Book Review: Tears We Cannot Stop

By Michael Eric Dyson | Reviewed by Dick Lovell

Believing strongly that white and black Americans need to listen more to each other’s life stories and viewpoints, I found the perspective in Rev. Michael Eric Dyson’s Tears We Cannot Stop helpful in understanding the black experience in the country we share.

Be forewarned. Dyson doesn’t pull his punches. If you’re white, expect to feel challenged more than once as you read this book.

But, to me, that’s the point. It’s so easy for whites to live our whole lives with only a superficial understanding of how different life in the same country can be for our black sisters and brothers. (Blacks have a forced head start here. To contend for a decent quality of life in our white-dominated society, they HAVE to learn what matters to whites.)

The pastor in Dyson shows through in Tears We Cannot Stop. He cleverly uses the structure of a worship service to deliver his message. Regularly, he refers to his readers as “beloved.”

Dyson writes briskly and his “worship service” doesn’t drag on. Perhaps that will leave time for follow-up discussion at Covenant on the points he makes and the interesting list of “suggested actions” he provides at the end of the book.

Dyson’s book may be checked out from the "World Issues" section of Covenant’s library.

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