America's Unholy Ghosts

America is experiencing a racial Great Re-Awakening. From the massacre of Black Christians in Charleston, to the White Nationalists’ demonstration in Charlottesville, the explicit racist instincts that we believed we buried in previous centuries continue to haunt our nation.

America’s Unholy Ghosts examines the DNA of the ideologies that shape our nation, ideologies that are as American apple pie but that too often justify racist ideas and perpetuate atrocious racial inequalities. In Ghosts, Joel Edward Goza walks us through the philosophers who shaped how our nation imagined, institutionalized and ingrained racial ideologies into the heart of the American experiment. Combining memoir with social analysis, Ghosts begins in his experiences during Obama years while living, working, and churching in the 5th Ward, Houston’s most historical and underserved African-American community. Ghosts then examines the racist roots of the ideologies that shaped the realities of 5th Ward through a deeply researched narrative of America’s philosophical “trinity” — Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Adam Smith. Ghosts displays how the “trinity” wrote the rules of the American experiment and rooted the “slave master’s myth” into America’s soul.

As time passed, America’s racial imagination evolved to form thoroughly rational, sentimental, and hardhearted people incapable of recognizing their addiction to racist ideas. Thus, Ghosts comes to a close with the brilliant faith and politics of Martin Luther King, Jr. who sought to write the conscience of the Prophetic Black Church onto the stone tablets of America’s heart and mind. If our nation’s racist instincts still haunt our land, so too do our hopes and desires for a faith and politics marked by mercy, justice and equity— and there is no better guide to that land than the Prophetic Black Church and the one who saw such a land from the mountaintop.