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What does Jemar Tisby mean by “the fierce urgency of now”? What is the origin of this phrase?

1. What does Jemar Tisby mean by “the fierce urgency of now”? What is the origin of this phrase?


2. What is one step you would be willing to take toward achieving the goal of racial equality?


3. What do you think is the purpose of Joyner Lucas’ “I am Not a Racist”? Does it work?


4. What are three things you can take away from the article, “The Psychology of American Racism”?


4. We have come to the end of our course. Share with the class one personal take-away from this course. What suggestions do you have for the this course next time around?



Topic: The Fierce Urgency of Now




Read & Review




Langston Hughes, “I Too Sing America” (Links to an external site.)

Jemar Tisby, “The Fierce Urgency of Now.pdf” from The Color of Compromise, pp. 192-215

Steven O. Roberts and Michael T. Rizzo, “The Psychology of American Racism” The Psychology of American Racism (Links to an external site.)



John Legend’s Commencement Address to Duke University Class of 2021 (Links to an external site.)

“I’m Not a Racist” I’m Not a Racist (Links to an external site.)

A School in Brooklyn Using Diverse Religious Images A School’s Use of Diverse Religious Images (Links to an external site.)





Post to Unit 14 discussion by Dec 12.

Consider one action you would be willing to take to respond to the “fierce urgency of now”



Learning Outcomes


Students will be able to identify concrete actions they are willing to commit to in order to advance the cause of racial equality and achieving the beloved community.






We have come to the end of our course. We have hopefully expanded our awareness of the role racism has played in our country’s history and the ways in which religion has sometimes been complicit and sometimes been a motivating force for change. The time has arrived for us to consider one step we would be willing to take toward achieving the ideal of the beloved community.


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