Black Theology was developed by early theologians because Black people needed something to believe in and give them help in times of need. The idea of Black Th... ... middle of paper ... ...her and to God. Much of the dualism described by Kelly sounds universal. Is there some figment of basic human tendency that divides one’s self from within or without? Works Cited DeOtis Roberts, "Black Theology in the Making," Review and Expositor 70 (Summer 1973):328 Emmanuel McCall, "Black Liberation Theology: A Politics of Freedom," Review and Expositor 73 (Summer 1976):330; cf.
Cone and Wilmore proposed ideas of Black Theology. I believe that their theories show how African-Americans can gain their own identity through their own practices of religion and culture. I believe that the greatest struggle of African-Americans in a racist society is the struggle to regain collective identity and culture. However, they show how it is very possible to rise above racial discrimination, and stereotypes. Although Albert Raboteau was not necessarily a theologian, his claims of slaves finding their own way of life despite being dehumanized, easily relate to the ideas of Cone and Wilmore.
The African Methodist Episcopal taught Cone how to deal with contradictions of life and provided a way to seek meaning in a society not of his own making. Racism by the whites led to political and economic inequality, segregated restaurants and movies, and beatings and arrests. Cone did not understand how these whites could be considered good Christians. According to Cone, one of the tasks of this movement is to analyze the nature of the gospel of Jesus Christ in light of the experience of black people who have been victimized by white oppressors. Cone was called to the ministry at age 16, and became a pastor the following year when he went off to college.
The black man’s response to God’s act in Christ must be different from the whites because his life experiences are different, Dr. Cone believes. In the “black experience,” the author suggested that a powerful message of biblical theology is liberation from oppression. Other theologians have also noted that African Americans require a different approach to counseling and healing. In Liberation and Human Wholeness: The Conversion Experiences of Black People in Slavery and Freedom, Dr. Edward P. Wimberly and his wife, Anne Streaty Wimberly, focused on the history of slavery and the wholeness of African Americans who are struggling with their inner self. In addition to the book, Dr. Wimberly created a workshop and seminar to help pastors and community leaders help African Americans who were once slaves.
E. B. Dubois says that black people in America struggle with a double consciousness. He defines double consciousness as a sense of always looking at oneself through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by a world that looks on with amused contempt and pity. This is one of the very reasons that blacks must renew their minds with the word of God. The bible tells us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Thus, we should think of ourselves by what God says about us in his word.
In my opinion, it says a lot about the spirit of the slaves to swallow their pride, accept the religion of their oppressors, and then add their own flavoring making it unique to them. “The black church was the creation of a black people whose daily existence was an encounter with the overwhelming and brutalizing reality of white power. For the slaves it was the sole source of personal identity and the sense of community... ... middle of paper ... ...am and that is simply a misunderstanding and a stereotype. However, this form of black religion did stem from the “black religion” of the slavery era in that the main goal, so to speak, of the “Black Power” movement was, in a way, to in a way seek revenge on whites who had caused the African-American race so much suffering and oppression through bondage. Through their bondage and suffering in slavery, blacks were able to adapt to the religion of their oppressors, adjust their own religious milieus of their African culture to the typically European religion of Christianity, and overcome their oppression by creating a Christian theology that they could call their own at a time when it was needed most.
After becoming baptized, Equiano identified himself with the Christian abolitionists in England and began to write his first autobiography about Ibo religion. Equiano elaborates on how Christianity correlates with the African descent and its culture. In his passage, he describes the similarities between the Jews and the Africans—from circumcision to offerings, from purifications to washings, from believing in one Creator to life after death. Jupiter Hammon, Address to the Negroes in the State of New York Jupiter Hammon was a distinct minority in the African-American community and was the first black to write and publish poetry. His personality was profoundly religious and conservative, unlike other slaves.
Although black theology became popular in the early 1960’s, it was not an entirely new subject. Black theology views God and Christianity as a gospel relevant to blacks who struggled daily under the oppression of whites. The origins of it are clearly seen in spirituals sang by African Americans during the time of slavery nearly 400 years ago. Because of slavery, Blacks’ concept of God was totally different from the masters who enslaved them. White Christians saw god as more of a spiritual savior, while the reflection of God for blacks came in their struggle for freedom.
These chapters serve as the building blocks to the true understanding of Cone’s Black Theology. This progressive movement begins with an introduction of both him and his viewpoint. He explains that his childhood in Bearden, Arkansas and his membership to Macedonia African Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E) has taught him about the black Church experience and the sociopolitical significance of white people. “My point is that one’s social and historical context decides not only the questions we address to God but also the mode of form of the answers given to the questions.” (14) The idea of “speaking the truth” is added at this point because to go any further the reader must understand the reason and goal for Black Theology. Through the two sources in that shape theology, experience and scripture, white theology concludes that the black situation is not a main point of focus.
James H. Cone's The Spirituals and the Blues The book, The Spirituals and the Blues, by James H. Cone, illustrates how the slave spirituals and the blues reflected the struggle for black survival under the harsh reality of slavery and segregation. The spirituals are historical songs which speak out about the rupture of black lives in a religious sense, telling us about people in a land of bondage, and what they did to stay united and somehow fight back. The blues are somewhat different from in the spirituals in that they depict the secular aspect of black life during times of oppression and the capacity to survive. James H. Cone’s portrayal of how the spirituals and the blues aided blacks through times of hardship and adversity has very few flaws and informs the reader greatly about the importance of music in the lives of African-Americans. The author aims to both examine the spirituals and blues as cultural expressions of black people and to reflect on both the theological and sociological implications of these songs.