In the wake of the death of George Floyd, the outcry from the Black Lives Matter protests and the reckoning that has come with white evangelicalism’s support of Donald Trump, Chine McDonald’s book explores what it means to be black and a woman in majority white spaces where black women are
silently exiting the church, no longer able to tolerate casual racism, colonialist narratives and lack of urgency on issues of racial justice.
The book explores race and gender through a number of lenses: the Christian faith, its perceptions of God and white supremacy within its midst; the historical context of colonialism and slavery; perceptions of Africa; the relationship and contrast between black women and white women through the stories of Beyonce, Serena Williams and other notable black women; education; inter-racial relationships and the brutalisation of black bodies through the centuries.
What does it mean when God is presented as male? What does it mean when – from our internal assumptions to our shared cultural imaginings – God is presented as white?
These are the urgent questions Chine McDonald asks in a searing look at her experience of being a Black woman in the UK church, and in white majority spaces in the UK and the US. Part memoir, part social and theological commentary, God Is Not a White Man is a must-read for anyone troubled by a culture that insists everyone is equal in God’s sight yet fails to confront white supremacy.
It is a lament about the state of race and faith, and a clarion call for us all to do better. Chine explains why she wrote this book:
‘It initially began as a real sense of disappointment with white evangelicalism and its lack of resistance to the racism and misogyny of Donald Trump and the racist undertones of the Brexit campaign, which gave me a sense of rage. It sent me on a journey – going deeper than I had planned to, into some dark places – places that recognised the role of the Christian faith over the centuries in perpetuating ideas of white supremacy. The book felt even more urgent the more and more I read and researched and paid attention to the experiences I had had throughout my life. The book has now become a place of truth-telling, of asking difficult questions about the prejudices we hold and an opportunity to provoke the Church and the wider world out of white supremacy and into much-needed change on racial justice.’
Chine McDonald read Theology at Cambridge University before training as a newspaper journalist. She is now head of public engagement at Christian
Aid and is a regular contributor to BBC Religion & Ethics programmes, including Thought for the Day, the Daily Service, and Prayer for the Day.
Chine is married to Mark and they live in south-east London/Kent with their 3-year-old son, Keir. Chine was born in Nigeria and moved to the UK when she was four. This is her second book.