| James Baldwin
Author, activist and race abolitionist, Starlette unapologetically proclaims a raceless gospel. After her mother told her that her father had been chosen because he had “light skin and good hair,” Starlette determined that race should never have creative power in her life or anyone else’s. Robbed of a love story as part of her creation narrative, replaced with the social practicality of race and the stereotypes of light skin that could work for her, blame her parents for her disgust with the sociopolitical construct of race. She got it honest and aims to rid every corner of her world of its perspective and social power. An inward work, she is leading from the inside out– because race is not a skin deep issue.
Tired of the prepackaged existence offered by the sociopolitical construct of race, Starlette is building a world without its prejudices and stereotypes. Proclaiming the raceless gospel of Jesus Christ, she aims to destroy race’s pseudo- foundational position in the formation of human being and belonging, namely within Christian community. Challenging the Church to live as the body of Christ and not the segregated spectacle that shows up on Sunday mornings, she has spoken before members of the Baptist World Alliance meetings in Zurich, Switzerland and Nassau, Bahamas, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the North American Baptist Fellowship, the Servant Leadership School in Washington D.C. and the World Council of Churches North America on the sociopolitical construct of race, an aracial anthropology, abolitionist Christology, a raceless theology and the Church’s role in the ministry of reconciliation.
A first generation preacher, she is a natural shepherd, leading both the alphabet and people to their best and highest expression. She presently serves as the Minister to Empower Congregations at the D.C. Baptist Convention, where she is responsible for training congregational leaders in 160 churches annually. A graduate of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and Buffalo State College, she has served as an associate and interim pastor, a clergy coach and a columnist at Baptist News Global. She regularly writes for Smyth & Helwys Publishing Company and Ethics Daily now Good Faith Media. Her sermons have been featured by Sojourners and she is a contributing author in the book Faith Forward: A Dialogue on Children, Youth & a New Kind of Christianity.
Recently, Starlette was awarded a pastoral study grant from the Louisville Institute and the Lily Foundation to study the social construct of race in the malformation of Christian community. Examining the work of Rev. Dr. Clarence Jordan, whose farm turned “demonstration plot” in Americus, Georgia, refused to agree to the social arrangements of segregation because of his Christian convictions, Starlette now takes this dirt to the Church. Her thesis is titled, “Afraid of Koinonia: How life on this farm reveals the fear of Christian community.” To read more about the project’s aim, click here.
An unrepentant academician and bibliophile, she is presently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., studying ecclesiology and the intersections of gender, politics and race.