This has gained a great amount of attention due to #BlackLivesMatter who challenged the Clintons on this.
Above: My presentation slide
As one of the editors for The Christian Century Magazine Then & Now, I am excited to share an essay we edited and published. Neil Young’s piece here reminds us that this month is the 50 anniversary of the Time Magazine cover, Is God Dead?, and that the faith-based movie God Is Not Dead 2 just released reflects the culture war of religion and society. The magazine cover is something I teach and one I will share in my presentation regarding American Jesus and the tension over religion in American society.
I am meditating and studying a bit today since Janette and I have no community obligations — though there is always work that needs to be done. Hence, part of my many weaknesses is allowing for comfort, while others do not have such a choice. In my study and looking back at Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s recent work on race and America…I have concluded that she supports my working argument of Black elite comfort that perpetuates the failure of the civil rights movement and drives class division of black people and the structural nature of intra-racism among Black folk. Solidarity is a myth, as many have acclaimed a status that separates those of wealth from those of cyclical Jim Crow configuration. Again — Black elites have more debt and less wealth than whites, but so many have ignored the race.
Brooks mailed acceptance and rejection letters to students. Those accepted also applied to other schools. Thus, we are hosting a second revisit day for accepted students as part of the admission office program in attracting them to enroll. I will give a presentation to students and parents as part of the day’s program. I just finished my presentation and it is pretty darn good.
I have discussed Cornel West a number of times. In many ways — I am a fan; I first read his popular work, Race Matter, during my junior year of high school. To give you a greater since of his impact and that of this book, I recently reread it. Professor West has also been in my dog house on matters related to Obama and a convoluted message regarding 21st century matters of race and identity. I can say, however, that I think he is a great person. In many ways, he has had a profound impact on my work as a social activist and being engaged in the streets as a person who advocates for social justice. Besides Janette, he has influenced how I spend my free time. I work six days per week. And on my one day off…I spend it with Janette at a soup kitchen. It is moral. It is right. It is what good people should be doing with their time.
I have heard him speak three times since 2002. But, it was my work at Princeton University back in 2007 that brought West to my attention. I was staying at the Nassau Inn across from the university, when I ran into West. He is a popular person. Yet — he took 15 minutes of his time to speak to me about my work at Princeton, Obama, and me being from the South. I greatly enjoyed our encounter. I have also reached out to him in hopes that he would write for my editorial colleagues at The Christian Century Magazine; I have not heard back. Give this 60 Minutes series of interviews a listen. It is worth the time.
I am excited about my talk at the Center for Marxist Education in Cambridge. This talk draws from my research in developing my American Jesus course. The above announcement recently went out; I am hoping to have a great conversation with folks who attend. The last lecture I gave there saw 20 – 25 people who attended. Here is my description of the talk: The Black Christian Communist in America starts with an address by the now defunct Knights of Labor’s Constitution, which opened with a biblical verse from Genesis 3:19, “By the sweat of thy brow thou shalt eat bread.” The workers believed Jesus Christ’s teachings promoted a central socialist narrative of love and sacrifice for all people – not one against socialism, the poor, and marginalized, which has long been a construct of American Calvinists, who purported that Christ and his teachings were capitalist. The historical transformation of Christ, as a blond haired blue-eyed capitalist, will be juxtaposed to a darker skinned Christ, who was a socialist and thus marched with the poor, with sinners, and communists. This engaging discussion addresses the relationship of the American church and religion, its members, and the importance of race and socialism in eradicating societal inequalities dating back to the black power movement of the 1960s to #blacklivesmatter in the 21st century.
H-AmRel (History of American Religion) invited me to write a scholarly review for publication of the book “Black Power in the Bluff City: African-American Youth and Student Activism in Memphis, 1965 – 1975.” I am excited about finishing this work and grasping the complex historical narrative of Memphis — as presented by Shirletta J. Kinchen.
Professor Wilsey and I co-authored a piece here on the place and significance of Confederate monuments, parks, and symbols of white supremacy in the present age of #BlackLivesMatter. We noted that “The First Amendment empowers attitudes of hatred and disregard for the plight of others; it also gives power and voice to the weak and downtrodden. It allows for symbols of hate and social injustice like the Confederate flag, while also permitting oppressed and targeted groups to rise up in activism to eradicate societal ignorance and vice.”