Cover Image: Shoutin' in the Fire

Shoutin' in the Fire

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Member Reviews

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is an incredible read!

Stewart walks us through his life as a Black, American, and Christian man. He opens up about his commitment to religion and how he felt he prioritized his faith over his identity. Stewart's journey and radicalization is familiar yet harrowing.

It's a painful, honest, and powerful read. Stewart shares stories of his own life while also talking about faith and the white supremacy that exists in so many churches.
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Once upon a time Danté Stewart was in the Sunken Place. How so, you ask? The culprit was Stewart’s experiences in white evangelical church spaces where he was made to feel like he was not like other Black people, that he was the exception. As a result, he ran away from his Blackness and the Black church traditions and practices of his youth. In his own words he became “anti-Black”, but he didn’t stay in that state for long. The killings of unarmed Black people at the hands of police in the mid 2010s was when he woke up, when he reached his breaking point. Shoutin’ In The Fire: An American Epistle is Stewart’s Leave LOUD story, it is in the tradition of James Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Austin Channing Brown, and other writers and theologians of Black liberation.

Stewart has written a beautiful, descriptive, personal, and unapologetic memoir about his transformation. In this book, Stewart calls out the sins of white supremacy that are in the American church and society at large today and how the wages of these sins can produce a spiritual death in Black people. Stewart’s redemption begins after experiences with Black death and also with his exposure to Black writings from Baldwin, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. James Cone, and others. These writings from the ancestors helped him as he transitioned to his own writing, tackling the issues of racism, white supremacy, and anti-Blackness.

This memoir has so much power behind it. There are passages in it that you will read and in response you will have no choice but to say in the Black church tradition “my, my, my”. Stewart has a Word for Black people in Shoutin’ in the Fire. He is trying to help set people free. The question is, are we ready? Read it and find out!
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This was another anticipated release for me. I first heard of the author via social media.  I saw several people reposting his tweets and as the publication date of the book approached I was curious to check it out.

The book is an epistle that chronicles the author’s experience of being Black in majority White American Christian spaces.  The author expresses the conflict he felt during times of racial protest and White backlash while he worked in ministry. 

To navigate his rising internal conflict, the author heavily reads Black authors, poets, thinkers and theologians.  He quotes these readings frequently throughout the book.  The epistle flows like a stream of consciousness, the thoughts and recollections are not linear and move between different points in the author’s life.

This book will appeal to many audiences: those who are interested in Black literature of any kind, those who want to understand the role white supremacy plays in American Christianity, those raised in the Black rural South, lovers of memoirs.

I was given the opportunity to review an advanced copy of this book via NetGalley.
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Shoutin' in the Fire is a book that meets this moment. Beautifully written and gripping from the first word to the last paragraph, this book shows us a better and more beautiful way forward, even as we grapple with the pain and destruction all around us. Dante Stewart is a prophet for our time. He aims to set us all free from the chains of white supremacy. It is a work of deep love and compassion, and one I'll be returning to again and again.
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What an extraordinary book. Stewart has gifted his readers with a beautifully written, painfully honest examination of what it's like to be Black, Christian, and American all at the same time. This is the sort of book that is not written for or to white people, but which white people would do well to read, really sit with, and learn from. It's not an easy book to read, but it's well worth every bit of effort. I'm very grateful for Stewart's voice and that it will now reach a wider audience.
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Stewart writes with eloquence and precision, choosing the perfect metaphors and words to carry his raw truth right into the reader's heart. I used to be a white woman in the same sorts of evangelical churches he describes being a Black man in; uncomfortably, I recognized myself and my friends and ministers in the stories he tells. 

This book will white Christians to interrogate their white supremacist notions of a belonging that "transcends" or "doesn't see" color. But don't approach the book as an instrument in an anti-racism project. Instead, read with an open heart and allow yourself to follow and to honor Stewart's journey of becoming more fully himself in a world that would try to keep him small.
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Read if you: Want a powerful and revealing memoir of a man's journey through Black Pentecostal, white evangelical, and back through the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Librarians/booksellers: Definitely purchase if social justice titles with a Christian angle are popular/needed. 

Many thanks to Convergent Books and NetGalley for a digital review copy in exchange for an honest review.
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The title of this book is so apt. Stewart does spit fire in these pages, pulling on his background as a preacher. The clear and precise voice from which he writes rings from each page. Stewart traces the complications and trials of his faith and how it is intersected with his lived experience as a Black man in America. He recognizes his difference trying to fit in in a white Christian church, and through the validation of his emotional and spiritual truths, finds his way to a faith that honors his culture and legacy. As someone not vested in a religious practice, Stewart’s book spoke to me on a deeper level of self discovery and the call for racial reckoning in this nation.
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This book is extremely powerful and important. In the age of Black Lives Matter, Shoutin' in the Fire really delves into what it means to be black in America. This book really handles the pain and struggle of daily racism and the strength of will that it takes to move forward despite all of these things. I think that this book should be read by as many people as possible.
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This powerful book is real and raw, painful and beautiful. Dante Stewart uses his considerable writing skill to share his experience of running from his Black, Pentecostal upbringing into the arms of a white reformed Christianity that felt like arrival and acceptance until it came to feel like he’d abandoned the most important core of who he was. His story of fighting his way out of this predicament and forward into the man he is called to be will stay with and inspire readers. There is so much here to consider about who we are as a nation. I’m grateful to have read this book and look forward to more from this author. Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book.
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