The Color of Christianity:
Faith and the Civil Rights Movement

February is Black History Month. Rather than attempt an overview of the invaluable role of African-Americans throughout the history of the United States, we will focus on the struggle for equality in the last 50 years. What is the state of "The Dream" of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Specifically, we examine how Christian faith--despite aggregious offenses--has shaped the race debate and the progress toward solutions. How can this faith yet help? Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam claimed that Christianity is a "white man's religion," responsible for the oppression of the black race. Is that an entirely accurate view? What about the role of Christians in defeating slavery--and later, discrimination--in America? Most importantly, what about the Christian faith of African Americans themselves? Additionally, how have blacks, particularly men, been affected by reticence to embrace Christianity?

And what about the current plight of comtemporary Africans suffering under the yoke of slavery--where is the outcry we heard over Apartheid? Here at home, have we overcorrected the injustices in our institutions in our multicultural emphasis on race, as well as class and gender? These issues touching on the continuing civil rights oddysey are all tied together in our special focus.

—Byron Barlowe, Editor/Webmaster, Leadership University

Feature Articles:

The Truth About Jesus
Charles Gilmer
Gilmer debunks the myth that Christianity is a "white man's religion."

The Woman on the Bus: The Faith of Rosa Parks
Charles Colson
Author, speaker and one-time Presidential assistant Colson comments on the Christian faith of Rosa Parks, the woman made famous in 1955 for refusing to vacate her bus seat for a white man. Her defiance became a rallying point for the civil rights movement, but her decorum itself was distinctly civil, which gave her example power.

MIA Mass Meeting at Holt Street Baptist Church
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
From one of MLK's speeches, given on the heels of the legendary Rosa Parks bus ejection incident in Montgomery, Alabama, where it occurred. Profoundly Christian themes are interwoven throughout this and other MLK speeches as he emphasized biblical justice.

Let's Give the Dream New Life
Charles Gilmer
Explores Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream in the context of modern society.

Fisher of Men
Herbert H. Toler, Jr.
The alienation of African-American men from the churches of their communities is perhaps the single greatest tragedy facing black America. This essay describes an inner-city pastor who is training men in his church to be better citizens, fathers and leaders.

Related Articles:

African Slavery 1996
Joseph R. Gregory
There are countries in Africa today which still practice institutionalized slavery. The Western media and the United Nations have known of this fact for some time. Why has the flame of indignation not spread against this practice as it did over apartheid in the 1980's?

Two Cheers for Class
Peter L. Berger
Race, class and gender make up the three primary categories of concern in modern academic scholarship. Each of these is usually discussed in relation to power. The author comments on each of these categorical distintions and evaluates their adequacy for legitimate intellectual inquiries.

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