Archives For Black

 

On Imagination
Phillis Wheatley

( Wheatley was freed from slavery
on this day in 1775.)

Phillis WheatleyTHY various works, imperial queen, we see,
   How bright their forms! how deck’d with pomp
     by thee!
Thy wond’rous acts in beauteous order stand,
And all attest how potent is thine hand.
From Helicon’s refulgent heights attend,
Ye sacred choir, and my attempts befriend:
To tell her glories with a faithful tongue,
Ye blooming graces, triumph in my song.
    Now here, now there, the roving Fancy flies,
Till some lov’d object strikes her wand’ring eyes,
Whose silken fetters all the senses bind,
And soft captivity involves the mind.
   Imagination! who can sing thy force?
Or who describe the swiftness of thy course?
Soaring through air to find the bright abode,
Th’ empyreal palace of the thund’ring God, Continue Reading…

 

I, too, sing America.
Langston Hughes

[ In remembrance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday ]

Langston Hughes [1902-1967] was one of the prominent American poets of the Harlem Renaissance.

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Continue Reading…

 

Cross and Lynching TreeImmersing ourselves Deeper
into God’s Mission of
Reconciling Creation

A Review of

The Cross and the Lynching Tree.
James Cone.
Hardback: Orbis Books, 2011.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

I have long had a deep respect for the work of James Cone.  I don’t always agree with him, but even when I don’t I find his work compelling and engaging.  Although I am sympathetic to his emphasis on liberation theology, I don’t agree with the way in which he leaves the door open for the use of violent means in pursuit of liberation. Similarly, I’ve never been able to accept his embrace of both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, as “advocating different methods that corrected and complemented each other, as they worked for the same goal – the liberation of black people from white supremacy.”  Despite my disagreements with other parts of his work, I am convinced that in his newest book The Cross and the Lynching Tree, he is spot on.

Continue Reading…

 

THE UNIVERSE BENDS TOWARD JUSTICE - Obery Hendricks“Illuminating the costly way of Jesus in our world”

A Review of
The Universe Bends Toward Justice
:
Radical Reflections on the Bible,
the Church, and the Body Politic

Obery M. Hendricks, Jr.
Paperback: Orbis Books, 2011.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by David Swanson.

A couple miles from my home on Chicago’s South Side is the burned out shell of Pilgrim Baptist Church. As impressive as its building was before a fire in 2006, it is what happened inside the sanctuary that sealed the congregation’s reputation.  Under the direction of long-time music minister Thomas Dorsey the church is credited with birthing gospel music in the 1930s.  Driving by the abandoned building today it would be easy to miss the influence this historic African-American church has had on global Christianity.

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A Thanksgiving Poem
Paul Laurence Dunbar

The sun hath shed its kindly light,
Our harvesting is gladly o’er,
Our fields have felt no killing blight,
Our bins are filled with goodly store.

From pestilence, fire, ‘flood, and sword
We have been spared by thy decree,
And now with humble hearts, O Lord,
We come to pay our thanks to thee.

Continue Reading…

 

Summer in the South
Paul Laurence Dunbar

The oriole sings in the greening grove
As if he were half-way waiting,
The rosebuds peep from their hoods of green,
Timid, and hesitating.
The rain comes down in a torrent sweep
And the nights smell warm and pinety,
The garden thrives, but the tender shoots
Are yellow-green and tiny.
Then a flash of sun on a waiting hill,
Streams laugh that erst were quiet,
The sky smiles down with a dazzling blue
And the woods run mad with riot.