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Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God
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Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  205 ratings  ·  26 reviews
On the Sunday morning after the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer, black preachers across America addressed the questions his death raised for their communities: “Where is the justice of God? What are we to hope for?”

In this timely and compelling book, Kelly Brown Douglas examines the myths and narratives underlying a “stand-your-ground” culture, taking seriously the
Paperback, 1st, 240 pages
Published May 2015 by Orbis Books
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Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this book with my church's Pastor's Study. Needless to say this book is not for the faint of heart. As an African American women I strongly identified with the author in her search for meaning and a meaningful outcome following the murderers of unarmed black people. While there is no conclusive ending, reading this book has enlightened me to just how deeply white supremacist views are ingrained in our political and economic systems and encourages me to continue to fight for justice ...more
David Krueger
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Listen to my podcast interview with the author at:
David Abell
Dec 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as a result of reading my alumni magazine from Denison University for December 2015, which had an article about the author, an alumna. She’s a feminist black advocate, with a divinity degree from Union (she’s an Episcopal priest), currently a professor at Goucher College. I had previously read Between the world and me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, and become familiar with the Reconciliation Project at the Episcopal Cathedral in Providence (and it’s many antecedents), and had become ...more
Philip Yoder
Kelly Brown Douglas does an excellent job at laying out the history of violence against African Americans using George Zimmerman's murdering of Trayvon Martin and the "Stand your Ground" ruling that allowed Zimmerman to get away with it. It was very compelling and supplied me with language to talk about systemic racial violence.
Dwight Davis
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A vitally important book examining stand your ground culture. Features a wide-ranging analysis of Anglo-Saxon Exceptionalism from Tacitus all the way through the lynching of Trayvon Martin. Necessary reading.
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this book, but ESPECIALLY the privileged white. The perfect mix of academia and personal story.
Kevin Harrington-Bain
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tops
Read this book for my MDiv work and I don't know that I'll read a more formative or significant book in the rest of my program. Douglas's approach in outlining the historical factors and contributors to American exceptionalism and the Anglo-Saxon myth as they built up a stand-your-ground culture, followed by theological responses as informed by black Christian traditions accomplishes not only an impressive and thought-provoking profile of racism in America and Christianity, but also a sense of ...more
John Richards
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not always the biggest KBD fan when it comes to Christology, but the way she walks through the history of Angl0-Saxon exceptionalism and its impact on U.S. culture makes this well worth the read. From Tacitus' Germania to Reagan's War on Drugs, KBD points out the ideology that continues to haunt our nation—a racist ideology of "whiteness" in our political, social, and cultural dealings. Great read in that regard. Would commend it to anyone trying to figure out how we've gotten where we are in ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Noted theologian Kelly Brown Douglas offers this book as her “refusal to be consoled until the justice that is God’s is made real in the world.” She draws from sources for the Anglo Saxon narrative starting with Tacitus in the year 98 and working through history to show how it drove notions of Manifest Destiny and exceptionalism with implications we see writ large today. This is an important work on the need for transformation which points to how that work must begin.
Steffano Montano
Powerful and Provocative

Douglas’ book masterfully retraces the history of Anglo Saxon exceptionalism and its refusal to cede ground to black and brown bodies. It is a book that should be considered required reading for anyone interested in interrogating a Christian faith response to racism. It remains timely today in the midst of continued racialized attacks against black communities, immigrants, and Muslims.
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This work by Reverend Dr. Douglas is exactly what Christianity needs right now. She names the American sin of white supremacy with great accuracy, clarity, and specificity. This books is an excellent analysis of the insidious nature of the myth of racial superiority and the real nature of God and God's vision for the world. A must read for white congregations in the modern, Stand Your Ground culture.
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theological
This is a great book about using the black church as a way to combat adversity. Offers great solutions for tacking the problems of white supremacy within Christian theology. Also, I learned so much about the impact that stand your ground culture has on modern day society.
Peder Hinderlie
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Highly, highly recommend this book. Dr. Brown Douglas presents a concise and clear summation of the role Anglo-Saxon Christian male supremacist ideology has played in history, and the tragic consequences this has had and continues to have in the U.S.
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Connects Stand Your Ground wth historical and ongoing white supremacist culture.
Katherine Reiter
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
INCREDIBLE, game-changing book. A tough read for sure but absolutely necessary.
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A radical re-examination of American history and theology through an African American Christian theological lens.

This book is one that is difficult to read with concepts that build upon each other from chapter to chapter. I found it helpful to consistently move myself through it even though it is quite meaty.

I do wish for a Cliff Notes or a graphic "novel" version for many of my friends who would not enjoy the academic language of this version but would benefit from the fantastic content.

Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: church
This is an important book, but it is slow going to read, at least it was for me. I found it repetitive in many places, and wished she would just get to the next point. Those points, however, are important, very important, and in part, they are groundbreaking realizations of how we've come to this point in time, when the slayer of Trayvon Martin can walk free.

I would not suggest you begin here, if you are just coming to a study of race in America, but you should certainly add this to your list of
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
A searing read, this theological response to the murder of Trayvon Martin with an analysis of America's founding myth of Angl0-Saxon exceptionalism and supremacy and how the black faith tradition points to a future beyond this violent myth.

There were times in part one, the analysis of the myth, that I disagreed with nuances of the historical interpretation, but the book soars in the second part as it engages the black faith tradition both as critique and as hope.
Austin Gilbert
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
A powerful, moving analysis of the white history of black oppression and the black history of responding to and overcoming it. The first half details the history of "stand your ground" culture, its ancestors, and its historical and religious foundations. The second half explains how faith in God keeps the black community moving forward in the face of oppression. A fantastic read for all faiths and races, my only criticism is it's very dense, and repetitive in parts, like many "academic" texts.
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
This book explores the Stand Your Ground culture that exists in the U.S. - how it began and why it continues. But it also delves into black faith and the meaning of God to the African American community in a Stand Your Ground Culture.

It made me take a long hard look at what deep cultural biases I might have and made me vow to change them.
Margaret D'Anieri
This book is a must read, period. While her style is a bit labored and repetitive in places, the scholarship and theology and history provides a crucial understanding of why our post-racial nation is anything but, and her personal reflections are heart-rending. I've heard her speak twice, and if you can find her on a podcast or interview, do that if you don't want to read the book.
Melissa Andrews
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Probably 3.5 stars, but giving it 4 for the excellent job she does laying the groundwork in part 1 - showing how black bodies have come to be regarded as nothing in American culture. Very good read for those of you who don't understand why people are making it a big deal that #blacklivesmatter
Mills College Library
305.80097 D7348 2015
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ministry
Powerful. Moving.
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: phd
great. would assign to undergrads.
Robyn Hyden
rated it it was amazing
Sep 29, 2017
Jane Larson
rated it it was amazing
Dec 13, 2019
Elisabeth Jansen
rated it really liked it
Jan 26, 2017
Amanda Marie
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Jan 14, 2018
Anna Joy
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Dec 31, 2018
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