the elusive dream

Am reading Korie Edwards’ (Ohio State sociologist) book “The Elusive Dream: The Power of Race in Interracial Churches.” She talks about how multiracial churches, despite (relative) demographic diversity, often uphold practices that are normatively White. Basically they engage in this delicate negotiation of figuring out how to satisfy some very different types of people (which churches, even the racially/ethnically homogeneous ones, have to do, but of course diversity related to identity categories can complicate things even more). What’s interesting (to me) is the demographic shift that the church underwent. The church hired a Black senior pastor and the # of Black congregants rose. On one hand, Black congregants actually felt that the senior pastor and the worship style of the church often were not “Black enough,” or that they largely catered towards keeping White folks comfortable. On the other hand, as the church attracted more Black congregants, there was the push and pull dynamic, and more Whites eventually left the church. In one part, Edwards describes how it even played out in the church youth group; White families talked about deciding to leave the church because there were some tensions around the predominantly Black youth group. Complicated stuff…

On a semi-unrelated note, I really enjoy teaching and my students. For the time being, hahahaha. Stay tuned.

(Really, they’re great)

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