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Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America Kindle Edition
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NOW A NEW YORK TIMES, PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY, INDIEBOUND, LOS ANGELES TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, CHRONICLE HERALD, SALISBURY POST, GUELPH MERCURY TRIBUNE, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER | NAMED A BEST/MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2017 BY: The Washington Post • Bustle • Men's Journal • The Chicago Reader • StarTribune • Blavity • The Guardian • NBC New York's Bill's Books • Kirkus • Essence
“One of the most frank and searing discussions on race ... a deeply serious, urgent book, which should take its place in the tradition of Baldwin's The Fire Next Time and King's Why We Can't Wait." —The New York Times Book Review
Toni Morrison hails Tears We Cannot Stop as "Elegantly written and powerful in several areas: moving personal recollections; profound cultural analysis; and guidance for moral redemption. A work to relish."
Stephen King says: "Here’s a sermon that’s as fierce as it is lucid…If you’re black, you’ll feel a spark of recognition in every paragraph. If you’re white, Dyson tells you what you need to know—what this white man needed to know, at least. This is a major achievement. I read it and said amen."
Short, emotional, literary, powerful—Tears We Cannot Stop is the book that all Americans who care about the current and long-burning crisis in race relations will want to read.
As the country grapples with racist division at a level not seen since the 1960s, one man's voice soars above the rest with conviction and compassion. In his 2016 New York Times op-ed piece "Death in Black and White," Michael Eric Dyson moved a nation. Now he continues to speak out in Tears We Cannot Stop—a provocative and deeply personal call for change. Dyson argues that if we are to make real racial progress we must face difficult truths, including being honest about how black grievance has been ignored, dismissed, or discounted.
"The time is at hand for reckoning with the past, recognizing the truth of the present, and moving together to redeem the nation for our future. If we don't act now, if you don't address race immediately, there very well may be no future."
Anguish and hurt throb in every word of Michael Eric Dyson's Tears We Cannot Stop...It is eloquent, righteous, and inspired...Often lyrical, Tears is not...without indignation...brilliance and rectitude. --The Philadelphia Inquirer
Dyson...creates a sermon unlike any we've heard or read, and it's right on time...an unapologetically bold plea for America to own up to its inexplicable identity anxiety. --Essence
[Dyson's] narrative voice carries a deeper and more intimate authority, as it grows from his own experience as a black man in America -- from being beaten by his father to being profiled by the police to dealing with his brother's long-term incarceration...Dyson's raw honesty and self-revelation enables him to confront his white audience and reach out to them. --The Chicago Tribune
Be ready to pause nearly every other sentence, absorb what is said, and prepare for action. Tears We Cannot Stop is meant to change your thinking. --The Miami Times
[Tears We Cannot Stop] talks directly to you, about issues deep, disturbing, and urgently in need of being faced. --Philly.com
"One of the most frank and searing discussions on race ... a deeply serious, urgent book, which should take its place in the tradition of Baldwin's The Fire Next Time and King's Why We Can't Wait. --The New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice)
Impassioned. --Library Journal
Readers will find searing moments in Tears We Cannot Stop, when Dyson's words proves unforgettable...But more than education, Dyson wants a reckoning. --The Washington Post
"Dyson lays bare our conscience, then offers redemption through our potential change." --Booklist
If you read Michael Eric Dyson's New York Times op-ed piece Death in Black and White, then you know what a powerful work of cultural analysis his book, Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America is going to be. At a time when everyone needs to speak more openly, honestly, and critically about the racial divisions that have been allowed to grow in the United States, Dyson's book -- available in January -- could not be a more welcome read. --Bustle
A hard-hitting sermon on the racial divide... The readership Dyson addresses may not fully be convinced, but it can hardly remain unmoved. --Kirkus Reviews (Starred)
Elegantly written, Tears We Cannot Stop is powerful in several areas: moving personal recollections; profound cultural analysis; and guidance for moral redemption. A work to relish. --Toni Morrison
Here's a sermon that's as fierce as it is lucid. It shook me up, but in a good way. This is how it works if you're black in America, this is what happens, and this is how it feels. If you're black, you'll feel a spark of recognition in every paragraph. If you're white, Dyson tells you what you need to know--what this white man needed to know, at least. This is a major achievement. I read it and said amen. --Stephen King
Michael Eric Dyson is alive to the fierce urgency of now and yet he's full of felicitous contradictions: an intellectual who won't talk down to anyone; a man of God who eschews piousness; a truth-teller who is not afraid of doubt or nuance; a fighter whose arguments, though always to the point, are never ad hominem. We can and should be thankful we have a writer like Michael Eric Dyson is our midst. --Dave Eggers, from the preface of Can You Hear Me Now?--This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- ASIN : B01KFX66SQ
- Publisher : St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (17 January 2017)
- Language : English
- File size : 1053 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 234 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 567,283 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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Racism is both a reality and a perception, where we would be naive to think the two are necessarily aligned. As a thought exercise, I went through each of the stories in this book and made all the people in them white, where with only a few exceptions (eg: the shop keeper denying him service), most of these stories are exactly what I would expect (in many cases, want) to happen to a white man who made the same decisions that the author did.
