During the week of 2/19 – 2/23, the online forum Black Perspectives is publishing a roundtable of essays from academics and thought leaders addressing the 150th anniversary of W.E.B. Du Bois. My essay addresses a Communist Du Bois and sympathetic King to socialism. It is titled “Race, Religion, & Radicalism: Martin Luther King Jr. and W.E.B. Du Bois.” I explore their juxtaposition of a radical Christian message to their radical walk, as they and Christ despised capitalism and its greed. This is a public forum opened to those who may know little about our academic work and topics. Read more about the forum and the authors here.
I was reading the New Testament book of Matthew yesterday on the birth of Jesus Christ. Many Christians proclaim a desire to live a life of Christ. In reading Matthew, here in the Christmas season, it is clear that Jesus was seeking refuge from King Herod, in regions that made him an undocumented person. I just read a study on the number of evangelical Christians who favor Trump because he will keep folks out and deport others. Ephesians 2:14, ” For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has torn down the dividing wall of hostility”. Would you deport Jesus? Preachers — be radical this Christmas and take your church to the next level and aim to bring radicals to the pew. Be like Christ here. The 21st century church must disavow its complacency and promulgate equality through radical preachers with radical members who love people more than capitalism and party idolatry, and who will subscribe to what Psalm 82: 3-4 notes: “Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
In the Gospel according to Mary Brown and her child Joshua, who represents one of W.E.B. Du Bois’s Black biblical characters, he found comfort among those who were societal outcasts. He, who was [the Black] Jesus Christ, marched with the poor, with sinners, and communists; however, whites did not embrace this Christ. Better yet, the white South lynched this Christ because they could not accept a Christ that accepted all people. Because of this, the very people who awaited him – the Christian South, killed Joshua.
At the young age of 82, W.E.B. Du Bois, founder of the NAACP, Pan-Africanism, professor, and member of the Communist Party USA, offered this Thanksgiving prayer:
“Give us thankful hearts, O God, in this the season of Thy Thanksgiving. May we be thankful for health and strength, for sun and rain and peace. Let us seize the day and the opportunity and strive for that greatness of spirit that measures life not by its disappointments but by its possibilities, and let us ever remember that true gratitude and appreciation shows itself neither in independence nor satisfaction but passes the gift joyfully on in larger and better form. Such gratitude grant us, O Lord. Amen.”–Psalm 100
I wrote this essay on the past and current struggles of the Black and white working class in the United States. I noted that:
Racism has long divided the working class, and today is no different. Many white working class people voted for Donald Trump. And much like 2008, race was a reason. While some will salute a strong economy, in truth, wages have flattened for the working class. Because of this, and because white workers have grown suspicious of the burgeoning black power call by Black Lives Matter, the search for solidarity continues to escape a racially divided country, as noted by the current political climate.
This essay was published by the Hampton Institute here.
As part of a community narrative through portraits — conducted by an amazing graduating student, she reflects a number of narratives in the pictures she took. She lined Main Street with over 100 of them, where folks shared an unknown thing about themselves. I stated that I survived a brain aneurysm due to a benign brain tumor. My image reflects what W.E.B. Du Bois once stated — the problem of the [21st] century is mass incarceration of Black and Brown people. Hence, our color line matter is due, in part, to the New Jim Crow.
“The Negro in America is a social and not a personal or human problem. To think of him is to think of statistics, slums, rapes, injustices, remote violence.” James Baldwin
Baldwin reflecting on the indictment and predicament of Jim Crow, another consequence of W.E.B. Du Bois’s color-line thesis. I think about all the brothers and sisters who are in jail due to societal ills, vice, and poverty. Education is the greatest savior for the Negro; however, he has been given a lie for years. It is not the Negro church that will save him, but the Negro mind.
I am pumped to be delivering the Annual W. E. B. Du Bois Lecture at Community Church of Boston on February 26 2017. Yep — the year is incorrect below. My lecture, “W.E.B. Du Bois: A Radical Savior of His People” brings Du Bois’s political and faith-based critique of suffering and the human condition to life, as it draws from his biblical interpretations and ideological framing of the color-line thesis. See more here