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To Pray or to Protest? The Both/And-ness of Black Christianity

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I want to argue that we need to have a more expansive understanding of black religious identities, an understanding that Womanist Theologians have already pushed us toward, an understanding that does not compartmentalize black religious thought and responses into shallow categories like “right/conservative/prayerful” and “left/academic/protester”; categories that are too small, too static, and too constricting for us to comprehend the diversity of black religious lives and black political activity.

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Mitt’s Jesus, Barack’s Jesus, and Why Christ’s Color Matters

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By tracking the way Jesus Christ has been rendered through the American racial imagination—actually lining up all the evidence, from Puritan witch trial transcripts through stained glass windows through contemporary movies—Paul and Ed give us a new place to start a national discussion about who owns the image of God. That discussion has been going on, as The Color of Christ demonstrates, in communities of color since the early nineteenth century, if not before.

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Patriotism and Piety—Not For Conservatives Only

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Haidt’s primary point is actually a good one: people on all sides of the political debate ought to listen more carefully, and try harder to understand one another. He correctly identifies a cardinal sin of so many liberals and lefties: failing to give conservatives an honest hearing. But it’s lousy strategy. If you want to win, you’ve got to have the best possible intelligence about what the other side is up to.

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Martin Luther King in the Era of Occupy

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The prophetic tradition of black Christianity remains alive, if embattled. It is impossible to conceive of the civil rights movement without placing black Christianity at its center, for it empowered the rank and file who made the movement move. And when it moved, it was able to demolish the system of legal segregation. The history of black Christianity in America made that transformation possible, even as it frustrated some of the deeper-rooted aims of some activists who sought to address issues of income and wealth inequality as much as the formal legal structures of “civil rights.” That remains the prophetic task of the generation misleadingly labeled as “post-racial.”

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