Listen up, white people. Despite undeniable progress, there’s still a lot of work to be done, work that has to be done by us. Dyson, a writer and a sociologist, is also an ordained Baptist minister and he incorporates elements of a worship service into this must-read book. He doesn’t finger-point or belittle us readers — in fact, he addresses us as “beloved” — but he presents historical and contemporary hard truths that we need to hear, accept, and act on. It’s too easy to react to some of these truths with indifference or defensiveness; we’ve been doing that far too long. Please, please suppress those instincts and read this necessary book with an open heart.
- Banna— From Banna's New Recs
NOW A NEW YORK TIMES, PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY, INDIEBOUND, LOS ANGELES TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, CHRONICLE HERALD, SALISBURY POST, GUELPH MERCURY TRIBUNE, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER | NAMED A BEST/MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2017 BY: The Washington Post • Bustle • Men's Journal • The Chicago Reader • StarTribune • Blavity • The Guardian • NBC New York's Bill's Books • Kirkus • Essence
“One of the most frank and searing discussions on race ... a deeply serious, urgent book, which should take its place in the tradition of Baldwin's The Fire Next Time and King's Why We Can't Wait." —The New York Times Book Review
Toni Morrison hails Tears We Cannot Stop as "Elegantly written and powerful in several areas: moving personal recollections; profound cultural analysis; and guidance for moral redemption. A work to relish."
Stephen King says: "Here’s a sermon that’s as fierce as it is lucid…If you’re black, you’ll feel a spark of recognition in every paragraph. If you’re white, Dyson tells you what you need to know—what this white man needed to know, at least. This is a major achievement. I read it and said amen."
Short, emotional, literary, powerful—Tears We Cannot Stop is the book that all Americans who care about the current and long-burning crisis in race relations will want to read.
As the country grapples with racist division at a level not seen since the 1960s, one man's voice soars above the rest with conviction and compassion. In his 2016 New York Times op-ed piece "Death in Black and White," Michael Eric Dyson moved a nation. Now he continues to speak out in Tears We Cannot Stop—a provocative and deeply personal call for change. Dyson argues that if we are to make real racial progress we must face difficult truths, including being honest about how black grievance has been ignored, dismissed, or discounted.
"The time is at hand for reckoning with the past, recognizing the truth of the present, and moving together to redeem the nation for our future. If we don't act now, if you don't address race immediately, there very well may be no future."
About the Author
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON is one of America’s premier public intellectuals. He occupies the distinguished position of University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University, is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times, and is a contributing editor of The New Republic and ESPN’s The Undefeated. Ebony magazine named him one of the 100 Most Influential African Americans and one of the 150 most powerful blacks in the nation.
"Anguish and hurt throb in every word of Michael Eric Dyson's Tears We Cannot Stop...It is eloquent, righteous, and inspired...Often lyrical, Tears is not...without indignation...brilliance and rectitude." —The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Dyson...creates a sermon unlike any we've heard or read, and it's right on time...an unapologetically bold plea for America to own up to its inexplicable identity anxiety." —Essence
"[Dyson's] narrative voice carries a deeper and more intimate authority, as it grows from his own experience as a black man in America — from being beaten by his father to being profiled by the police to dealing with his brother's long-term incarceration...Dyson's raw honesty and self-revelation enables him to confront his white audience and reach out to them." —The Chicago Tribune
"Be ready to pause nearly every other sentence, absorb what is said, and prepare for action. Tears We Cannot Stop is meant to change your thinking." —The Miami Times
"[Tears We Cannot Stop] talks directly to you, about issues deep, disturbing, and urgently in need of being faced." —Philly.com
“One of the most frank and searing discussions on race ... a deeply serious, urgent book, which should take its place in the tradition of Baldwin's The Fire Next Time and King's Why We Can't Wait. —The New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice)
"Impassioned." —Library Journal
"Readers will find searing moments in Tears We Cannot Stop, when Dyson's words proves unforgettable...But more than education, Dyson wants a reckoning." —The Washington Post
“Dyson lays bare our conscience, then offers redemption through our potential change.” —Booklist
"If you read Michael Eric Dyson’s New York Times op-ed piece "Death in Black and White," then you know what a powerful work of cultural analysis his book, Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America is going to be. At a time when everyone needs to speak more openly, honestly, and critically about the racial divisions that have been allowed to grow in the United States, Dyson’s book — available in January — could not be a more welcome read." —Bustle
"A hard-hitting sermon on the racial divide... The readership Dyson addresses may not fully be convinced, but it can hardly remain unmoved." —Kirkus Reviews (Starred)
"Elegantly written, Tears We Cannot Stop is powerful in several areas: moving personal recollections; profound cultural analysis; and guidance for moral redemption. A work to relish." —Toni Morrison
"Here’s a sermon that’s as fierce as it is lucid. It shook me up, but in a good way. This is how it works if you’re black in America, this is what happens, and this is how it feels. If you’re black, you’ll feel a spark of recognition in every paragraph. If you’re white, Dyson tells you what you need to know—what this white man needed to know, at least. This is a major achievement. I read it and said amen." —Stephen King
"Michael Eric Dyson is alive to the fierce urgency of now and yet he's full of felicitous contradictions: an intellectual who won't talk down to anyone; a man of God who eschews piousness; a truth-teller who is not afraid of doubt or nuance; a fighter whose arguments, though always to the point, are never ad hominem. We can and should be thankful we have a writer like Michael Eric Dyson is our midst." —Dave Eggers, from the preface of Can You Hear Me Now?