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Black in America

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Throughout the first part of this semester, our class has discussed slave religion a few times. Different claims from certain people and the class discussions have opened up a deeper understanding of slave religion for me. From African-American slaves to the black race now, I believe that black people have come a long way in recognizing their identity. African-American theologians and religious historians like James Cone and Gayraud Wilmore and scholars like Albert Raboteau have located within slave religion of the importance in maintaining culture for African-Americans. 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 arguments and ideas that Cone, Wilmore, and Raboteau put forward make me wonder about what it means to be black in America. I believe that the battle for culture and identity is at stake for African-Americans; from past to present. However, I will show how the ideas and claims of James Cone, Gayraud Wilmore, and Albert Raboteau make way for the African-American race.
African American religious culture is a distinct custom in America. The distinct identity of African-American culture is deeply rooted in the historical experience of the African-America...

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... to find their identity. However, Cone and Wilmore proposed the ideas of Black theology that help us realize that it is possible to be Black in America. Cone especially believed that there is power in the African-American race. Raboteau shows how we can adapt to any cruelty just as the slaves did to support their religion and culture. I believe we should encourage people to recognize information that is consistent with lessening stereotypes. This will be very be helpful in dispelling the damage that they have done in society.

Works Cited

Cone, James H. Black Theology and Black Power. New York: Seabury, 1969. Print.
Raboteau, Albert J. Slave Religion: The "invisible Institution" in the Antebellum South. New York: Oxford UP, 1978. Print.
Wilmore, Gayraud S. "Chapter 1-3." Black Religion and Black Radicalism. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1972. 1-71. Print.
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