Review: Be the Bridge by Latasha Morrison

I was in my 30s before I began wrestling with the concept of my privilege, thanks largely to a senior pastor who was passionate about fighting systemic racism. My interaction with him sparked my desire to continue learning about and understanding racism – and my part in it – that has continued to this day. For that reason, I was excited to read Latasha Morrison’s, Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation.

Be The Bridge

Be the Bridge is part memoir. Latasha shares openly about her experience as a black woman and the racism that she and her family have encountered at various points in their lives. Latasha’s honesty helped me better understand things that I was faintly aware of but lacked the language to explain, like the “typology of Black people” in America.

Be the Bridge is also filled with historical truths. Despite the fairly deep dive I’ve taken into learning about racism over the past several years, Be the Bridge contained a wealth of historical information that I was simply ignorant of. As I read, I’d frequently yell random facts to my husband, “Did you know…?” At no point was I more incredulous and horrified than when I read about the Tulsa massacre – an event in which an “aerial assault was used by the military on its own citizens.” Learning our history is important because as Latasha explains, “When we lack historical understanding we lose part of our identity. We don’t know where we came from and don’t know what there is to celebrate or lament.”

Additionally, Be the Bridge is filled with deep theology – theology that will help both individuals and the church to become a more “credible witness for racial reconciliation.”

I read Be the Bridge slowly, in order to give myself time to really reflect on and ponder each chapter. It’s a meaty read that would be well worth discussing with others, especially using the provided discussion questions. Churches would also benefit from reading Be the Bridge together and in particular, from finding ways to incorporate the provided liturgies into their corporate worship.

Regardless of where you are in your journey towards racial reconciliation, Be the Bridge is a book that I highly recommend. It will open your eyes to the systemic racism embedded in our country, to God’s heart for racial reconciliation, and to the role that you can play in seeking racial justice.  

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I was honored to receive a copy of Be the Bridge from Waterbrook and chose to review the book. All opinions are my own.

Jen Bradbury on Youth Ministry

Jen serves as the Minister of Youth and Family at Atonement Lutheran Church in Barrington, Illinois. A veteran youth worker, Jen holds an MA in Youth Ministry Leadership from Huntington University. Jen is the author of The Jesus Gap: What Teens Actually Believe about Jesus (The Youth Cartel), The Real Jesus (The Youth Cartel), Unleashing the Hidden Potential of Your Student Leaders (Abingdon), and A Mission That Matters (Abingdon). Her writing has also appeared in YouthWorker Journal, Immerse, and The Christian Century. Jen is also the Assistant Director of Arbor Research Group where she has led many national studies. When not doing ministry or research, she and her husband, Doug, and daughter, Hope, can be found traveling and enjoying life together.

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