Even though I’ve always been someone who is aware of justice issues, I’ve become much more intentional and aware in the past couple years. Since I rarely just jump into anything, I started this journey by reading more books, articles, and experts in the field of justice work. I wanted to share a few of my favorite resources with you to help on this path of becoming more aware.
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
This book is cited again and again as a life-changing resource, and for good reason. I think most people have some sort of vague idea that our prisons are overcrowded, that we need reform, and that the inmate population is racially skewed. But why? How did we get here? What are the actual statistics?
Bryan Stevenson is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama. He has spent his career providing legal services to those who cannot afford quality lawyers, specifically for inmates on death row.
Just Mercy is an important book, and I’d highly recommend reading it. But I’d also recommend following the Equal Justice Initiative for a view of statistics and cases of racial injustice happening today.
Blood Brothers by Elias Chacour
There are a couple books that helped shape my perspective on the complexity of the Israel-Palestine conflict but as a Christian, Blood Brothers was most significant. Elias Chacour is a Palestinian Christian from Nazareth. His family has been Christ-followers since, well… Jesus was their neighbor.
Chacour became Archbishop of the Galilee region and spent his life working toward conversation and peace between Israeli and Palestinian neighbors. His book was an eye-opening memoir about the layers and layers of conflict in this region. There is no easy answer toward peace, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth working toward.
On My Nightstand…
There are so many books and so little time… I wanted to share three books that are on my to-read pile, in case one looks like a good fit for you.
Mending the Divides by Jon Huckins and Jer Swigart
Written by the founders of the Global Immersion Project, this book looks at peacemaking in a world where conflict, hate, and injustice thrive. What do we do next?
The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone
This book comes highly recommended. Written by theologian James Cone, it looks at two powerful and charged symbols of American Black history.
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
Legal scholar Michelle Alexandar looks at the incarceration rates of African American men and argues that the prison system as it runs today is the contemporary replacement of the Jim Crow laws of the 1960’s.
What books and resources have impacted your journey toward a better understanding of justice? Have you read any of these?
This post is Day 14 of the Write 31 Days Challenge. I’m spending the month of October writing about the Backyard Justice. You can find the entire series over at my Backyard Justice page.