BaylorProud »Grant to support Professor Baylor’s study on the impact of American culture on racial attitudes and myths

Dr Greg Garrett is particularly good at telling all kinds of stories. As a specialist in creative writing, he told stories of truth and passion. He analyzed the media for their effects on past and modern societies. And over the past year, he’s focused on telling stories of race and justice.

His most recent book, A long, long road: Hollywood’s unfinished journey from racism to reconciliation, took a deep dive into how films have altered our cultural perspectives on race. Now, he received a grant of nearly $ 500,000 to expand his research by examining how an even larger fringe of American culture – not just movies, but books, sermons, political discussions and more – influences racial attitudes and myths in our country.

“Racial mythologies run deep in American life, from cinema to legal codes to theology and popular and material culture,” says Garrett. “Racial mythologies about the inferiority of other races are wrong in the way we usually view myths as lies, but they are also powerfully true in the way people have oriented their lives around them and used them. to make sense of the world. I’m interested in how these dynamics shape the way we understand our lives, the world, God and each other.

The grant, funded by the Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation, support research on a variety of media types and promote the development of two-phase public programming. The first phase will focus on analyzing films, books, sermons, theological writings, political discourse and pop culture, while the second phase will feature the development of programs and partnerships that will shape the conversations. about the stories that American society tells about race.

“I am so grateful that I am entrusted with these resources,” says Garrett. “They will be used to help people like me recognize the stories we have told and the structures we have put in place to preserve our privileges and diminish people of other races.”

Garrett, a nationally recognized expert on the confluence of faith and pop culture, plans to partner with the Washington National Cathedral, the Baylor program in Washington, and Oxford University develop programming aimed at a variety of audiences. He will also work with Baylor’s Truett Seminar develop a curriculum dealing with race and church.

“Good stories can give us the alternative perspectives and engagement that we need,” Garrett told the Waco Tribune-Herald. “These conversations heal and can dull those that support damaging social structures and power dynamics.”

Sic ’em, Dr Garrett!


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