Race & Place: A Collection of Quotes

Last week I read David P. Leong’s book Race and Place: How Urban Geography Shapes the Journey to Reconciliation. I’ve written a review that will be published at The Gospel Coalition (I’ll update with a link once it goes up). Below are some of the quotes I found the most impactful.

“Soft toerance, naive post-racialism, unintentional tokenism, or some combination of the three is often the default posture toward issues of race among many Christians.” (16)

“My sense is that race – and theology, for that matter – looks different from where you stand, and that our horizons often depend on the particular structures, systems, and stories we encounter in our cities.” (18)

“To assume something as challenging and complex will just work itself out without serious reflection and radical praxis is dangerously naive, and for many, even life threatening.” (19)

“The reality that we construct meaning from our geography is both practical and theological.” (23)

“A deep reading of both the Scriptures and the city is essential to understanding the signs of the times.” (29)

“Cultural tokenism – a little taste of diversity for the sake of appearances – is not enough . . . “(46)

“This kind of geographic transgression – this habitual crossing of color, class, and gender lines – is what continually characterizes Jesus’ faithful ministry of inviting his followers to consider a new kind of belonging and a new kind of community that would embody this unusual belonging in the world.” (56)

“This restored Eden nourishes and heals all the people who dwell there, and the whole story has come full circle.” (73)

“If the church is ever going to summon the courage to transgress these walls of hostility, then we must understand the walls we’re up against.” (88)

“The median household wealth of whites is thirteen to fifteen times higher than that of black households.” (99)

“How much has really changed since 1954?” (99)

“We have moved too quickly toward the language and idea of reconciliation without truly wrestling with its meaning and consequences for our lives.” (101)

“I also want to have a deeper understanding of how massive and entrenched the walls of racial exclusion are in our midst.” (107)