The Rev. Dr. Arthur Cribbs, Jr. on His Book HollyWatts: From the Promised Land to Purgatory and the Crisis in Race Relations

Wesley J. Smith
Rev. Dr. Arthur Cribbs Jr.
Audio File (101.42M)

Racism has been America’s lingering cancer. There is no question that great strides have been made in eradicating this evil from our culture since the bad old days of slavery and Jim Crow. But alas, the urgent task is not completed, and as a result, a great divide still lingers among too many Americans based on superficial and irrelevant differences of skin color and hair texture.

Listening to each other’s stories and understanding differing perspectives are crucial medicines in healing this great wound in our collective national soul. My guest today is an expert communicator in this regard, helping to build bridges and palliate bitterness across racial divides.

The Reverand Dr. Arthur Cribbs, Jr. is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, a former network television journalist, radio talk show host, and documentarian. He is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, obtained his Master’s of Divinity from Chicago Theological Seminary in 1986, and his Doctor of Ministry and Ethics from Claremont School of Theology in 2009.

Cribbs produced and hosted the television special, “Stories of the Soul: Life after 9/11,” for which he received an Emmy Award. He was nominated for an Emmy for his documentary: Changing Faces of AIDS. He is the former executive director of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity and has been a long-time ethics instructor for the California Department of Justice working with police departments to improve law enforcement. Due to his many contributions in serving his community, the City of San Diego proclaimed, February30, 2007 as The Reverend Arthur Cribbs Day.

Now, Cribbs has written what he calls an “autobiographical novel”—HollyWatts: From the Promised Land to Purgatory, actually a memoir recounting his life growing up in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, where he witnessed the destruction of an important African-American community under the onslaught of drugs, gang violence, and ruling class indifference.

Cribbs is currently Senior Pastor of the Christian Fellowship Congregational Church in San Diego, CA.

He was also Wesley’s college roommate and remains one of his oldest and dearest friends

Hollywatts: From the Promised Land to Purgatory: Jr Cribbs, Arthur Lawrence: 9780829800371: Books

R-302356.pdf (

Life-Giving Acts — Little River United Church of Christ (

Wesley J. Smith

Chair and Senior Fellow, Center on Human Exceptionalism
Wesley J. Smith is Chair and Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. Wesley is a contributor to National Review and is the author of 14 books, in recent years focusing on human dignity, liberty, and equality. Wesley has been recognized as one of America’s premier public intellectuals on bioethics by National Journal and has been honored by the Human Life Foundation as a “Great Defender of Life” for his work against suicide and euthanasia. Wesley’s most recent book is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a warning about the dangers to patients of the modern bioethics movement.