Another thought exercise is to reverse the races in the author's statements, and consider their morality. Statements like "It’s hard to be white and empathetic to others" (page 59) are evil, and antithetical to the central idea of this man's hero (MLK). Examples are found throughout the book where it is hard not to attribute hatred to them.
A further thought exercise: As a white person, if I were to write a book claiming to know what black people think and feel, because I understand the "blackness" in them that they deny in themselves, I think people would rightly call me arrogant (where even here, I quality to say I "think" they would call me that). For the record this author is wrong in his claims about my mind: My blood does not boil when it's suggested that people worry too much about Islamic terrorism, and not enough about heart disease (where, as an individual, this is sound advice). To continue his metaphor, he *cannot* know how many creams all white people take in their coffee because we take different amounts.
Finally I just have to respond to this quote from page 158: "We are angry that fear leads us to hurt our kids". It is true that causality can be complex, and not as clear-cut as a hard-line "individualist" would think it to, but we can't accept the other extreme here. You are at least partly, and I would argue principally, at fault when you hurt your own child. You in particular (the author) hurt your own child at several points in this book through your own decisions, choosing to hit him, choosing to leave him to be raised by a single parent, choosing to lose your temper in the bank, and yes choosing to teach him to fear or even hate police officers. It is not through osmosis that he would inherit the history of police from the 1970's, but rather it is through your teaching.
In the end I feel this author's perception of racism is much greater than the reality. There are a number of reasons why I think that's happened, but the result is that he has the same kinds of problem that Trump has. In both cases, you have a general respect for Genesis 2 and the value of all human beings as worthy of respect, but you also have a developed set of phobias which play themselves out in bad judgements of malice, and frustrated spirts of hateful, even evil rhetoric.
I picked up this book as I have a lot of respect for Dr. Dyson after seeing some of his interviews and his debate with Jordan Peterson. He is most definitely a very intelligent, well read and quick-witted individual. I wanted to read something to give me an intelligent outlook on White America from a Black American perspective and this book did not disappoint.
While reading this I took notes, writing at times lengthy analysis on where I felt he is either right or wrong regarding a specific subject and my own personal opinion of his reasoning and/or viewpoint mixed with facts to back up my conclusions. I will not write about that in this review because this is not the place for that.
To summarize, he provides a sermon to White America about what it has done to Black America and what White America can do to heal the damage done. Along the way you may not agree with a lot of what he says. You may also be surprised at some insights he provides that you may not have considered, and you will also agree with a number of points he makes. Personally, I found him bias in much of his analysis, but you'll find out why that is.
Challenge yourself along the way over everything he says, and you will come away the better. At the end he provides a great reading list and list of individuals to follow on social media for further understanding.
Very highly recommended! Five plus stars.
I was also a bit concerned regarding some of the grammatical mistakes that were in the book and while understanding the book was meant as a sermon, many of the folks "in the choir" are not part of those that would be listening to a preacher.