In her new book, Human(Kind): How Reclaiming Human Worth and Embracing Radical Kindness Will Bring Us Back Together, author and preacher Ashlee Eiland reminds us that we don’t have to lose sight of our cultural identities while prioritizing our identity in the kingdom of God.
The Mars Hill Church pastor is transparent about having to navigate the world as a black girl who didn’t quite fit in with people who looked like her or people who didn’t. Still, she learned to approach tough racial issues with radical kindness, which is the premise of her latest book. In a recent interview with Publisher’s Weekly, Eiland explains why she makes her African-American identity a central theme in her book.
“I can’t extract my blackness and hold it separately from everything else that makes me who I am. No matter how much money I earn or where I went to school or what car I drive, I’m a black woman who lives and moves in America, and this has and will continue to inform how certain people relate to me and how certain circumstances result in either flourishing or oppression,” she says. “A watered-down racial identity is still an identity that must be navigated, celebrated, and held in tension to the person who lives with it. I wanted readers to see this celebration and tension worked out in real time, to stress the point that I do not have the luxury of being color-blind to my own race.”