The Moment: Thoughts on the Race Reckoning That Wasn’t and How We All Can Move Forward Now by Bakari Sellers

c.2024, Amistad
192 pages

By Terri Schlichenmeyer
The Truth Contributor

You have one last nerve, and somebody’s on it.

Honestly, some folks don’t know what you deal with every day, or how tired you are. They’re lazy or ignorant or misinformed, they think they know but they don’t. Some haven’t even tried to open their eyes. You can deal with some of them, but most, well, You. Just. Can’t. And in the new book, The Moment by Bakari Sellers, you’ll see how we can change that.

Every now and then, Bakari Sellers says he pulls out a black-and-white photograph that was taken decades before he was born.

In it are seven young Black men, including a future congressman, two performers, members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee… and Sellers’ father, who was also deeply involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Sellers still calls some of those men “Uncle,” and he says he learned about them and activism in general because, when he was a boy, he was his father’s “shadow.”

His father says that things are worse now than they were 60 years ago, but Sellers disagrees. A lot of action toward equality goes unnoticed but work still needs to be done – lots of it, and it’s going to take “perseverance… [and] utilizing the mediums available.” As he was his father’s “shadow,” Sellers hopes, for instance, to teach his own son through example so that the boy will have “freedom to dictate how [he] will change the world…”

In the meantime, the rest of us have much to acknowledge, starting with inequality within our justice system and the police. We must recognize that COVID deaths among Black Americans can be traced to an epidemic of racism, and we must insist that doctors do better for Black patients. Black churches and church leaders need to renew their place in the community and we need to acknowledge facts about “white terror,” on and offline.

And finally, let’s re-examine these issues again, together. Says Sellers, we can only deal with them when they are “fully exposed.”

Yet another book on fixing racism? Yes, please, because eventually, something’s got to give. Maybe The Moment will be the catalyst for change.

Author and South Carolina legislator Bakari Sellers takes each point in the national discussion, and he turns it this way and that to better shed light on it. By showing readers how issues of inequality and today’s racism are tied somehow to the Civil Rights Movement, we can see where problems endure and why. Politics, of course, figures into this examination, and Sellers makes that plain to follow, all the way back to the mid-1960s, to the White House and in several states. This book is also partly biographical which, as readers will note, makes it more relatable and deepens the need for each “prescription” he advises.

The Moment is a book for anyone who’s good and well done with racism and ready to make it stop. It’s a thought-provoker, and its clear-cut, no-nonsense sentiment is perfect for white understanding, too, so find this book and get on it.