I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in A World Made for Whiteness

Austin Channing Brown

Discussion guide based on Channing Brown’s discussion guide, Read more at www.austinchanning.com

Peace Lutheran Church July 2020


The zoom link is always the same from week to week.  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83837768117?pwd=QkxUT2NadjhhZHBVUXRQNWRaL2VtZz09


Assumptions and ground rules.

  • We are here because we know that racism exists in America and in the church.
  • Our stance is primarily one of learning and humility. We aim to understand what Austin Channing Brown has to say.
  • We will read the book.
  • No one person should dominate the discussion. If you have spoken already, make sure all others have a chance to speak before you speak again. Facilitators may invite quieter people to speak and may ask more forthright people to listen.
  • We will be honest and kind.
  • We trust God’s Holy Spirit to be with us as we wrestle with what we learn and seek to apply it to our lives.
  • Confidentiality – you may share broad conversation topics but not specifics of someone’s life.  If you want to share, ask first. If you want something not to be shared, be explicit.
  • Please set your name in your “rename self” so we know what to call you.

Preparing for Session 4 – July 22, 2020

Read pages 131-164, chapters 10, 11, 12 , an the following interlude

Here are the events/people in the question “if this were a category on Jeopardy, would you choose it?” I encourage you to look one up and learn more. Wikipedia is a wonderful thing.

Middle Passage; Trail of Tears; Bracero Program; Jim Crow; Internment Camps; Chinese Exclusion Act; WEB DuBois.


Optional: write a one-page letter to a child in your life expressing how you hope that America will change for the better. You may decide to give it to the child or keep it for yourself. If you write something you’d like to share with the group, let me, Pastor Sarah, know and we’ll make space for it next week.

Thanks all!  Below are additional links.  God bless your week.  Grateful for you,

Pastor Sarah

Links to go further:

Some are links I’ve found, some have come from you.  If you find things you want to share with the group, please send them along!

– The wikipedia page about Lincolnia, the area our church is in. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincolnia,_Virginia

If anyone is interested in researching more, I’d love to know what you find out!

– Beyonce singing “Listen” from the movie Dreamgirls.  https://youtu.be/y4gimHC7fKs

– Audre Lorde’s speech “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism.” https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/speeches-african-american-history/1981-audre-lorde-uses-anger-women-responding-racism/

– A sermon delivered by Austin Channing Brown on July 1, 2020.  Climbing the Mountain of Injustice.  https://evolving-faith.libsyn.com/climbing-the-mountain-of-injustice-with-austin-channing-brown?fbclid=IwAR0_F2IVXoEsiOrpZdK9CCgfbWou1CYVomllbCcLRgVlccYKIOuzXcHCUm0

– A Washington Post Article from 2017 about history and truthtelling re: Jefferson and Sally Hemmings.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/sally-hemings-wasnt-thomas-jeffersons-mistress-she-was-his-property/2017/07/06/db5844d4-625d-11e7-8adc-fea80e32bf47_story.html?fbclid=IwAR0tMySeQ0xehzmjXlGZZMHDR07WwS5nomM2omhlOHc2Hx8g44qlUpKgMNo

An invitation! Monday 7/20 at 7:00 PM, Ibram X. Kendi will discuss his book “How to Be an Antiracist” 

Register for this free virtual conversation with Dr. Kendi by visiting: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ibram-x-kendi-on-how-to-be-an-antiracist-tickets-110866502694?aff=eemailordconf&utm_campaign=order_confirm&ref=eemailordconf&utm_medium=email&utm_source=eventbrite&utm_term=viewevent

There is also a Facebook event page about it:


Preparing for Session 3 – July 15, 2020

Read Pages 112-130, Chapters 8,9 and the interlude following

Giving you some of the discussion questions now so you don’t have to read them in small print later. They aren’t homework you need to have done ahead of time.

Q1 – Anger is an appropriate reaction to injustice, but Austin shares that she really struggled to become comfortable expressing that anger.

  1. Where have you seen anger about racial injustice lately and what has been your response?
  2. How can white people do a better job of listening to the anger of people of color?
  3. How can white organizations make space to respond in supportive ways to the anger people color express?

Q2 – how is anger related to dignity?

Session 3 Study Outline

Preparing for Session 2 – July 8, 2020

Read pages 67 – 111, Chapters 5, the interlude, 6 and 7


Q1: White fragility

  1. What stories does Austin share about times she navigated the emotional fragility of white people who did not     respect her authority because she is a black woman.
  2. Share an instance when you encountered white fragility.
  3. Have you ever been overcome by your own fragility?
  4. How can white fragility been resisted?

Q2: In chapter 7 Austin writes “Sadly, most white people are more worried about being called racist than about whether or not their actions are in fact racist or harmful.”  Has this been your experience?

Q3: Guilt “I am not a priest for the white soul.”

  1. What kinds of confessions does Austin recount hearing from white people?
  2. If you are white, how do you handle white guilt?
  3. If you are a person of color, what do you do when you encounter white guilt?

I found this week’s reading really challenging on a personal level, truthful and important.  The more time I spend with Austin Channing Brown’s work, the more grateful I am for this conversation.  Looking forward to our discussion.

Session 2 Study Outline

Preparing for Session 1 – July 1, 2020

Read pages 1 – 66, Chapters 1 – 4

Hello, I’m grateful that so many of you have joined Peace’s book study “I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness” by Austin Channing Brown.

We will meet for the five Wednesdays in July, starting tomorrow, July 1.  We will meet from 7-8:15 EST.  I will start and end on time.

Because we are nearly 30 people and counting, we will make use of zoom breakout rooms to facilitate some small-group discussions.

For this Wednesday’s session, please read chapters 1-4 (pages 1 – 66).

In addition to the book, I’ve found her website full of great material: austinchanning.com.

Session 1 Study Outline