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Black History Month:
Reflecting on the African-American Experience

A month is never enough to celebrate the African-American contribution to our American Experience.

Commemorating the courageous actions and notable achievements of African-Americans in our nation's history can help us all gain a greater vision of the values that make America great. Looking toward the future, America must continue to celebrate those who have forged a way forward in liberty, justice, and compassion.


Patheos Interviews Today's Black History Makers

Prophetic Pessimism: A Q&A with Andre Johnson

Prophetic Pessimism: A Q&A with Andre Johnson

Patheos Editors

The hope I think we need is what I call a prophetic pessimism — a hope grounded in the lament tradition of prophecy that calls out the ills and systematic oppression facing society.

People of Color Rising: A Q&A with Onleilove Alston

People of Color Rising: A Q&A with Onleilove Alston

Patheos Editors

"Black women have always made Black history and continue to make Black history with spirit and grace. When Black women get free, we will all get free."

Building a Third Reconstruction: A Q&A with William J. Barber

Building a Third Reconstruction: A Q&A with William J. Barber

Patheos Editors

"A people's movement that reflects the demographic of our state and is willing to follow the leadership of people of color — that gives me hope that a Third Reconstruction is possible. We have the capacity to become the country we've not yet been."

A Faith That Liberates: A Q&A with Monica A. Coleman

A Faith That Liberates: A Q&A with Monica A. Coleman

Patheos Editors

"We need to change laws and efforts at justice, yes, but we also need to change vision and hearts so that when people see a young black child playing, they see just that — a child. Not a criminal or a threat. A child."

Dismantling Racism: A Q&A with Jacqui Lewis

Dismantling Racism: A Q&A with Jacqui Lewis

Patheos Editors

What is the one issue every community of faith should be addressing from the pulpit, the classroom, in the community, on social media and in the public square? Dismantling racism.

Recent Perspectives on Black History Month

To Know Black History Is to Know Islamic History

To Know Black History Is to Know Islamic History

Hakeem Muhammed

Islamic history is Black History and that history is transformative. We must learn from it to influence the present.

Malcolm X in Cairo

Malcolm X in Cairo

johnturner

"My heart is in Cairo," declared Malik El-Shabazz (more commonly known as Malcolm X). "And I believe the more progressive relations [and] forces in the Muslim world are in Cairo."

Black to the Future

Black to the Future

Margari Aziza Hill

For me, embracing Islam meant cherishing the parts of me that society taught me to hate about myself.

Why We Need Black History Month

Why We Need Black History Month

Yvonne Aburrow

Ideally, so-called minority history should be integrated throughout the syllabus and presented in context, but until that happens, we still need a special focus.

There Should Be No Black History Month

There Should Be No Black History Month

Stacey Dash

I feel like it's hypocritical to say that we're all the same, but then to self-segregate into little enclaves of society.

Rappers Agree with Stacey Dash

Rappers Agree with Stacey Dash

Bristol Palin

Black Twitter freaked out over Stacey Dash's comments. But she also has some surprising supporters.

The Women of Malcolm X's Legacy

The Women of Malcolm X's Legacy

Margari Hill Often

This month, I'm looking at the many women who were also part of our nation's freedom struggle.

A Feast for Frederick Douglass

A Feast for Frederick Douglass

James Ford

A moment to consider Frederick Douglass' religious views.

Why

Why "All Lives Matter" Isn't Enough

Christian Piatt

Rather than "black lives matter," we should say "all lives matter." So why is this inappropriate? Actually, there are a number of reasons.

A Letter to White Christians on the Anniversary of Trayvon Martin's Death

A Letter to White Christians on the Anniversary of Trayvon Martin's Death

Jennifer Butler

On the anniversary of Trayvon Martin's death white Americans are again asked to confront the fact that our history of racism is very much present.

More Commentary

Lincoln, Black History and Church Growth

Lincoln, Black History and Church Growth

Paul Louis Metzger

We need to help our largely white congregations in places like Portland step inside Black people's shoes and see life as they do.

