You have been kind enough to ask me loving, sensitive, sympathetic, and well-intended questions as it relates to the most recent police shootings of African Americans. If you want your heart broken over the issues facing African Americans, by means of exploring the history of this country and race, I would encourage you to read The Warmth of Other Suns. Within the last two months, I have recommended this book to more than a handful of kind friends like you.
Many African American families of my generation or older grew up knowing stories like the ones in this book, often with respect to the experience of a relative. In an Honor/Shame community such as ours, stories like the ones in Warmth are the fuel for both encouraging our children to excel in school and work, and for making us cautious, if not cynical, about what goes on in this country regarding race. Yes, I know that the Cross and the Empty Tomb are the warp-and-woof of the solution to problems of race in America. Also know, however, every church-going African American, at least my age or older, grows up with a form of these stories turning our engines, and contributing to the filter(s) by which we see everything.
Reading a book like Warmth might help you understand why just one racial incident makes the majority of our community respond as if someone has threatened us with nuclear war or genocide. No one else in this country has faced what African Americans have faced since their inception as an American people. No one ethnic or self-identified social group faces today what African Americans have endured for the last 500 years in America.
Enjoy the book!