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Great piece Ken. others need to read this

Kenneth Ngwa

Thanks, Wil.

A, Mbuvi

I liked the analogy of long division with remainders. This is a complex subject that demands a well thought out answer and I think your blog begins a useful conversation in this regard. For a New
Testament perspective, I think it would be easy to sprinkle into the class a few saying of Jesus about loving all and need for forgiveness. However, the difficulty lies in the impersonal and overarching systems that continue to make events like Ferguson happen over and over, even as the political, community and Church leaders downplay individual acts of violence against people of color. Thanks for your helpful thoughts.

Kenneth Ngwa

Thank you, Dr. Mbuvi. I too feel the frustration that bubbles up when leaders "downplay individual acts of violence against people of color." So, I was glad to hear President Obama reference Ferguson today during his speech at the UN -- a speech that was in many ways quite religious, but also pedagogical. Thanks again.

Tim Lake

Thanks for focusing pedagogical concerns on the very bodies gathered in the classroom and the embodied characters and authors (although you didn't raise this point) of the texts used as mediums of learning. Somehow it must be possible to engage the content of the literary sources used for instruction without disembodying both their subject (the narrative) and object (reader). Beyond that, and here's the real power of this post, we must calculate the "I" that teaches into the equation. Text + Learner + Teacher must add up to an integer (i.e., a whole self) that is indivisible from race matters in our present moment.

Kenneth Ngwa

Hi Tim,
That is a very interesting equation, with focus on the integer!! Thanks.

Chris Muflam

"Engaging race and racism is like solving a math equation: long division with remainders." The complexity stems from the ever evolving and changing variables in race and racism. While some of the variables are easily controlled, others are beyond the control of individuals and the community of people directly affected; hence, the need for patience in solving today's race and racism equations.

Dr. RS Wafula

Dear Prof. Ngwa,
Your comments are right on target. We would like to pretend that racism is long gone. How can we think it exists when, as we are told, the society has changed so much that now we can have a black president (Is he black by the way)? The bodies lying on the streets (Michael Brown) and the miscarriage of justice (Trayvon Martin) reminds one that we are far from sounding the victory horn. When I set out to start my teaching career this last Fall, I decided to teach the Bible from a Thematic approach. One of the themes that has been central in my classes is the theme of how the biblical texts construct ethic/racial differences. I have urged my students to see and understand that stories matter--that they determine institutions and practices that impact how we treat each other along racial lines. Ferguson, however tragic, could never have happened at the right time for my class (to be reminded of the reality of racism). I have actually assigned a group in my class to research and present on how the Ferguson incident relates to the Bible's stories on racism. Thanks Prof. Ngwa for sharing your story. I do hope that our teaching may make a contribution to racial justice in this country.

Kenneth Ngwa

Thank you, Dr Wafula for your comments

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