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Pre-Post-Racial America: Spiritual Stories from the Front Lines

SKU 9780827244931

by Sandhya Rani Jha


Those people. Their issues. The day’s news and the ways we treat each other, overtly or subliminally, prove we are not yet living in post-racial America. It’s hard to talk about race and racism in America without everyone very quickly becoming defensive and shutting down.

What makes talking race even harder is that so few of us actually know each other in the fullness of our stories. A recent Reuters poll found 40% of White people have no friends of other races, and 25% of people of color only have friends of the same race.

Sandhya Jha addresses the hot topic in a way that is grounded in real people’s stories and that offers solid biblical grounding for thinking about race relations in America, reminding us that God calls us to build Beloved Community.

Discussion questions at the end of each chapter provide starting points for reading groups.

Hardcover edition available through

ERRATA: A footnote on page 129 was inadvertently truncated. The full text should read, "[1] Liberation theology is the study of God with the understanding that God is on the side of the oppressed, and that the voice of oppressed peoples should be privileged in the work of addressing systems of oppression." Chalice Press regrets the error.


"An excellent resource for pastors, leaders and lay people who want to help their communities journey across the complex terrain of race. This book will make you want to pray, cry, laugh, reevaluate and act – all in the service of true racial healing.”–Cristena Cleveland, author of Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart

"Weaving together a complex personal narrative, insightful stories of others, and pointed observations about faith and race in the United States, Jha bridges theory, practice, story, and faith with an economy of words and an an abundance of grace. Great for the classroom, book group, or personal study, Pre-Post-Racial America is a welcomed addition to the ongoing conversations about race.”–Bruce Reyes-Chow, author of In Defense of Kindness and But I Don't See You As Asian

"Sandhya Rani Jha’s soulful intersections of policy analysis, personal narrative, and theological exegesis will resonate with all who seek to address privilege, profiling, and discrimination across racial and religious boundaries. By representing a new generation of freedom activists, Jha effectively challenges racism and fosters solidarity within the human family.”–Ethan Vesely-Flad, organizing director, Fellowship of Reconciliation

"As a seasoned anti-racism teacher, community activist, and faith leader, Jha brings sensitivity and levity to these difficult but deadly important conversations. She has given us a tremendous resource to spark much needed conversations about race and religion, and much needed reflection on how each of us can live the values of our faith and be part of courageous change for a better world.”–Chris Crass, activist and author of Towards Collective Liberation

"Wisely using both personal and social narrative, Jha’s offering gives opportunity for followers of Jesus to practice racial penance in a society that presumes to be post-racial. Jha goes beyond a sterile analysis of race and extends a creative invitation to participate in the Beloved Community.”–Anthony Smith (aka Postmodern Negro), parish pastor, Mission House, Salisbury, NC

Pre-Post-Racial America is not a book to cozy up next the fire with. I struggled mightily with each page. That's the point. In afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted, Jha begs us to love our neighbors as our self. I pray we listen.” –Jeff Hood, Baptist minister, queer theologian, activist, and author of The Execution of God

"Through Pre-Post-Racial America, Jha helps us chart a course to beloved community through the complexities of 'scary' topics like white privilege, 'the angry Black man,' and immigration without minimizing the issues or diminishing truth. If you are just considering these issues, an experienced freedom fighter, or somewhere in between, you will find inspiration and practical application in these pages."–Micky ScottBey Jones, writer, speaker, and Transform Network Leadership Team

“A powerful book that uncovers the richness of America’s diverse populations. While it is uncomfortable at points to read this as a person of privilege, Sandhya doesn’t allow us to wallow in guilt. The point is not to feel guilty about something I have little control over, but to move in a direction of listening, learning, and partnering.”–Robert Cornwall, blogger, Ponderings on a Faith Journey