Black History and Black Culture – The religious experience of the African slaves who were compelled to work from sunrise to sunset and the Black Church

William M. Ramsay, Four Modern Prophets: Walter Rauschenbusch, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gustavo Gutierrez, Rosemary Radford Ruether (John Knox Press: Louisville), 1986

Book Jacket: “Explores the life and thought of four 20th century Christian leaders who epitomize the struggle for freedom and justice in the social gospel, civil rights, liberation theology, feminism.  William Ramsay summarizes the work of these four modern thinkers and challenges us to join in the struggle.  The biblical prophets fought for justice of the oppressed;

Rauschenbusch, King, Gutierrez, and Ruether continue the struggle.  Each represents an important part of Christian heritage and serves as an impressive example of living the faith.  Walter Rauschenbusch challenged the church to establish a new social order;

Martin Luther King, Jr. Lived and died for the cause of civil rights for all; Gustavo Gutierrez calls for a theology of liberation for the victims of economic injustice and oppression; Rosemary Radford Ruether challenges us to reject sexism in light of the gospel of Jesus who came not to dominate but to serve.  The prophetic witness of these lives is theology in action.  Contempoary Christians may learn from their examples.  These four major figures demonstrate what it means to live the faith.  Ramsay’s presentation offers interesting and enlightening reading.  His work comes complete with questions for group discussion and individual study. “

“William M. Ramsay is Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Bethel College, has ten years’ experience in adult Christian education, and has another ten years in the pastorate.  He has written several books including Cycles and Renewal and The Layman’s Guide to the New Testament.”

Black Biblical Studies: An Anthology of Charles B . Copher, Biblical and Theological Issues on “The Black Presence in the Bible” (Black Light Fellowship: Chicago, Illinois), 1993

“Dedication: To the institutions and organizations herein recognized, to the seminary students who have participated with me In classes and seminars on the “Black Presence in the Bible” since 1969, and to the numerous other persons, clergy and lay, members of various churches, public school administrative and faculty personnel, who have attended my lectures on the subject over the past two decades, this volume is dedicated.”

Book Jackiet: Copher’s first book in Black Studies, and his message available in its fullest forms to date. … An authentic African-centered view in the context ofthe African American experience.”

“ … The best of Copher, a distinguished and eminent scholar of the Old Testament; Professor Emeritus and Adjunct Professor of Old Testament at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, a Ph.D. in Biblical Literature from Boston University.”

(African Methodist Episcopal Zion) Bishop Alfred G. Dunston, Jr., The Black Man in the Old Testament and Its World, A Study of the Facts that are Revealed in the Authorized (King James) Version of the Holy Bible during the Days in Which the Old Testament Was Lived (Africa World Press, Inc.: Trenton, New Jersey), 1992, 1994

Book Jacket: “Liberation Theology/African American Studies.  ‘Since the opening years of the sixteenth century, Christian biblical scholarship has been the ally of racism, sometimes deliberately and sometimes unconsciously.  The alliance has run the gamut from avid support of the black inferiority myth to a more indifference to the situation: and at both extremes, the racial myths have found growing room.  In all likelihood there are millions of Christians today who still believe that the curse of Noah fell upon the black man.  This fallacy was once taught by leading scholars and writers of their day, and the successors of those scholars and writers have done very little to erase the fallacy.  Secular writers have done more to correct these myths than biblical ones; and this is possiblyone of the reasons that many young black Americans call the Holy Scriptures ‘the white man’s Bible.’ [From the Preface]

“This book attempts to do something that should have been done at least four hundred years ago.  It attempts to portray the black man as he was viewed during the Old Testament times.”

E. Franklin Frazier, The Negro Church in America – C. Eric Lincoln, The Black Church Since Frazier (Schocken Books: New York), 1974

Book Jacket: E. Franklin Frazier: The Negro Church in America:  “A brief but but brilliant analysis of the historical origin and the present situation of a crucially important institution of the American Negro people.”  – Gunnar Myrdal

C. Eric Lincoln, The Black Church Since Frazier: “According to C. Eric Lincoln, the turbulent decade of the Sixties witnessed the death of the Negro Church.  In its place the offspring of the conflict between ‘conscienceless power’ and ‘powerless conscience’ is the Black Church.  No longer the dependent bastion of Black prudence.  Black institutional religion–whether traditional, pentecostal, or Muslim–has assumed a new role of leadership in its centuries-old quest for social and spiritual justice in America.”

“C. Eric Lincoln is presently Chairman of the Department of Religious and Philosophical Studies at Fisk University and is the founding President of the Black Academy of Arts and Letters.  His best known work is The Black Muslims in America (rev. ed. 1973).”

John Hope Franklin, The Color Line: Legacy for the Twnety-First Century (University of Missouri Press: Columbia and London), 1994

Book Jacket: “John Hope Franklin is a historian’s historian, a scholar who has stuck to the ideal of a historical truth beyond ideology.  In his strictly historical works, he has contained his anger and frustration in almost heroic fashion.  When such a man tells us forthrightly as he does in The Color Line that race relations in the United States have reached an abysmal state and that the successful conservative movement of the recent past is largelyresponsible for perpetuating and even deepening the color line, the time has come to give up illusions of inevitable progress toward racial equality and realize that vigorous new actions and initiatives are required.”  – George M. Fredrickson, New York Review of Books

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