September 13, 2021 Courtney Napier

Black Liberation Theology, in its Founder’s Words

Next week, Common Good Collective will be collaborating with QC Family Tree, Black Oak Society, and Bespoken Collective to bring a truly groundbreaking learning experience. Xavier University’s Dr. Adam Clark will be guiding us through our Incubator for Black Liberation Theology. Moderated by our dear friend, Rev. Greg Jarrell, local cohorts of faith leaders, community advocates, and impassioned neighbors will gather in cities across the country to learn about this theology of collective freedom to then turn knowledge into healing action. Below is an interview of the initiator of Black Liberation Theology, Rev. James Cone by Fresh Air’s host, Terry Gross.

Black Liberation Theology, in its Founder’s Own Words
On Fresh Air with Terry Gross

The Rev. James Cone is the founder of black liberation theology. In an interview with Terry Gross, Cone explains the movement, which has roots in 1960s civil-rights activism and draws inspiration from both the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, as “mainly a theology that sees God as concerned with the poor and the weak.”

Cone also comments on controversial remarks made by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s former minister and a black liberation theology proponent.

In a now-famous 2003 sermon, Wright charged that an ingrained, abiding racism in American society is at fault for many of the troubles African-Americans face, and he thundered, “No, no, no, not God bless America! God damn America — that’s in the Bible — for killing innocent people.”

Cone explains that at the core of black liberation theology is an effort — in a white-dominated society, in which black has been defined as evil — to make the gospel relevant to the life and struggles of American blacks, and to help black people learn to love themselves. It’s an attempt, he says “to teach people how to be both unapologetically black and Christian at the same time.”

If you are interested in the Incubator for Black Liberation Theology and would are looking a local cohort to join, or our virtual cohort, click here!

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