Title

THE BLACK CHRISTIAN DILEMMA: CIVIL RIGHTS, BLACK POWER AND BLACK THEOLOGY FROM 1955 TO 1969

Presenter Information

Adriana Ramos

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

In 1969 James Cone, AME minister and professor of theology, published Black Theology and Black Power with the aim of theologically redefining the place of the Christian church in terms of black oppression. My paper aims to show how Black Theology proponents answered the black community’s need for more radical empowerment after the Civil Rights Movement by articulating the necessity of spirituality to achieve liberation. I show the “dilemma” of being African American and Christian by contrasting the progress of the religiously fueled Civil Rights Movement with the emergence of militant Black Power movements in the context of continued racial violence and socio-economic injustice. In addition, I would like to raise discussion about problems and successes of Cone’s published theology in terms of African-American history. I have conducted my research through the close examination of a variety of both secondary and primary historical texts, including peer-reviewed journals, contemporary and historical interviews and articles from major African-American periodicals from the 1960s. My goal with this research is to reveal the complexity of the African-American struggle for Civil Rights and highlight the historical importance of Black Theology to religion, politics, and society in the United States. I believe my access to diverse sources spanning the past fifty years, and careful observation of Black Theology and its origins, provide a more intricate perspective both to the study of United States history and to the African-American experience.

Category

Social Sciences

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THE BLACK CHRISTIAN DILEMMA: CIVIL RIGHTS, BLACK POWER AND BLACK THEOLOGY FROM 1955 TO 1969

UC 332

In 1969 James Cone, AME minister and professor of theology, published Black Theology and Black Power with the aim of theologically redefining the place of the Christian church in terms of black oppression. My paper aims to show how Black Theology proponents answered the black community’s need for more radical empowerment after the Civil Rights Movement by articulating the necessity of spirituality to achieve liberation. I show the “dilemma” of being African American and Christian by contrasting the progress of the religiously fueled Civil Rights Movement with the emergence of militant Black Power movements in the context of continued racial violence and socio-economic injustice. In addition, I would like to raise discussion about problems and successes of Cone’s published theology in terms of African-American history. I have conducted my research through the close examination of a variety of both secondary and primary historical texts, including peer-reviewed journals, contemporary and historical interviews and articles from major African-American periodicals from the 1960s. My goal with this research is to reveal the complexity of the African-American struggle for Civil Rights and highlight the historical importance of Black Theology to religion, politics, and society in the United States. I believe my access to diverse sources spanning the past fifty years, and careful observation of Black Theology and its origins, provide a more intricate perspective both to the study of United States history and to the African-American experience.