becoming ambassadors and change agents for racial justice. We hope you will avail yourself of teachable moments “to finger one by one the pieces that make up one’s life…” as we are enlightened by and learn from one another. Watch this space for upcoming activities.


Brenda Girton-Mitchell

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