My Thoughts on Black Theology

Black theology is not merely a black construct, but a means to express and chronicle black experience(s) with God. Additionally, black theology is a response to and an emergence from the racist theological construct by white Christians. Black theology is our “authentic” narrative that articulates our personal relationship with God who liberated us from those who identified themselves as Christians too. Furthermore, it reveals our identity as African Americans whose identities were stolen.  Identity is important to God, thus the reason He chose a people and a nation so that He could be identified from the other false gods. As a result, black theology is our identity connected through our adoption into the Abrahamic covenant and our willful and intentional disconnection from the European-influenced deception of the imago dei constructed and then painted by da Vinci.  Black theology is our black God talk; FUBU (For Us By Us) and is a theology born in America. 

-By Min. Marty Quick, M.Div.

Journey United Methodist Church

Columbia, SC

Continue to Speak Truth to POWER

So here is the challenge for all of us who seek to study and live out #BlackLiberationTheology; no matter where you go or what you do, whether it is at historically white elite institutions, historically African American institutions or anywhere else in between, you have the responsibility to speak TRUTH TO POWER. Don’t back down and don’t sell out. If you are going to talk the talk, then WALK the walk. Put this unabashedly African American centered theology into ACTION. In addition, at some point African American people will have to realize that if we really seek true liberation, we will have to build and sustain our own schools of theology, institutes and programs to promote and teach African American Liberation and Womanist Theology. Like Sister Audre Lorde said, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”

-Min. F. Romall Smalls, M.Div. 

Associate Minister for Social Justice

Grace Baptist Church

Mount Vernon, NY

#StayWoke

The Black Theology Leader’s Public Statement is listed as a resource on the PBS program, Religious & Ethics Weekly’s March on Washington’s 50th Anniversary-#MOW50 page. Click here to see…

We are the inaugural participants of the Black Theology and Leadership Institute (BTLI) at Princeton Theological Seminary. We draw strength from the prophetic tradition of our ancestors, who through their faith in God, committed acts of justice that challenged the powers and principalities that plagued the lives and humanities of Black people in America…”

A Message for the People

Black Theology Leader’s Statement: A Prophetic Call to Action

Press Contact: MallioMedia@yamil.com    

 

We are the inaugural participants of the Black Theology and Leadership Institute (BTLI) at Princeton Theological Seminary. We draw strength from the prophetic tradition of our ancestors, who through their faith in God, committed acts of justice that challenged the powers and principalities that plagued the lives and humanities of Black people in America. We are a body of emerging Christian scholars, ministers and community advocates, who embody a diversity of ages, racial and denominational backgrounds, and sexual orientations. We are compelled to speak on the urgency of this moment, and to call communities and institutions to a higher ground of accountability and action.

We recognize this providential timing, and are seizing the opportunity to offer this collective response to the lived reality of America including the events surrounding the murder of our brother, Trayvon Martin.

The continual miscarriage of justice in this nation is not simply the result of flippant laws. Rather, it is symptomatic of a sociopolitical system that devalues and dehumanizes the lives of Black Americans.

The reality is that a few are able to stand their ground while most, 50 years after the historic March on Washington, are losing ground.

Concurrently, we now find ourselves under the burden of oppressive laws and public policies, which disproportionately affect African Americans, other people of color and the poor. In this moment of political, social and emotional bewilderment, we are calling on you to resist the stagnation that often results from constant grief, and pay emboldened and embodied attention to the blood that calls from the ground in Sanford, Florida, and throughout the nation.

     As persons of faith, we acknowledge and appreciate the power and the role of prayer in our faith communities. Due to the injustices that distinguish this present moment, we implore you to engage your respective communities beyond prayer and into the realm of prophetic action. We are urging you to commit or re-commit yourself to the work of justice.

 

We suggest:

•  Get informed about the policies that affect your communities and our nation.

•  Organize your congregations and communities to do local acts for social justice.

•  Host an event to raise awareness around a particular social justice issue, e.g.:

host a movie night featuring a documentary about the civil rights or social justice movements, distribute a fact sheets about social justice or policy issues, etc. 

            In conclusion, we recommend that you read the book titled, To Serve This Present Age: Social Justice Ministries in the Black Church (Valley Forge: Judson Press, 2013) by Danielle Ayers (a BTLI Fellow) and Reginald W. Williams, Jr. for practical insights on mobilizing and organizing around social justice issues.

In solidarity and faith in the God who prompts us to love kindness, do justice, and walk humbly.

            Signed by the Members of the Inaugural Black Theology and Leadership Institute Inaugural at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ, July 19, 2013.

 

See Our Statement on YouTube Video @ http://youtu.be/6DV0O60G9iY

 

Inaugural Black Theology & Leadership Institute Participants

Danielle Ayers

Min. Corey Bland, M.Div.

Min. Chrystal M. Bolden, MS.Ed, MPA

Rev. William Brewer

Jessica Brooks

Tierre Brooks

Rev. Lacette Cross, M.Div.

Rev. Cece Jones-Davis, M.Div.

Rev. Dorth P. Edwards, Jr., M.Div.

Ericka Elion

Rev. Charles L. Fischer, III, M.Div.

Rev. Frederick Gaddy, M.Div.

Chaplain Debra Haggins, M.Div.

Rev. Cedric A. Harmon

Darrell Harrison

Rev. Neichelle R. Guidry Jones, M.Div.

Katherine LaBoy

Min. Naomi Christine Leapheart

Rev. Dr. George Luster, IV

Pastor Darek McCullers

Dr. Tony McNeill

Valerie Parm, M.Div.

Rev. Dennis Patterson, M.Div.

Seretha Renee Pearsall, M.Div.

Rev. Gregory L. Perkins

Evangelist Delois Prince

Martin Luther Quick

Pastor C.J. Rhodes, II, M.Div.

Rev. Phoebe A. Roaf, JD, M.Div.

Min. Larrin Robertson

Min. F. Romall Smalls, M.Div.

Rev. Gregory K. Stanislaus, M.Div.  

Mary Stevenson, JD, M.Div.

Rev. Anthony W. Sullivan, Jr.

Rev. Harry Elliot Taylor, M.Div.

Rev. Wilma Lynette Taylor, M.Div.

Min. J.T. Thomas, M.Div.

Rev. Akeem Zarell Walker, M.A.

Darryl Walker, MBA

Min. Bryson White, M.Div.

Min. Latrece Williams-McKnight

Pastor Jack C. Witt

Ava Gabrielle-Wise

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this public statement do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Princeton Theological Seminary, its School of Christian Mission and Vocation or it’s affiliates.