Rochelle Crawford-Hurt African American Theology March 2, 2010 Final Paper Black Theology has played a very significant part of the African American community. The introduction of Black Theology has helped distinguish it from the Christian Theology by relating it to the cause of blacks. For blacks to hear that Black Theology is based on liberation for the oppressed, gave zeal to the African American community a none white Theology that has energized the black community in ways never experience in American history.
Since the onset of black theology blacks as a community began to view the fight to be treated fairly, to be treated as human, to be treated equally to be liberated from the oppression and racisms as a do or die cause worth fighting. Black Theology revealed the undistorted view of Christian as it relates blacks in America. Black Theology reveals the Black Christ as it relates to the black freedom struggle. This struggle continues to be seen through our black clergy, black freedom fighters and the black community as a whole. On July 31, 1966 a group of clergyman known as the National Committee of Negro Churchman published a full page statement in the New York Times” ( p. 7 Hopkins). This statement was a rebuttal to civil right issues. This was one of the building blocks for black theology. The clergy was speaking out again the injustice being done to the Negros by the white man in America. The clergy wanted it to be known that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was to liberate the oppressed. Blacks had been oppressed for so long, until they became sick and tired of being sick and tired.
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It is for this reason, that the black church has long been the internal hope, strength and empowerment that has allow blacks to continue to have faith in the Good News of Jesus Christ. The revelation that Jesus Christ indentifies with the oppressed in America has been a major part of black theology. The oppressed in America are the blacks; therefore he is the Black Christ “(pg. 122 Cone). This reality has shed much light in the black church and Black Theology. Since slavery blacks have been able through faith to reinterpret the Bible with a hope for the oppressed.
When Christ is introduced as the Black Christ and not the “blonde, blue eyed, pale skinned ‘god'” that the white man has portrayed him to be for so long” a long lost sense of hope is renewed (pg. 46 Douglas). The clergy began to preach the exodus experience and how it related to the oppressed black folk giving them hope. Black theology was no longer accepting White theology’s distortion of the Gospel to benefit its class. Dr. Martin Luther King himself questioned the white clergy as to which God they were following (p 38 Cones).
Clergymen expounding on Scriptures like Luke 4:18-19, Matt 25:31 and Matt 25:34-36, 40 gave much life to black theology. These scriptures tell that who may enter heaven, and Jesus Christ being oppressed therefore on the side of the oppressed. ” It is important to see how the Church had to follow the way of Jesus Christ, who came, died, and was resurrected for the freedom of the oppressed and, through them, of all humanity” (p 34, Hopkins). The part that clergy has played in the struggle for freedom continues to keep black theology alive.
The struggle for liberation through black theology has also been strongly and vigorously affected by freedom fighters. Black Theologians have sought to challenge the White theology in order for the liberation of the blacks. Black Theologians such as James Cones states that any Theology that is not on the side of the oppressed, poor and downtrodden is not a true theology. Black Freedom fighters empowered blacks to appreciate their blackness and fight for the power to live out the full purpose for which humans where created.
Just as God sent Moses to fight for the freedom and total liberation of the Israelites, he still empowered and empowers others to fight for the struggle of full humanity. During slavery freedom fighters such as Harriet Tubman and Fredrick Douglas fought for liberation of the oppressed. Dr. King and his many followers during the Civil rights movement fought for equality by boycotting buses, eating establishment and non-violent demonstrations. Malcolm X and his followers fought the struggle instilling in blacks that they were beautiful and wonderfully made.
He explained how the worst thing that the white man had done to the black was to teach him to hate himself. Rosa Parks set the example for blacks to stand up for what they believed in. This one lady protest started a bigger fight against the injustice that blacks where facing with the buses. Blacks paid the same fare as whites, but could not freely sit were they wanted; Rosa Parks challenged the status quo. There are yet many unsung African Americans who help paved the way for liberation.
This is clear when Douglas speaks of the many women who were very instrumental in the cause of liberation of blacks. It is the freedom fighters of the past, present and future that will keep the black theology going in the minds of the black community. Lastly, the black community took hold of the struggle for liberation, freedom, and equality. Many organizations where formed by freedom fighters to stand up for what Black theology brings to the African American.
A black woman by the name of Ella Baker advised Martin Luther King to take action as a follow-up to the 1956-57 Montgomery bus boycott, as a result the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) was formed (pg. 88, Douglas). During the civil rights movement a organization for called the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) formed to protest through “boycotts, sit-ins, kneel-ins” against the injustice that the whites imposed on the black community (p. 33 Hopkins). This organization was responsible for disrupting and changing the business as usual for white businesses and government, those in power” (p. 33 Hopkins). Whites have always set the rules as to how blacks should behave, what to believe, what’s right and what’s wrong. Well no longer was this to be accepted by the blacks as the norm. The younger black community formed an organization called the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was formed as a result of the many injustices that blacks continued to endure.
Laws such as the 1954 Supreme Court decision that separate was not equal, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1957 prove only to show signs of improvement on paper, but not in action (p 35 Hopkins). The Black Panthers were a group of black men who was formed during the Malcolm X era. This organization xxxxxxxxxxxx need to look up. Black as a community has been a major force in the improvement and to continuation of the struggle for freedom. One of the most recent gathers of the black community was during the Million Man March on Washington.
This was a movement to show the black men coming together as one who leads and command the respect that God has ordered. The black community has been a powerful force in the struggle for liberation in Black Theology. Black Theology has been the most influential aspect of the struggle for liberation. There has always been a spiritual awakening that have kept Colors, Negros, Blacks, as well as African American fighting for the God given right given to humankind to live out its full purpose.
The very soul of the oppressed embraces the revelation God through his Son Jesus Christ in which he became and identified with the oppressed community. It is because of this revelation that the black clergy, black freedom fighters and black community have continued to promote their blackness. The continued efforts of African Americans to rise up as a power force for political and social equality has been phenomenal in the struggle. The election of America’s first Black President is a result of one of the major struggles and fights of black America.