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Sep 30, 2019 7 tweets 5 min read Read on X
Today marks the 100 year anniversary of one of the deadliest anti-black race riots in U.S. history. On September 30, 1919 mobs of white men began murdering more than 200 black sharecroppers in Elaine, Arkansas. A century later a memorial has finally been built.
#ElaineMassacre Image
Afterward the massacre hundreds of black people were corralled into stockades. In a fraud of a trial, twelve men were charged with murder. They eventually avoided execution, but they became known as the Elaine 12. #IdaBWells helped publicize their case.
#ElaineMassacre Image
Elaine, AR is in Phillips County & the memorial was built in the county seat of Helena. While some controversy remains concerning the memorial's placement, Brian Miller, a federal judge whose 4 great uncles were killed in the massacre, explained its significance.
For decades the exact details of this massacre have been hidden, denied, and distorted. White supremacists framed it as a black insurrection. One newspaper headline read: “General Massacre of Whites Planned by Arkansas Blacks."
#ElaineMassacre Image
The deliberate obfuscation of the facts along with the devaluing of black lives means we may never know the exact number of people killed nor their identities. This is yet another reason we must still insist that #BlackLivesMatter
#ElaineMassacre Image
We must also remember that the massacre started because black sharecroppers, members of the Progressive Farmers and Household Union, decided to organize for better prices on the cotton they picked. As I've often said, greed is this nation's original sin.
Today we pause to remember that which many have tried to forget. We remember because every life is important. We remember so we will never repeat such an atrocity. We remember the past so we can shape a new future.
#ElaineMassacre ImageImageImage

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More from @JemarTisby

May 1, 2023
I never set out to write these stories of professors at Christian universities getting fired for teaching about racial justice, but they are becoming increasingly common and they are ominous harbingers of increasingly repressive cultures in Christian institutions. Image
It’s also becoming apparent that uniformed opinions of my work, especially The Color of Compromise, also tend to figure into these firings. While I lament that Christian administrators are firing their own professors for citing my work, I stand by it and the professors do, too. Image
These two professors who have both lost their jobs for teaching racial justice are calling the CCCU to condemn the actions of these universities and any other member institutions that fail to honor academic freedom and target professors for teaching about race. Image
Read 4 tweets
Feb 11, 2023
Organizers behind the “He Gets Us” campaign are set to spend $20 million in Super Bowl ads alone and $1 BILLION over the next three years. Let’s talk about the (mis)uses of a Christian/evangelical money.…
Of course these multi-million dollar funds could go to support individuals and organizations already doing good work on a local or national scale. We started The Witness Fellows program to fund Black social entrepreneurs at $100K (‼️) each over two years.
But let’s say you wanted to use media and marketing to highlight Jesus for a generation who increasingly identify as having no particular religious affiliation. There are better ways to do it than what “He Gets Us” is doing.
Read 8 tweets
Jan 14, 2023
This is the book Coretta Scott sent to MLK while he was in seminary and before they were married. In a letter he wrote to her:
“By the way (to turn to something more intellectual) I have just completed Bellamy's Looking Backward. It was both stimulating and facinating.”
In the letter MLK goes hints at his ideas about an economic agenda for uplift.
“I welcomed the book because much of its content is in line with my basic ideas. I imagine you already know that I am much more socialistic in my economic theory than capitalistic.”
But MLK had his critiques of Bellamy’s book:
“On the negative side of the picture Bellamy falls victim to the same error that most writers of Utopian societies fall victim to, viz., idealism not tempered with realism.”…
Read 5 tweets
Aug 15, 2022
The tip-toeing, the coddling, the deliberateness…NO OTHER racial or ethnic group, much less Black people, would be afforded the kind of delicateness authorities and politicians are using with white people who threaten and enact violence against the government.
White supremacy doesn’t only look like people marching in robes and hoods (or polo shirts and tiki torches,). It is the privilege, the deference, the innocence with which white people are treated that gives them leeway that no other racial or ethnic group has in this country.
Racism is such a normal part of the fabric of the U.S. that white people storming the Capitol, attacking FBI agents, openly spreading lies and stoking violence in the name of white power and white people is treated as behavior to discuss rather than the existential threat it is.
Read 4 tweets
Aug 14, 2022
The erasure of the Black church tradition and Black Christians in the current public discourse around religion is *strong*. White Christians in the U.S. and their issues do not comprise the whole of Christianity. A 🧵...
For instance, how might the conversation about white Christian Nationalism be changed, shifted, or enhanced by analyzing and learning from a Christian tradition that has explicitly promoted and fought for antiracism and multiracial democracy for centuries?
What if we took people like Fannie Lou Hamer and initiatives such as the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party as starting points for examining Christian engagement in public life and the interaction between faith and politics?
Read 8 tweets
Jul 8, 2022
I was discussing films like "The Help" and "The Blindside" (white savior stories) with some folks and one of the reasons some people love these films is they offer a narrative of redemption, a way out of this racial morass in our nation. Bu there's more...
The redemption narrative of these movies ("Green Book", "The Best of Enemies" + more) is highly individualistic and interpersonal--the friendship between two people, the benevolence of a white person. No analysis of systems or circumstances that lead to widespread injustice.
Stories that have "white savior" narratives let viewers off the hook for actually changing and taking action. If I, as the viewer, identify with the white protagonist who is doing "good" things, then I'm not racist. I'm not the one with the problem and I don't have to change.
Read 4 tweets

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