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Lisa Sharon Harper journeys into her family’s past to understand how race broke the world

Ada, Mich. (October 27, 2020)Lisa Sharon Harper has signed a new contract with Brazos Press to publish Fortune. Brazos has exclusive world rights and the project was agented with Howard Yoon of the Ross Yoon Agency. The book is slated to release in the fall of 2021.

Thanks to DNA testing and archives, Lisa Sharon Harper has spent three decades learning about her family history, discovering the hopes and dreams of ancestors whose legacies would otherwise be lost to history. In Fortune, Harper introduces readers to various family members who spanned 10 generations of U.S. history to highlight how their lives and futures were shaped by various oppressive public policies. Their stories become a window into ways that American ideas, customs, and laws oppressed millions of people of African and indigenous descent; spanning the Northeast, the South and the Caribbean islands. Harper connects their stories to the biblical concept of reparation, which is fundamentally about repair. Harper argues that reparation is not only about a dollar amount or figuring out which individuals to blame, but about an entire community or nation repenting of the “fundamental decision to order society according to racial human hierarchy.” Beyond naming the problem, Harper uses the final section of the book to cast a vision of truth-telling, repentance, and peace-building. In this way, Fortune is both memoir and prophetic teaching, deeply personal but also accessible to anyone interested in addressing the legacy of racism in the U.S.

Lisa Sharon Harper is a leading Christian speaker and activist. With a master’s in human rights from Columbia University, she served as chief church engagement officer for Sojourners, where she led campaigns on immigration reform and racial justice. She is founder of Freedom Road, LLC, a consulting group dedicated to helping groups do justice more justly. Harper organizes the annual Ruby Woo Pilgrimage for Christian women. Her work has been featured in the New Yorker, Relevant magazine, the Huffington Post, and on Rick Warren’s website, Her leadership has been honored by the Center for American Progress, La Raza, and the National Black Women’s Roundtable.

Fortune feels like the book that Lisa Sharon Harper was born to write,” said Katelyn Beaty, acquisitions editor for Brazos Press. “Our team is honored to partner with Harper to deliver this urgent call to remember our nation’s sins rightly so that we can collectively work for repair. We anticipate that this book will bear much fruit in the church, nation, and world.”

Brazos Press publishes books that creatively draw upon the riches of the Christian story to deepen our understanding of God’s world and inspire faithful reflection and engagement.

Contact: Shelly MacNaughton, (616)450-5560