A Black Man I Can Relate To

I read this article about Pastor Jesse Lee Petersen. Here is a quote:

Still, the contrast between Jesse Jackson’s wealth and fame and Jesse Lee Peterson’s relatively modest circumstances seems an object lesson in the fate of competing narratives and identities. The great social thinker Shelby Steele has written that to “be black” in America requires the wearing of a mask. Either you are a “challenger,” like Jackson, who essentially tells whites: “I judge you racist until you do something—such as giving me money—to prove otherwise.” Or you are a “bargainer,” like Barack Obama, who says, “I will not use racism against you, if you will not use race against me.”

But Jesse Lee Peterson will not “be black” in that sense at all. “The ‘Black Experience’ is a myth used to control people,” he has written. His approach to the problems facing America’s entrenched black underclass is profoundly personal. And his comparatively marginal place in the culture raises the possibility that, for a public black in America, to be a man only is to be a man alone.

He is one of many, black, white any other combo you can come up with, who is a voice crying in the wilderness. He pastors a 30 person church in Los Angeles and runs a home to help young men take responsibility for their lives.

I liked the quote in italics: to be a man only is to be a man alone.


About hansston

Pastor a church in Sparta.
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