Introduction: Why a White Christ Continues to Be Racist: The Legacy of Albert B. Cleage Jr.
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Easter Sunday 2017 will mark the 50-year anniversary of Albert B. Cleage Jr.’s unveiling of a mural of the Black Madonna and child in his church in Detroit, Michigan. This unveiling symbolized a radical theological departure and disruption. The mural helped symbolically launch Black Christian Nationalism and influenced the Black Power movement in the USA. But 50 years later, what has been the lasting impact of this act of theological innovation? What is the legacy of Cleage’s emphasis on the literal blackness of Jesus? How has the idea of a Black Madonna and child informed notions of black womanhood, motherhood? LGBTQ communities? How has Cleage’s theology influenced Christian education, Africana pastoral theology, and the Black Arts Movement? The contributors to this work discuss answers to these and many more questions.