Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon To White America by Dr. Michael Eric Dyson

So as far as posting, I know I’ve been slackin on my pimpin but forgive me, I’ve been busy (and tired as hell) with work. But in the meantime and between time, I’ve been able to finish reading this amazing book, “Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America”. When I tell you, this is one of the most prolific and profound pieces of literature I have ever been blessed to absorb, it is the honest-to-God truth. I literally could not put this book down. Every person, I repeat: EVERY PERSON in america needs to read this book, black, white, yellow, brown, purple, it doesn’t matter; everyone needs to read this book. tears we cannot stop

This Sermon Style message isn’t just to white america, it is to all of america. But Beloved, Do understand that you are being singled out because the ties of your imaginary sense of entitlement from white privilege is DIRECTLY linked to our black oppression. Beloved, Do understand that the complete 180-degree turn in the oval office is in reaction to the feeling of losing your white supremacy despite what is in your best interest as a citizen. Beloved, Do understand that stating “that wasn’t me, it was my ancestors” still not only gives significance to the documented history of what happened to OUR ancestors, but your denial of generational responsibility continues to perpetuate racism while still appropriating the culture you love to hate. Beloved, Do understand that to compare black-on-black crime to Police killings of unarmed black men is not only a slap in the face of black lives and how they matter, but it is a bubble of ignorance that should not be ignored but instead, POPPED. (If you think that was harsh, you need not read the book, it is not for the faint of heart and parts of it WILL make you squirm). We cannot stop these tears because without White people recognizing their historical suppression and making amends (Dyson explains how to do so), we as black people, will never be able to truly overcome. Because where we are now, regardless of his talents, bank account, good looks, lavish lifestyle, and beautiful family, NO AMOUNT OF MONEY will convince a white man to trade places with Lebron James. Because he is BLACK. And they see what is happening to us everyday on the news through police dash cams and body cams. And the threat of someone having potential power over your mortality, is something you, Beloved, are not willing to give up.

Lemme Switch Gears Real Quick: The book is set up like a Church Service. Dr. Dyson is an ordained Baptist Minister but the words on the page aren’t like your typical Sunday baptists church sermons that we have grown accustomed to recognizing. They are far more precise, indicative, truthful, and enlightening. (I am not a fan of Baptists Churches, for a few reasons. Not to say I wouldn’t visit one, but I just have my own reservations). The table of contents looks like the inside of a church program:

I. Call to Worship

II. Hymns of Praise (very enlightening)

III. Invocation

IV. Scripture Reading

V. Sermon -Repenting of Whiteness// Being Black in America (Consider this the Entree)

VI. Benediction

VII. Offering Plate

VIII. Prelude to Service

IX. Closing Prayer

There are great quotes of inspiration and lessons learned sprinkled throughout the pages. And the tone of this book is more so of pleading.. pleading for acknowledgement and recognition (of wrong doing and the humanity of “the other”), pleading for a change of perspective, pleading for restitution, pleading for a change in american society. Pleading in tandem with fact pushing. Like, these are the facts, to deny them is to deny the validity of our struggles, to deny our humanity and your role in stripping us of that humanity routinely, and to deny any possibility of progression.. Beloved. ( If you haven’t figured out, “Beloved” is a word Dr. Dyson uses when addressing White folk directly. You have to catch his drift lol)

Lastly, what makes this book a gem: it gives an accurate depiction of the struggles of black life within our own community, the struggles many white people are ignorant to (either because they don’t know or don’t care to know because they’ve never had to learn and practice cultural norms of another culture in order to survive). Dr. Dyson illustrates these differences and the influences on us (imposed by white ideas) through stories of his own life and family. We (black folk) can relate to his experiences and understand. Please Beloved, read this open letter addressed directly to you. It will make you uncomfortable. It may make you squirm with self-loathing or angry. But if you get through this Sermon, diligently take notes, and apply your new found knowledge to everyday circumstantial injustices created by racial inequality AS WELL AS make plans for restitution, then and only then, can we begin to see you for more than a white devil (because lets be honest, ALL BLACK PEOPLE have this image of white people in our minds as a white devil, the emotion behind it is what is subdued and there are different levels of the White Devil we will and will not tolerate (i.e. nigga vs nigger and how you cant say either of them.)). This does not come from being a home grown racists, but instead from past experiences and vicarious experiences with white folk.

One final detail that really “does it” for me about this thought-provoking piece of literature: It is dedicated to Beyonce Knowles Carter, Solange Knowles, and their mother Tina Knowles-Lawson as they are all true “Lovers of Black People” above all else. I love seeing gestures of love and respect between influential people. A gracious nod of recognition.

With all that being said, Buy this book. I got it from the library and I’m about to buy it on audible or amazon just to have it. I strongly recommend reading it. Regardless of your race, age, color, or creed, you will be enlightened after reading this. Then apply it and pass it along lol #NoButReally. passing notes

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