All too often, we Christians live in a place without much understanding of the history and dynamics that have formed that place. Missiologist David Leong, provides us with the tools we need to better understand the places in which we live, and particularly the racial dynamics that have shaped them. Having lived in urban neighborhoods of midwestern cities for almost two decades, experience has taught me many of the things that Leong offers here, but I wish that I would have had a book this to deepen my perspective from the outset. Leong not only helps us understand urban geography (and by extension, suburban geography), but does so with a rich theological framework that builds on the work of theologians like Willie James Jennings. The book is divided into three parts. The first offers a theological and historical backdrop to understanding the dynamics of race and place. The second part unmasks structures in the urban landscape that divide us, and the third part of the book invites us to imagine "communities of belonging," in which we are working to bring diverse people together instead of striving to keep them apart.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who lives or worships in an urban place. It will open your eyes to see how racism saturates the structures of our daily lives and at the same time offers hope for a different and more integrated way of being.