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Blues is absolutely vital to black theological reflection and to the black church's existence. In Black Bodies and the Black Church , author Kelly Douglas Brown develops a blues crossroad theology, which allows the black church to remain true to itself and relevant in black lives.
The Black Church is an institution that emerged in rebellion against injustice perpetrated upon black bodies. How is it, then, that black women's oppression persists in black churches? This book engages the Chalcedonian Definition as the starting point for exploring the body as a moral dilemma.
This book tackles the "taboo" subject of sexuality that has long been avoided by the Black church and community. Douglas argues that this view of Black sexuality has interfered with constructive responses to the AIDS crisis and teenage pregnancies, fostered intolerance of sexual diversity, frustrated healthy male/female relationships, and rendered Black and womanist theologians silent on sexual issues.
This book was inspired by a challenge from one of Douglas's students: "How could you, a black woman, possibly be a Christian?" Reflection on the historical sins of Christians, particularly the role of white Christians in countenancing the lynching of African Americans, led her to broader questions: What is it about Christianity that could lend itself to racism and its violent abuses? What is it about Christianity that has allowed it to be both a bane and a blessing for black people? Douglas examines the various "distortions" in early Christianity--particularly the influence of platonic dualism, with its denigration of the body, and the alliance with imperial power. She shows how this later helped support white racism, just as it later fed homophobia and other distortions in the black church. Nevertheless, she ends by sharing an inspiring account of her own Christian faith, and why she is still a Christian.
"If Trayvon was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk?" --President Barack Obama The 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin, an African-American teenager in Florida, and the subsequent acquittal of his killer, brought public attention to controversial "Stand Your Ground" laws. The verdict, as much as the killing, sent shock waves through the African-American community, recalling a history of similar deaths, and the long struggle for justice. On the Sunday morning following the verdict, black preachers around the country addressed the question, "Where is the justice of God? What are we to hope for?" This book is an attempt to take seriously social and theological questions raised by this and similar stories, and to answer black church people's questions of justice and faith in response to the call of God. But Kelly Brown Douglas also brings another significant interpretative lens to this text: that of a mother. "There has been no story in the news that has troubled me more than that of Trayvon Martin's slaying. President Obama said that if he had a son his son would look like Trayvon. I do have a son and he does look like Trayvon." Her book will also affirm the "truth" of a black mother's faith in these times of stand your ground.
This portrayal of the poverty of black women in this country describes the unemployment, underemployment, isolation, and lack of assets they typically experience. The author also takes on and demolishes the common stereotypes that castigate poor black women as "morally problematic and dependent on the money of good tax-paying citizens." She then calls on the black churches to become potential agents of change and leaders in addressing the unequal social and economic structures that hold captive these poor women. The goal is to empower poor black women to develop assets that will prevent long-term poverty and allow them to flourish.
This compelling portrait of who Jesus is for the black community surveys the history of the Black Christ from the early slave testimonies to the writings of prominent religious and literary figures through the Civil Rights and Black Power movements.

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