#RacialJusticeEpiphany

#RacialJusticeEpiphany

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove's series on racial justice, black history month and epiphany.

Who Will Today's Black Heroes Be?

Who Will Today's Black Heroes Be?

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Remembering civil rights heroes recalls the importance of #BlackLivesMatter throughout US history, but who will today's heroes be?

We Are All Connected: Rembembering Birmingham

We Are All Connected: Rembembering Birmingham

Dan King

As we observe Black History Month, lets look back at notable African-Americans who have broken through barriers to accomplish great things.

Martin Luther King's Christian Call and Why It Matters

Martin Luther King's Christian Call and Why It Matters

Edward Gilbreath

In Birmingham, Dr. King went to jail to help make the point that the pursuit of racial unity and justice is an essential part of the Christian mission. 

"Racism is a God-Damned Thing": Father John Markoe, S.J.

Pat McNamara

John Markoe, S.J.: football star, soldier, alcoholic, priest, and a civil rights activist a few decades ahead of the rest.

The Freedom Movement Today

The Freedom Movement Today

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

While communities across America are telling neat and clean stories about the 1960s, most of the mainstream media is ignoring the biggest broad-based organizing effort in the South since that time.

Can the Church Live Up to MLK's Challenge?

Can the Church Live Up to MLK's Challenge?

Dan Wilkinson

Will we only speak the right words, or will we take up the challenge that Dr. King posed 51 years ago and live out the love, equality and justice that Christians are called to?

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas

Martin Luther King Jr. Quotes St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas

Kathy Schiffer

Had King lived to see the dire consequences of Roe v. Wade, the innocent children torn apart in the womb, he would have applied Aquinas’ logic to this most pressing societal ill.

No Offense: Hating Black History Month

No Offense: Hating Black History Month

Maria Dixon

Despite my forever admiration for my foremothers and fathers, I've realized that I have come to hate Black History Month.

MLK in the Age of #BlackLivesMatter

#MLKDay: The New Wine of #BlackLivesMatter

#MLKDay: The New Wine of #BlackLivesMatter

Andre E. Johnson

I believe that if he walked on earth today in the flesh, Jesus would yell, "Black Lives Matter!" "Black Lives Matter!"

The Complicated Legacy of Our White Past

The Complicated Legacy of Our White Past

Libby Anne

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. day. Yesterday was also the day I told my six-year-old daughter that her great-great-grandfather was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Shed a Little Light: Observing MLK Day

Shed a Little Light: Observing MLK Day

Erin Wathen

Here are some inspiring glimpses from MLK day around the country.

Would Black and Brown Lives Matter More on the Red Planet?

Would Black and Brown Lives Matter More on the Red Planet?

Paul Louis Metzger

As we move forward with the exploration of the possibility of life on other planets, may we continue to explore the ethical implications of the fragility of life on this planet and how we must work to make it more inhabitable for people of all colors.

Pseudo-Pacifism: Why Privileged People Love Quoting MLK

Pseudo-Pacifism: Why Privileged People Love Quoting MLK

Andy Gill

The Christian American pacifist seems to be anything but a resemblance of their Christ or His disciples.

MLK and the Peace That Isn't Peace

MLK and the Peace That Isn't Peace

Morgan Guyton

Is Jesus okay with our "peace" that isn't peace?

Let Justice Roll

Let Justice Roll

J. R. Daniel Kirk

We remember that the world our God wants to create is a world of justice. We remember that we're not there yet.

Justice, Love, and the New Jim Crow

Justice, Love, and the New Jim Crow

Adam Ericksen

King taught us that Justice and love go together.

Why We Need a Third Reconstruction

Why We Need a Third Reconstruction

Carl Gregg

If King were alive today, he would be celebrating his eighty-seventh birthday. His prophetic activism for peace and justice ended tragically early.

The Courage and Light of MLK

The Courage and Light of MLK

James Egan

King and his movement taught people how to live courageously in a state of terror.

Race and The Church: We Host a Conversation on Race and Christianity

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