Modern White Supremacy and Western Christian Soteriology
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On May 4, 1969, James Foreman interrupted the Sunday service at Riverside Church in New York City with a public proclamation of “The Black Manifesto,” demanding $500,000,000 from white Christian churches and Jewish synagogues as reparations to black people for three centuries of exploitation and brutalization. The document he read represented the thinking of a new breed of militant black clergy who first began crystalizing their demands in discussions with each other in 1967. In one sense, the manifesto could be said to have represented the religious articulation of the unresolved rage and unrequited agony that had galvanized the southern “freedom movement” of the early 1960s and the northern unrest that attended its repression later in the decade. In style, if not in explicit content or conscious articulation, it owed as much to Malcolm X and the Black Panthers as to Martin Luther King and the Black Church. Black Theology became its legacy and James Cone its foremost theologian.
KeywordsWhite Supremacy Freedom Movement Secular Form Hebrew Text Black Power Movement
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