Image is Everything? The Significance of the Imago Dei in the Development of African American Youth
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The 1960s and 1970s ushered in an era of increased visual representations of the divine, including Albert Cleage’s unveiling of the black Madonna and Child in Detroit, Michigan, in 1967 and the development of religious publishing houses that created educational curriculum featuring Black images of the divine in the 1970s. Both events point toward a trend to make an explicit connection between black bodies and the divine; however, the impact and relevance of this work require further consideration. This chapter explores the ways in which the marginalization of the black Messiah represents a potential preoccupation with respectability and neglect of engagement with historical and contemporary expressions of Black identity and cultures.