In the book entitled Empire of Cotton, the author traces today’s United States’ wealth back to the production of cotton. He argues that the production of cotton not only gave America its present wealth; it generated global wealth during the time African Americans were enslaved as cotton pickers in the South. Reliable economists say that free labor in today’s money is worth nearly $14 trillion. Experts believe the modern racial conflict in our country stems from that sordid period when African Americans were enslaved and dehumanized. Despite all the efforts to undo the effects of slavery, inequities still remain. As in any conflict, reconciliation begins when the two sides come together, admit their faults, and seek to make amends. In Nehemiah’s day, returning ancient Israelite exiles longed for peace and prosperity. To achieve that, they confessed their failures and sought reconciliation before God. We see in Nehemiah chapter 9 how their humble confessions led to God’s forgiveness and blessings.Today, followers of Christ can lead the way to racial healing in our country by confession, repentance, and seeking to address the wrongs.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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