By John Perkins
When a soldier for racial reconciliation, now closer to ninety than he is to eighty, wants to give you his manifesto, his final words on race-- it's time to sit down, shut up, and listen.
One Blood writes John M. Perkins "is my most earnest attempt to put down in writing the principles I believe to be vital to a complete ministry of reconciliation."
Perkins has the street cred to write this book. His father, a sharecropper, abandoned him. His mother, dying of malnutrition, could not sustain him. Mississippi poverty and prejudice treated him with the same ignominy. In 1946, a white deputy marshal shot and killed his brother, a WWII veteran. Perkins himself was beaten and tortured by a Mississippi Sheriff and by state police. He had to move to California to escape the oppressive racism and segregation in Mississippi. Perkins writes:
I had so much hate! And if I had not met Jesus I would have died carrying that heavy burden of hate to my grave.
But Perkins did meet Jesus and the trajectory and target of his life changed. Perkins writes, “I realized that I could not hoard His love. And I could not be selective about who I would share it with. The love He had shed abroad in my heart was meant to be shared with others regardless of their color.
One Blood is John M. Perkins looking back and looking forward. This advisor to presidents, tireless worker, author, and multi-decorated man shares this burning message:
The problem is that there is a gaping hole in our gospel. We have preached a gospel that leaves us believing that we can be reconciled to God but not reconciled to our Christian brothers and sisters who don’t look like us—bothers and sisters with whom we are, in fact, one blood. 17
This book is so much more than rah rah for reconciliation. It is wisdom. It is prophetic. It is a lighted path on a dark night. It is encouragement. It is hope. It is help.
5 Reasons To Read One Blood:
1. Perkins lives what he talks. Reading the book, you realize his friends are as diverse as the message he proclaims.
2. Perkins is living history. The man "Was there/saw that." He will introduce you to other heroes of the movement you need to know.
3. One Blood is page after page after page of wisdom.
4. Living It Out. Each chapter concludes with the story and insight of someone who is living it out. These additional segments lend far more than just a hearty "Amen." This is praxis.
5. The Why. In his chapter, "God Don't Want No Coward Soldiers," Perkins lays out his compelling "why" as to the reason he "stayed in the fight." These are words we must hear.