Resources for Self-Study on Racism

The 224th General Assembly in June 2020 passed item 00-29, "On the Church in this moment in history," which called Presbyterians to corporate repentance:

"Repenting, both personally and corporately, for the role we as individuals and as a predominantly White-dominated church played in history and continue to perpetuate today, even if unknowingly, in systemic racism and White Supremacy, especially in terms of our own local silence, silencing those who attempt to speak or act, and our failure to act regarding police brutality, voter suppression, educational and healthcare inequality, and other acts of systemic racism on federal, state, and local levels."

This is a collection of published material presented in aid of PC(USA) congregations, mid councils, and other groups, who have undertaken research in order to repair past action against or inaction for racial justice.

Racial Justice in the 1980s, PC(USA), after 1983.

Forty years ago, following a World Council of Churches convocation on racism, the PC(USA) issued this call to the church to recommit to racial justice.

PDF (1.66MB)

Racial-Ethnic Ministry Policies—An Historical Overview, Archie Crouch, 1979.

A broad historical overview of Presbyterian work among racialized communities. "For the colonists and the colonial church, civilization meant a total denial of native American and African cultures and the total acceptance of Euro-Christian cultures."

PDF (726KB)

Steps toward reconciliation, UPCUSA, 1969 [audio].

An audio guide on the "Black, Brown, and Red Power movements" designed for self-study by congregations and presbyteries. Features Jim Forman and Eliezer Risco press appearances in defense of Black Power and Brown Power. Includes Kenneth Neigh of the Board of National Missions arguing against the "Marxism" of these movements.

View in Pearl

"Black Reparations," 1969.

Episode of the WCAU program "Input," on the Black Manifesto, featuring Rev. Carroll Jenkins of Fifth Presbyterian Church (Chester, Pa.), Muhammad Kenyatta of the Black Economic Development Conference, and Dean Lewis of the UPCUSA Office of Church and Society.

Internet Archive

John Rankin, Antislavery Prophet, and the Free Presbyterian Church, Larry G. Willey, 1994.

A biographical treatment of Appalachia's John Rankin, a born abolitionist. "Born in 1793 near Dandridge in Tennessee, a slave state, John was taught to hate slavery by his mother, Jane Steele Rankin, and those lessons were probably reinforced by Samuel Doak during his tenure at Washington College in Jonesboro."

PDF (1.78MB)

Judgment of the nations : the kingdom of God versus the United States of America

A Maryland church stages a mock trial of the United States on Thanksgiving Sunday 1975.

Gayraud Wilmore, Black Religion and Black Radicalism, 1973, second edition, 1995.

"It was left to the radical abolitionists and a few black preachers such as Henry H. Garnet and Henry M. Turner to make the American public aware, before the end of the nineteenth century, that blacks had never been content in their bonds, and that from the beginning of slavery they had made a persistent effort to free themselves." --Chapter 2, Not Peace But The Sword

Internet Archive

All-Black Governing Bodies, 1996

The history of the Presbyterian Church's all-Black presbyteries and synods, commissioned by the 205th General Assembly (1993)

Download from PC(USA)