On Sunday, May 6, David Billings will be our guest. Welcomed by the Facing Racism Task Force, He will preach during the 10:00am worship service. Afterward, at 11:30am, you are welcome to join him for a complimentary lunch in the Fellowship Hall. Finally, he will discuss his book, Deep Denial, and also answer your questions. Please sign-up for lunch online.
David Billings has been an anti-racist trainer and organizer with the Peoples Institute for Survival and Beyond since 1983. Billings has worked with anti-racist organizing groups across the country, including the AntiRacist Alliance in New York and numerous educational and faith-based, groups.
Rev. Billings is an ordained United Methodist minister. He also is an historian with a special interest in the history of race and racism. Over the years, Billings’ organizing work has been cited for many awards. Most recently, his book, Deep Denial: The Persistence of White Supremacy in United States History and Life (CDDBooks, 2016) won the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Award in the Current Events/Social Change category; it was a Finalist in both the Historical Non-Fiction and Multicultural Non-Fiction categories.
David Billings was born in McComb, Mississippi and grew up in Helena, Arkansas. He has a BA from the University of Mississippi, a Masters of Divinity degree from New York Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry (ABD) from the University of Creation Spirituality (now Wisdom University). He is married to Margery Freeman and has three children, Nathan and Noah Shroyer, and Stella Billings, and six grandchildren, Johnathan, Abigail, Isaiah, Sofia, Twain, and Whipple Anne.
David and Margery currently live in McComb, Mississippi. Deep Denial, part popular history, part personal memoir, documents the 400-year racialization of the United States and how people of European descent came to be called white. Author David Billings focuses primarily on the deeply embedded notion of white supremacy and tells us why, despite the Civil Rights Movement and an African-American president, we remain, in the words of the author, a nation hard-wired by race.
A master storyteller, Billings starts each chapter with a disarming and intimate vignette from his personal life, beginning with his white, working-class boyhood in Mississippi and Arkansas. He then situates these telling moments in a broader historical context that will be new and disturbing to many readers.
Part I covers the origins and evolution of white supremacy from 17th century Virginia through World War II. Part II focuses on the Civil Rights Movement, how it emerged in the post-WWII era, and why it subsequently devolved from a vibrant community-led, issue-based movement into the bureaucratic, government-sponsored, needs-based, nonprofit industry of today. An epilogue discusses strategies for dismantling white supremacy and undoing racism in America
Since October 2016 when Deep Denial was published, Billings has spoken at over 70 book events across the country. His many media interviews, posters and book reviews can be seen at www.deepdenialbook.com.