Is Black Liberation Theology “Racist”? | The Unbound Movement
Jeremiah Wright is the minister of the church attended by Barack Obama, one of the front-running candidates in the US Presidential elections that will take place in November. Until one of his parishioners decided to run for president, probably few people outside his parish had heard of Jeremiah Wright.
Over the last few weeks, however, he has been catapulted into celebrity status by the news media, and a great deal of publicity has been given to a sermon he preached a few years ago, and some people have reacted with shock and horror to “black liberation theology”.
The style and content of Reverend Wright’s preaching, and the theology that informs it, far from being an aberration, are archetypal examples of the Black church experience. That anyone would find the content and style of Reverend Wright’s sermons shocking only serves to underscore the fact that not only are many white Americans profoundly ignorant of the day to day realities of Black American life, but they are blithely unaware of the roots of their own national history. Out of the 400 some odd years that people of African descent have been present on the American continent, we’ve only been legally free for the last forty, and the fact that we are now legally free is due in large part to the efforts of the preeminent exponent of Black liberation theology, Dr. Martin Luther King. What other kind of theology could a Black church worthy of the name be reasonably expected to have?
Black liberation theology was quite popular in South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s, particularly in academic circles. Some of its exponents, like Alan Boesak, became political activists. But it seems a strange thing to make such a fuss about. Has anyone gone dredging up sermons by the ministers of the churches that other US Presidential candidates belong to?