Cover Image: Shoutin' in the Fire

Shoutin' in the Fire

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Member Reviews

I would like to thank Publisher and NetGalley for this ARC Copy.



I can't believe this was the Author first book, simply amazing. If I'm being honest this book was a hard read in the begin, how he just distant from his community and family. I felt like he was trying to fit into a White world, But the more I read the more understanding him. This book was breathtaking a real Page Turner, I look forward to reading more from this Author.
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"Shoutin' in the Fire" is a raw, transparent, and honest look at what it means to be black in a predominantly white Christian evangelical atmosphere. Stewart writes so well and is so good at explaining how it feels for Black Christians who are trying to fit into pentacostal megachurches. Due to my privilege, I've never had to lose parts of my personality in order to blend into my church congregation, but now I understand that many do. This was a convicting and eye-opening book, and I highly recommend it. I'm so glad it was my last book of 2021!

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. All opinions are my own.
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Dante Stewart has created an exceptional work in Shoutin' in the Fire. Through these pages he is vulnerable and brilliant, frank and thoughtful. He writes what it is to live in a Black body as a Christian in a country and a faith that is not always welcoming. 

He shares his complicity for a time as a Black man who was being absorbed into white culture and white churches, but also about his reawakening.

This book is full of lines that had me pausing to take a deep breath to consider the significance of Stewart's insights, the truth of his words (consider, for instance, "Ignorance is not protection against the rot -- it gives the rot its power and longevity"). Though the book overall is heavily highlighted, perhaps the chapter titled "Rage" was the most marked up.

I appreciate this work and look forward to future books from Stewart, who writes meaningfully and beautifully about our reality.

(I received a digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.)
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Shoutin' in the Fire does not mince words, and it is all the better for it. Stewart shares his experiences in a way that is both particular and universal, making it clear that, while he does not speak for all Black people, we need to listen to what all Black people are saying. This is an important addition to the canon of Black American literature and should be required reading for anyone interested in wrestling with what racism has wrought upon the United States. Highly recommended.
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Please find our interview with Danté Stewart in the attached link. Thank you allowing us to have an advanced copy of his memoir.
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I was expecting research and nuance that breaks down the Bible or builds on existing spiritual memoirs. Instead, it is Dante Stewart’s story of his experience of being Black, Christian, and American - encountering, buying into, then ultimately rejecting anti-Blackness. It is about the lie of Black inferiority and about the truth of Black humanity.

Stewart proves he is well-read, quoting several of his favorite authors throughout this book - from James Baldwin and Dr. King to Eddie Glaude and Kiese Laymon. Yet unlike the original books he references, Shoutin’ in the Fire stays superficial on topics that I wanted him to explore in a deeper way. Perhaps that depth will come over time, and I look forward to reading what comes next from him. 

This book was engaging, and I am for any testimony of liberation from white supremacy. 

Thank you to NetGalley, Dante Stewart, and Random House for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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Poetic. Narrative. Vulnerable. Heartbreaking. Hopeful.

I highly recommend this to white Christians and pastors, but please understand that it is not primarily for us. It does not center us. There are places that may be difficult, but honestly even in the difficult places it is so very gracious.

The recounting of trauma is an honor we have not earned the right to hear. We need to learn to sit silently with it and let it soften our hearts and inform our way.

If we are ever to love our neighbors, we have to learn to see them. To believe their testimony. To value their stories, their culture, their expressions of faith, their thriving, their joy, their bodies as God does. Anti-Black is anti-God.
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Shoutin' in the Fire: An American Epistle by Dante' Stewart is the author's story of what it's like to be Black in America.  He speaks with eloquence, honesty, and tremendous forthrightness about his experiences.  His love for his family and for God are represented on every page, and he expresses his emotions openly.  His writing is beautiful to read, and his story will stay with me for a long time.  Thanks to NetGalley for the free digital review copy.  All opinions are my own.
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Danté Stewart has written an insightful, deeply loving exploration of what it means to be shorn of your identity in order to feel safe in a dominant culture, and to find your way back again. If you read and enjoyed I'm Still Here by Austin Channing Brown, this is a can't miss choice.
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(RNS) — When people reel off the names of American Black writers such as Kiese Laymon and Jesmyn Ward and Deesha Philyaw, Danté Stewart hopes they’ll include his name, too.

“I wanted to be in the tradition of Black writing, but also wanted to do it as a Christian,” Stewart said.

His first book, “Shoutin’ in the Fire: An American Epistle,” released this week, isn’t necessarily a Christian book, he said, though it’s published by Convergent Books, which publishes major Christian writers such as Jen Hatmaker and Philip Yancey.

Instead the author weaves together memoir and social and cultural criticism along with theology — stories about his family with stories from the Bible and Black literature. He shares his own experiences as a Black man leaving and returning to the Black church alongside the stories of Black men whose lives were cut short by police violence.

“I’m going to literature, I’m going to art, I’m going to our bodies to see what type of revelation can be had in both of those,” he said.

Stewart spoke with Religion News Service about “Shoutin’ in the Fire,” his experiences in white evangelicalism and how reading has shaped his faith and writing.

Read my interview at https://religionnews.com/2021/10/15/how-do-i-be-black-and-christian-and-american-author-dante-stewart-asks-in-new-book/
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“When this country gonna love us?” he asked. “I don’t know, bro,” I said.
– Danté Stewart

Stewart was a rising Black preacher in a predominantly white space. Until he no longer wanted to be there.

“As I looked around the church, it wasn’t just that I didn’t see people who looked like me. It was that I didn’t see the sadness, the anger, the rage that was crying out in my body. I didn’t see us, I didn’t feel us, I didn’t hear us. We were invisible.”

How can do better than this? What can we do differently?

The first step is to come clean. Get out of denial.

Stewart writes,

“The message became clearer: White supremacy was still our greatest sin and our deepest delusion.”

Stewart helps us break our delusion if we'll lean into his words and take them seriously. 

My thanks to NetGalley + Convergent Books for the review copy of this book.
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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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