‘Empower West Louisville’ at St. Matthew’s

We’re now reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me. We’ll discuss it at church on Dec. 6. – 12:15. Please join us. 

Ta-Nehisi-Coates is a staff writer for The Atlantic, and you can read more of his articles here.  Read  The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration, ( Oct. 2015) and The Case for Reparations (June 2014).

On Nov. 8 we discussed Bryan Stevenson’s  Just Mercy. Linda Ewald, who co- chaired the team for the American Bar Association’s Kentucky Death Penalty Assessment Report in 2011, talked about the situation in Kentucky ( read/download a summary of the report here.)


VIDEO / AUDIO Interviews with Ta-Nehisi Coates

Police Brutality, The Confederate Flag And Forgiveness NPR Interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates, July 13, 2015

Ta-Nehisi Coates Looks At The Physical Toll Of Being Black In AmericaNPR Interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates, July 10 2015

Ta-Nehisi Coates discusses “The Case for Reparations” and the ongoing history of institutional racism in America, The Colbert Report, June 11, 2014 (6 min. 18 sec.)

Interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates on his book “Between the World and Me”  Democracy Now, July 22, 2015

Ta-Nehisi Coates reading from and discussing his book “Between the World and Me”, video, 58 min. from The Atlantic.

Other suggested books and videos

For  Bryan Stevenson’s  TED talk on injustice in the criminal justice system, click here or reading the transcript here.

Booker T. Washington Atlanta Compromise Speech

Kwame Ture (formerly Stokely Carmichael): Videos (and transcripts) of speeches  “Stokely Speaks” is a book of his essays and speeches.

Edward E. Baptist The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism (2014) and many other books listed on Amazon

James H. Cone The Cross and the Lynching Tree   A Black Theology of Liberation(1970) and many other books listed on Amazon. From the Amazon product page: “…Black Theology & Black Power (1969) and A Black Theology of Liberation (1970) … offered a searing indictment of white theology and society [and] introduced a radical reappraisal of the Christian message for our time.  And look for videos online where Cone talks about “The Cross and the Lynching Tree.”

Ronald J. Sider lots of YouTube videos and a book recommended by Dr. Kevin Cosby: Linking Arms, Linking Lives: How Urban-Suburban Partnerships Can Transform Communities (Baker Books, 2008). Writes about asset mapping and gives an approach that might be worth reading for both St. Matt’s and St. Stephen.

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A little history about our group

On Wed., Oct. 23, members of St. Matthew’s attended the Empower West Louisville church-based Summit at St. Stephen church in Louisville’s California neighborhood. Many who attended signed up hope to join book groups and dining get-togethers.

Here at St. Matthew’s a group met on Sunday, Oct. 11 to discuss what we want to do next. (Meeting Notes Oct 11 2105.)

The group decided to begin by reading the book Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.


The Rev. Kevin Cosby pastor of St. Stephen Church, who organized the Sept. 23 Empower West Louisville Summit, said, “West Louisville is typical of too many urban areas in the United States. The neighborhood’s poverty rate is double the rest of metro Louisville, while median income and housing values are less than half of the rest of the city. Life expectancy in West Louisville is the lowest in the metropolitan area, and depopulation makes even more pronounced high unemployment and a dearth of basic services available to other residents.” READ ENTIRE ARTICLE.

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