Stand Your Ground
By: Kelly Brown Douglas
CATHOLIC PRESS ASSOCIATION BOOK AWARD WINNER! - Faithful Citizenship/Religious Freedom
"The author strikes a good balance between political theology and analysis. Names in the news, including Michael Brown, combine with her own personal perspective as a mother to give the narrative poignancy and timeliness. Stand Your Ground raises important spiritual and social questions."—Publishers Weekly
"A clarion call to all in the United States, regardless of race, gender, class or faith, to acknowledge our sordid and painful past and to work together to transform the American dream of equality and opportunity into a reality for all."—Diana L. Hayes, in National Catholic Reporter
“If Trayvon was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk?”—President Barack Obama
On the Sunday morning after the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer, black preachers across America addressed the questions his death raised for their communities: “Where is the justice of God? What are we to hope for?”
In this timely and compelling book, Kelly Brown Douglas examines the myths and narratives underlying a “stand-your-ground” culture, taking seriously the social as well as the theological questions raised by this and similar events, from Ferguson, Missouri to Staten Island, New York.
But the author also brings another significant interpretative lens to this text: that of a mother. She writes: “There has been no story in the news that has troubled me more than that of Trayvon Martin’s slaying. President Obama said that if he had a son his son would look like Trayvon. I do have a son and he does look like Trayvon.”
In the face of tragedy and indifference, Kelly Brown Douglas arms the truth of a black mother’s faith in these times of “stand your ground.”
Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas is the inaugeral Dean of Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary, New York City. She has served as Canon Theologian at the Washington National Cathedral and Director of the Religion Program at Goucher College, Baltimore, MD, where she holds the Susan D. Morgan Professorship of Religion. Prior to coming to Goucher College she was Associate Professor of Theology at Howard University School of Divinity, Washington, DC, and served as Assistant Professor of Religion at Edward Waters College, Jacksonville, FL.
A native of Dayton, OH, Dr. Douglas was ordained in 1985 at Saint Margaret's Episcopal Church—the first black woman to be ordained an Episcopal priest in the Southern Ohio Diocese, and one of only five nationwide at the time. In 2012 she was the first to receive the Anna Julia Cooper Award by the Union of Black Episcopalians for her “literary boldness and leadership in the development of a womanist theology and discussing the complexities of Christian faith in African-American contexts." Essence magazine counts her “among this country’s most distinguished religious thinkers, teachers, ministers, and counselors."
She is widely published in national and international journals. Her other books include The Black Christ, What’s Faith Got to Do with It? (both from Orbis Books) as well as Black Bodies/Christian Souls, and Black Bodies and the Black Church: A Blues Slant. She is also co-editor of Sexuality and the Sacred: Sources for Theological Reflection.