In Black Suffering, James Henry Harris explores the nexus of injustices, privations, and pains that contribute to the daily suffering seen and felt in the lives of Black folks. This suffering is so normalized in American life that it often goes unnoticed, unseen, and even--more often--purposely ignored. The reality of Black suffering is both omnipresent and complicated--both a reaction to and a result of the reality of white supremacy, its psychological and historical legacy, and its many insidious and fractured expressions within contemporary culture. Because Black suffering is so wholly disregarded, it must be named, discussed, and analyzed.
Black Suffering articulates suffering as an everyday reality of Black life. Harris names suffering's many manifestations, both in history and in the present moment, and provides a unique portrait of the ways Black suffering has been understood by others. Drawing on decades of personal experience as a pastor, theologian, and educator, Harris gives voice to suffering's practical impact on church leaders as they seek to forge a path forward to address this huge and troubling issue. Black Suffering is both a mixtape and a call to consciousness, a work that identifies Black suffering, shines a light on the insidious normalization of the phenomenon, and begins a larger conversation about correcting the historical weight of suffering carried by Black people.
The book combines elements of memoir, philosophy, historical analysis, literary criticism, sermonic discourse, and even creative nonfiction to present a "remix" of the suffering experienced daily by Black people.