The inauguration of the newly elected president of America is upon us. Racism has shown to be very alive and well in the United States, contrary to popular belief. People are all questioning how we could go from President Barak Obama to what was elected on November 7, 2016. Deep down I think we all know why and aren’t really surprised, but in essence most of us don’t want to admit what the problem really is. Tears We Cannot Stop : A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson delves profoundly and with precision into the murky racist history America keeps holding on to, as it seems, for dear life. Do YOU really want to know what the problem is? Or, do you prefer to keep pretending you don’t see color and that racism doesn’t exist?
Dyson opens Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America showing the reader that we are all different, living and seeing the world from our own points of view. However similar that is, black people’s experiences are being minimized and ignored. The realization that black people are still viewed today as inferior and the struggle for white people to acknowledge their white privilege are only two of the many problems Dyson analyzes in Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America. Dyson chose to structure this novel to resemble a church service, henceforth giving the book a very heart-felt, sincere tone. Instead of being separated into simple numbered chapters, they are each labeled with a part of a full church service, Chapter I. Call to Worship, Chapter II. Hymns of Praise, Chapter III. Invocation, Chapter IV. Scripture Reading, Chapter V. Sermon, VI. Benediction, VII. Offering Plate, and finally VIII. Closing Prayer.
Written in only 188 pages, Dyson incisively takes “beloved” (white people) through the 360° lesson on race and understanding it from a black person’s point of view. He leaves no stone unturned. He demystifies whiteness in exactitude and with unflinching truth. Yes it’s uncomfortable, which he states right from the beginning, but it’s necessary. Dyson utilizes pop culture, expressions, lyrics, tv shows, famous people, and most of all real examples from his own life. He uses all of this to demonstrate white America’s inability to accept their part in racism still exiting so strongly today. Despite sounding negative, Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America is not all gloom and doom.
I don’t want to give anything more away, but EVERYONE white, black, hispanic, asian, or other NEEDS to read this book, as well as those of you who aren’t American but want to understand America’s race struggle better. Dyson’s writing is truthful and informative, while being equally interesting. It will be hard to avoid understanding some of the problems of racism in America today, after reading this book. Those who read it won’t have any excuses. This book isn’t a cry for help or a plea for pity, it’s a demand for REAL respect, understanding, and action.
You may not know who Michael Eric Dyson is but every black American does and you should too. He is an author, radio host, and professor of Sociology. He teaches Sociology at Georgetown University. He became an ordained Baptist minister at 19. He’s obtained various degrees from Knoxville College, Carson-Newman College, and Princeton University. Dyson definitely has his finger on the pulse of America’s race problem because he’s written many books discussing race and related topics, such as Why I Love Black Women, Know What I Mean? Reflections On Hip Hop, Debating Race: with Michael Eric Dyson, Holler If You Hear Me: Searching for Tupac Shakur, among many others and Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America is his nineteenth.
*I was sent this book for an honest review from St. Martin’s Press.
Tears We Cannot Stop A Sermon to White America, 188 pages – St. Martin’s Press
My rating: 5 stars
Recommended to: Readers interested in reading about race relations in the United States
I’m an affiliate for The Book Depository. It would be much appreciated to click the link below if you’re interested in picking up any of my recommendations. It will help fund my incessant book buying.