Afrikans! i attended the Sixth Annual National Conference on the Future
Shape of Black Religion... this is my summary, observations and critical
analysis of the conference: featured guest lecturers were Professor James Cone, Union Theological Seminary and Ms. Jill Nelson,
NYC... the topic was New Strategies to Combat the Changing Faces of amerikan
Racism. Professor Cone's presentation was Martin and Malcolm and amerika: a
Dream or a Nightmare (of the book of the same name) ... i have read Cone's other
books: Black Theology of Liberation, and Black Theology & Black Power...Ms.
Jill Nelson was a journalist for the Washington Post's Sunday magazine 1986 to
1990. She is the author of Volunteer Slavery: My Authentic Negro Experience.
The workshops and presentations were from Friday evening at a local
church in the Black community and Saturday all day at Wright State University...
Discussion groups included: Clergy, Economic Development, Education,
Environmental Concerns, Gender Issues, Health, Legal Systems/Public Policies,
Media, Youth (K-12), Young Adults (18-30).
Summary of Prof. Cone's presentation:
We must revolutionize revolutionary theological thinking; Black
theology confronts amerikan racism; thesis: integration into existing
eurocentric religious system; racial justice has theological significance;
Black experience is meaningless to the white theology; can't inslave and
oppress and think what whites think about god is correct; radical
interpretation of christianity's relationship w/racism must profoundly
influence those who listen to the theologians on the pulpit; there is a moral
crisis of racism in the world; cannot be a theologian w/out theoretical
Martin Luther King, Jr. tought him religion and Malcolm tought him about his Blackness; Malcolm transformed christian
thinking about race; Malcolm knew what King didn't; self hatred is no
accident; Malcolm was amerika's profound race critic; when alienated Blacks
turned to Malcolm, whites turned to Martin not outta luv but to undermine
allegiances to Malcolm and anti-racism themes; Black is the most potent symbol
of evil for whites; and finally, some of us can't live w/the gap between what
should be and what is!
i missed Jill Nelson's presentation.
i attended the health discussion workshop... there were some profound
recommendations that came outta the workshop sessions, the most profound being
from the Youth workshops...
My analysis... the conference should be called the Sixth Annual National
Conference on the Future Shape of Black christian Religion because all of the
themes, thesis and commentary of presentations were about the church and
christianity and its principles... no other Afrikan (Black) religion was
discussed at any time, therefore excluding and alienating those of us who are
non-christian. Also, most of us who are nationalist, PanAfrikanist and Afrikan
centered in our analysis didn't have any of our questions presented to be
answered during the audience discussion session even though some of us had our
questions taken in the pile FIRST!... sigh... only christian questions were
chosen to be presented for answer... sigh...