White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity

S. & S. Aug. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781982122867. $28. HIST
Is there a connection between America’s churches and white supremacy? Jones (CEO, Public Religion Research Inst.; End of White Christian America) considers this question in this examination of white Christian America. In this wide-ranging work, Jones covers several time periods: from “Redemption” in the South following the end of Reconstruction through Jim Crow apartheid to the current issue of Confederate statues in public spaces. Jones finds examples of white Christians legitimizing and enforcing white supremacy, from lynchings in the South to housing restrictions in the North. Jones documents the disconnection between the official progressive denominational stances on race to the racism perpetuated by individuals. While much time is spent on white supremacy among Southern Baptists, Jones also has examples from Methodist, Catholic, and other churches. Though the scope of the book is far-reaching, survey data are presented throughout, showing differences on racial issues between white and black Christians. Especially illustrative is a chart tabulating the number of Confederate statutes erected in each decade.
VERDICT Jones provides hard figures and historical examples illustrating racial relations in the United States, and how people can work toward reconciliation. An ideal complement to Sarah Posner’s Unholy.
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