What is the Black Church?

By Randal Jelks, PhD


Back in May I traveled to London to attend Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Racethat was graciously hosted by the Birkbeck College of the University of London.

The conference was a critical inquiry into race viewed through the lens of religion. Can we understand “race” through the religious claims of universality among women and men. Could communities that gather through faith provide what one of our keynotes speakers called “critical multiculturalism?”  Specifically, could “Black Churches” in North America, Europe, and Africa  conceptualize anew on worldwide inequalities fed by race?

The conferees also inquired into the fiction of “race.” Though “race” is fictional, it is and has been a powerful weapon of external and internal oppression. Living by a “raced” narrative, one that easily explains the everyday and the ordinary is a deception, a very powerful deception that unify regions and states. Read more

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