“Race is certainly not always the most important dimension of our identities, but in Minnesota, and in the United States, it is undeniably important. Too often, in a split second, it can become a life-or-death matter. It can determine much of our destinies, our movements, our opportunities, our vulnerabilities. It has determined who has been taken from their families and sent to assimilationist and abusive boarding schools, who has been allowed to work and for how long, who has been allowed to live in certain neighborhoods, who is stopped and frisked, who has access to financing and opportunity and good education and safety. The structures built in the past live with us, just as systems we build now will exist after us.” So writes editor Sun Yung Shin in the introduction to A Good Time for the Truth, a collection of 16 personal essays on the experience of race in Minnesota, published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press.
As Episcopalians seek to pursue our baptismal covenant promise to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being, this book is a helpful way to listen to particular voices and hear stories from people living in Minnesota whose experiences do not fit into a reductive ‘Lake Wobegon’ frame. As your faith communities consider fall programming, book studies, and resources for youth and adults, add this book to your list — it’s high time for us to practice listening to our neighbors.