To live authentically and with integrity in the face of a rampant oppression, which daily seeks to sequester the spirit and rape the soul, one must recognize themselves as one with the God and in this move each day with an authority grounded in a great mystical love which really has no words. Authenticity and Imagination in the Face of Oppression is an autobiography of faith. It is the life of a black transgender woman living a life of faith in the face of institutional and economic oppressions, and the cultural and social stigma of racism and transgender phobia. This book emerges then as a strategy for liberation by nourishing the soul through the provocative acts of prayer, memory, sharing, and acting, thus making real a sure hope grounded in the divine call of Isaiah 61:1. Authenticity and Imagination in the Face of Oppression is a hopeful discourse on mysticism in the context of loving one's God and oneself within a lived communal reality of earth embodiment and the development of a sacred space of irresistible hope. ""None of us is just one thing. Cross shares with readers a complex life's work as an invitation to de-colonize one's mind and body in order to do more self-discovery and God-discovery. How glad I am this preacher shares her discoveries of sacred black masculinities and femininities. In the tradition where 'reading can be a revolutionary act,' now readers can invert the white gaze on gender and get to work unchaining literal, intellectual, ideological, and physical concrete blocks."" --Malcolm Himschoot, United Church of Christ, Showing Up for Racial Justice Northeast-Ohio ""Drawing from her embodied, experienced memories growing up black and male, and eventually as a transgendered black female in a hetero-normative, white supremacist society, the Reverend Monica Cross invites us into a story of healing, liberation, and embracing differences so we all might learn to de-colonize our bodies from the straight jackets of hetero-normativity, racism, sexism, and CIS-genderism. This is a book about the multitudes each of us contains beyond dictated societal norms, if we only would allow ourselves to be something different."" --Whitney Bauman, Author; Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Florida International University Rev. Monica Joy Cross is a Transgender Scholar-Activist and public intellectual who serves as an Associate Minister at Tapestry Ministries, Christian Church Disciples of Christ in Berkeley, California. Monica received a Masters of Divinity degree from Pacific School of Religion in 2012 and a Masters in Religious Leadership for Social Change degree from Starr King School for the Ministry in 2014. While being a native of Southern California, Rev. Monica Cross currently makes her home in Richmond, California.
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