The Black Arts movement refers to a period of “furious flowering” of African American creativity beginning in the mid-1960’s and continuing through much of the 1970’s (Perceptions of Black). Linked both chronologically and ideologically with the Black Power Movement, The BAM recognized the idea of two cultural Americas: one black and one white. The BAM pressed for the creation of a distinctive Black Aesthetic in which black artists created for black audiences. The movement saw artistic production as the key to revising Black American’s perceptions of themselves, thus the Black Aesthetic was believed to be an integral component of the economic, political, and cultural empowerment of the Black
As Americans, we are privileged with diverse experiences. With this comes a perceived understanding of many cultures and their influences but in fact full cultural literacy is impossible to achieve.
Culturally speaking observing the worship service demonstrated just how important of a role religion is for African Americans. There seemed to be a lot of focus on social
Black religion was no longer regarded as exemplary or special. During a time of growing segregation and violence, some black leaders attempted to counter this perspective seen by whites by embracing the romantic racialist notions that “blacks possessed peculiar gifts.” These gifts being directly connected to the importance of black churches in a time of direct exclusion of blacks from other pieces of society.
It gives one a close glimpse at what exactly kept them going strong in this period of mistreatment, and just how they were so spiritually strong even at their weakest physically. It was said to be that African-Americans established this “invisible institution” through signals, passwords, and other things. It was here in Church where they mixed their African rhythms, sang, and praised God.
“Roll, Jordan, Roll”, “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Had”, “Go Down, Moses”, and “Wade in the Water” are the titles of only a handful of what were called “Negro Spirituals”, which originated during the reign of slavery in the United States (Frey). Such spirituals used call-and-response, a method of communication that was popular with slaves who brought African traditions to America, and gave way to the gospel music and unique form of preaching characteristic to the Black Church. The history of the Black Church, which began during the slave era, demonstrates the way that African Americans found refuge in Christianity, where the church became the center for African American communities (Baer). Born out of struggle and oppression, the Black Church not only became the focus for the religious practices of African American communities, but also worked to “re-member” the community through rituals such as that of call-and-response, a core element of the Black Church which served as a powerful tool for the African American community in the fight for the exercise of true freedom in America.
This week’s assignment is to answer questions, in essay format, from chapters 5 and 6 of the assigned textbook, “The Black Church in the African American Experience,” by C. Eric Lincoln and Lawrence H. Mamiya, provided the answers. Below are responses to the five questions:
Kelly Brown Douglas begins by posing a series of questions, including, “Who is the Black Christ?” and “Is the Black Christ Enough?” (6-7) For Douglas, the Black Christ, “…represents God’s urgent movement in human history to set Black captives free from the demons of White racism” (3). The question of “Who is the Black Christ?” is addressed in Chapter 3. The question of “Is the Black Christ enough?” is addressed in Chapters 4 and 5, as Douglas critically examines the relationship of the Black Christ to the Black community and ends with addressing what womanist theology is and why there is a need for it in understanding the Black Christ.
The African Methodist Episcopal Church also known as the AME Church, represents a long history of people going from struggles to success, from embarrassment to pride, from slaves to free. It is my intention to prove that the name African Methodist Episcopal represents equality and freedom to worship God, no matter what color skin a person was blessed to be born with. The thesis is this: While both Whites and Africans believed in the worship of God, whites believed in the oppression of the Africans’ freedom to serve God in their own way, blacks defended their own right to worship by the development of their own church. According to Andrew White, a well- known author for the AME denomination, “The word African means that our church was
These three perceptions are distinctly different, but ultimately speak to the contextual nature of Black theology—rooting worship, adoration, and discipleship within the notion a (conscious) living G-d. The first perception explored is the image G-d adored through the lens of Sister Sweet and Mother Darling. At first glance, these women appear different in life style and theology—different churches, different abilities, and different approaches to discipleship. But upon further examination, one discovers the same paradigm at work. Both have lost children to AIDS. Both have committed themselves to a praxis centered theology to process their loss. Mother Darling is street missionary and Sister Sweet is a disabled woman confined to a wheel that feeds the birds and attends to the needs of the Little piece of Heaven Church. Both have found peace in their personalized work for the Lord. Their G-d is a “shelter in a time of storm.” The second perception is the image of G-d as seen through Deacon Zee. This G-d is one of salvation and complacence for Deacon Zee. The “White Jesus” he prayed to for his assistance in finding his copy of the Wall Street Journal—a nuanced symbol for prosperity. This G-d speaks to the corporate nature and element of
This is a story of Will D. Campbell. He was a successful man who was honored by most and hated by some. Campbell was a Mississippi-native who played a major part in the civil rights community. Reverend Campbell was a man of many great accomplishments and goals. When he was seventeen, Campbell was ordained to be a Baptist preacher. He went on to publish many great books including “The Stem of Jesse.” Campbell took on many challenges throughout the years within the activist community. In the 1960s, Campbell became the National Council of Churches and from there he on carried out his work as director of the “Committee of Southern Churchmen.”
Historically, black religion has been concerned with freedom, liberation, humanization, and the eradication of social evils in this world. Therefore, as opposed to being fixated exclusively with spirituality and heaven, the black church has been the vanguard of social, economic, and political activism within the black community. In fact, some scholars have gone as far as to identify the black church with the black community, and to suggest that neither can be identified apart from the other. The black church was born in protest against racism in the white church. The type of Christianity that Frederick Douglass characterized as “slave holding religion,” was a religion of the white status quo. It sought to justify the enslavement of blacks, rather than resist it and work towards its elimination. Reflecting on the period of American
Although this information on Liberation Theology is essential to understanding of this concept, the focus of our presentation, in relation to our class, was Black Liberation Theology. It is easy to see how African Americans relate to the idea of Liberation Theology, as a historically socially oppressed group of peoples. The encompassed theme of Black Liberation theologians is the concept of God emancipating African Americans from white racism. Jesus in Liberation Theology is commonly represented as a ‘Poor Black Man’, therefore allowing the representation of a relatable figure for the African American people. One way in which we felt the concept of Liberation Theology come together with class discussion, was in relation to the Black Liberation Theologian, James Cone, whom we had previously discussed in class time, leading up to this presentation.