Racial Healing 5 with Benjamin Boswell PGE 57

One of the most important lessons I have learned from Meta Commerse is the importance of white people telling their own race story. A significant part of the problem with our ability as white people to fulfill that task is due to the truth that because we are so conditioned by our white-dominated culture, we both don’t tend to think about ourselves as having a race story and don’t know how to go about telling our own race story. Gentle and wise guides like Meta have been helping us white folks learn to do that for over 25 years, but the burden needs to shift. We as white people need to take more responsibility in recognizing that we all and each have a race story, in beginning to tell our own race story, and in being more active in creating change away from the white-dominated culture.

Robert P. Jones has given us a good model in his two books, The End of White Christian America, and White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity,. These books include Robert’s own story, but focus more on the cultural level. They do not enable us as individuals know how to tell our own race story.

My guest for this episode has provide us with such a resource. Dr. Benjamin Boswell has developed a course that can be used in multiple contexts and by a variety of people. Ben is here to tell us is own race story and then to give us an understanding of his course, why he developed it, and how we can have access to it.

Rev. Dr. Benjamin Boswell (he/him) serves at the intersection of strategic leadership, spiritual formation, and social justice. In his professional capacity, Dr. Boswell is a preacher, pastor, author, civil rights leader, and sought after public speaker. Dr. Boswell is also a former infantry officer in the U.S. Army National Guard, a graduate of Marion Military Institute (AA), Campbell University (BA), Duke Divinity School (MDIV), and Saint Paul’s School of Theology (DMIN) where his doctoral thesis was “Identifying Whiteness: Discerning Race through Spiritual Practice in the White Dominant Church.” Dr. Boswell was born in Lynchburg, VA, grew up in Bethlehem, PA, and graduated from high school in Kannapolis, NC. Before joining the staff at MPBC, Dr. Boswell served as Senior Pastor at Greenwood Forest Baptist Church in Cary, NC. Prior to his time in Cary, Dr. Boswell was Pastor at Commonwealth Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA, and an Adjunct Professor of Political Theology and Ethics at the John Leland Center for Theological Studies. He was also the lone clergy member of the NC Commission of Inquiry on Torture; a citizen group that worked to expose North Carolina’s participation in the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program. Dr. Boswell has received numerous awards and honors for his work as a pastor and civil rights leader. In 2021 he was was awarded the prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. Medallion, which is the city’s highest honor given to a person who promotes racial equality, social justice, and community service. In addition to his pastoral responsibilities, Dr. Boswell facilitates spiritual formation anti-racism trainings called, “What Does It Mean to Be White?” and he is the author of the forthcoming book Confronting Whiteness to be published by Upper Room in July of 2022.

You can learn more about and have access Ben’s course from the two websites: brownicity.com, and myerspartbaptist.org.

The music for this episode is from a clip of a song called ‘Father Let Your Kingdom Come’ which is found on The Porter’s Gate Worship Project Work Songs album and is used by permission by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project. You can learn more about the album and the Worship Project at theportersgate.com.