Drawing on her lifelong journey to know her family’s history, leading Christian activist Lisa Sharon Harper recovers the beauty of her heritage, exposes the brokenness that race has wrought in America, and casts a vision for collective repair.
Harper has spent three decades researching ten generations of her family history through DNA research, oral histories, interviews, and genealogy. Fortune, the name of Harper’s first non-indigenous ancestor born on American soil, bore the brunt of the nation’s first race, gender, and citizenship laws. As Harper traces her family’s story through succeeding generations, she shows how American ideas, customs, and laws robbed her ancestors—and the ancestors of so many others—of their humanity and flourishing.
In this episode, Harper guides us through the ways America was built upon systems and structures in ways that blessed some and cursed others, allowing Americans of European descent to benefit from the colonization, genocide, enslavement, rape, and exploitation of people of color. As Harper lights a path through national and religious history, she clarifies exactly how and when the world broke and shows the way to redemption for us all.
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