A descendant of Confederate General Robert E Lee chronicles his story of growing up with the South's most honored name, and confronts the privilege, racism, and subversion of the Gospel that came with it.
The Reverend Robert W. Lee was a little-known associate rector at a church in North Carolina until the Charlottesville protests, when he went public with his denunciation of white supremacy. His riveting speech at the 2017 MTV Awards got him appearances on All Things Considered and The View. But as the adulation poured in, so did the death threats. Weeks later, Lee was ousted from his church in North Carolina. Now he tells his story.
The Reverend Robert W. Lee's "memoir with a mission" shows what it was like growing up as a Lee in the South, including an insider's view of the world of the white Christian majority. The author, a professor at Appalachian State University, describes the inculcated nostalgia for the Lost Cause, and his gradual awakening to the cultural blindness and unspoken assumptions of white supremacy which had, almost without him knowing it, distorted his values, even his Christian faith. Lee finds in his own story--which includes a beloved African-American nanny--all the elements of a larger story that continues to unfold in our time, where assumptions about privilege, power and position are still defined by skin color. In particular, Lee will examine how many White Christians in the South continue to be complicit in a culture of racism and injustice.
This is a love letter to the South, from the South, by a Lee--but one that points the way toward change and renewal.