Mother to Son by Jasmine Holmes

I’ve been following Jasmine Holmes’ work for a while via Instagram (lots of great history content), her blog, and her Sweet Tea podcast. Her perspective is one I always appreciate so I was recommending this book before I got around to reading it myself.

Mother to Son was a long read for me because there was so much to absorb. In these letters to her young son, Holmes addresses issues facing us today, including racism within the church, political tribalism, and even how to behave on Twitter. She acknowledges the complexity of our history and current issues, but never apologizes for the truth. “It’s okay that it’s complex. Because we have a Savior who sits with us in that complexity. And your identity in him supersedes that red, white, and blue flag every single time.” (52)

This book is worth the read just for the interlude chapter, “How to Study and How to Talk” which has a great list of do’s and don’ts. (Do: Learn enough to have a nuanced conversation. Don’t: Learn enough just to give a hot take.) There is a keen awareness running throughout that calls out hypocrisy and flawed thinking yet never feels unjust or unkind. In a religious world that has become increasingly polarized, voices like this are more needed than ever. No matter which side you fall on, Jasmine’s voice will challenge you to “…see hurting people before you see ideological adversaries.” (100)

Jasmine has a new book coming out this November that I’m also very excited about. Carved in Ebony is available for pre-order and the paperback is 40% right now if you order it from Baker Books! Here’s the cover (which I think is gorgeous) and the summary.

Elizabeth Freeman, Nannie Helen Burroughs, Maria Fearing, Charlotte Forten Grimké, Sarah Mapps Douglass, Sara Griffith Stanley, Amanda Berry Smith, Lucy Craft Laney, Maria Stewart, and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

These names may not be familiar, but each one of these women was a shining beacon of devotion in a world that did not value their lives. These women changed laws, built schools, spoke to thousands, shared the Gospel all around the world. And while history books may have forgotten them, their stories can teach us so much about what it means to be modern women of faith.

Through the research and reflections of author Jasmine Holmes, you will be inspired by what each of these exceptional women can teach us about the intersections of faith and education, birth, privilege, opportunity, and so much more. Carved in Ebony will take you past the predominately white, male contributions that seemingly dominate history books and Church history to discover how Black women have been some of the main figures in defining the landscape of American history and faith.

Join Jasmine on this journey of illuminating these women–God’s image bearers, carved in ebony.

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