| James Baldwin
Author, activist and race abolitionist, Starlette unapologetically proclaims a raceless gospel, which is not synonymous with post- racial and doesn’t rhyme with color- blindness. Not a “pie in the sky” or life will be better “in the sweet by and by” theology, Starlette challenges the implications of a baptismal identity and the work of regeneration offered to persons who confess and profess a belief in Jesus as Savior. Because how does this racialized identity get up after we are baptized with Christ?
More over, 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 and replaced with the social practicality of race and the stereotypes of light skin that could work for her, blame Starlette’s parents for her disgust with the sociopolitical construct. She got it honest and aims to rid every corner of her world of its perspective.
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 identity, being and belonging. Challenging the Church to live as the Body of Christ and not the segregated spectacle that shows up on Sunday mornings and for midweek Bible study, she has spoken before members of the Baptist World Alliance 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 and its progeny, an aracial anthropology, abolitionist Christology, a raceless theology and the Church’s role in the ministry of reconciliation.
A first generation preacher and a womanist in ministry, she is a natural shepherd, leading both the alphabet and people to their best and highest expression. She is a practical theologian and denominational leader. A graduate of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and Buffalo State College, she has served as an associate and interim pastor, clergy coach and ministry consultant. She has served as a columnist at Baptist News Global and now regularly writes for Ethics Daily now Good Faith Media on the intersections of race, faith and politics. Starlette also reflects on prayer for Smyth & Helwys Publishing Company. She regularly preaches and teaches in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region and her sermons have been featured by Sojourners. She is a contributing author for the book Faith Forward: A Dialogue on Children, Youth & a New Kind of Christianity. She was recently interviewed by The Washington Post Magazine and quoted in The Wall Street Journal.
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, the intersections of gender, politics and race and their interplay for a transformative spirituality.