Phil Sinitiere, the department chair at the Second Baptist School and a historian of religious history and race published the photo above and the blog piece below here at his bald blogger blog; Phil invited me to join him (seated in the middle) and Edward Blum for a great dinner the day before Blum’s lecture. Above to the left is Blum and I am off to the right taking copious notes. There is little for me to say here; Phil did a great job. I also address Blum’s discussion of black Jesus here as found in his recent book on W.E.B. Du Bois. Take a second to look at the photo below of Christ and the black man being lynched; if Phil’s audio is not clear on this blog, take a second to visit his bald blogger for the audio recording of Blum’s lecture.
Last Thursday SDSU’s Edward J. Blum gave a lecture/book talk at the University of Houston’s Central Campus. The History and African American Studies departments co-sponsored the event. Thanks to Dr. Bob Buzzanco and Dr. James Conyers for making this event happen.
Ed’s talk was titled “The Noose and the Cross: Race, Religion, and the Redemption of Violence in the Works of W. E. B. Du Bois,” and discussed lynching and the way W.E.B. Du Bois worked to find redemptive value in this violent expression of white supremacy. The lecture also covered Du Bois’s short stories, religious art from the Harlem Renaissance, Jeremiah Wright, and even religiously-themed artwork relating to the life of Tupac Shakur and Barack Obama (and here), among other topics.
Listen to the lecture here (53.5 MB). Ed used the image below–“Christmas in Georgia, A.D., 1916,” by Lorenzo Harris, and taken from the December 1916 issue of The Crisis (pp. 78-79)–to begin the discussion. The caption reads: “Inasmuch as ye did unto the least of these, My brethren, ye did it unto Me.”
1) religion/hip-hop/”G” not gangsta but reference to “God/deity”
2) LeBron James/messianic images
3) Du Bois’s use of religion for strategic, pragmatic purposes only
4) religious imagery/Nation of Islam/civil religion
5) Du Bois’s “lost voice” prior to/during the Civil Rights Movement
6) Is Du Bois spiritual and/or religious? Neither? Religious not spiritual; spiritual, but not religious?
7) religiously-sanctioned violence (Christianity)
8) secularization and narratives of American religious history