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Fifty years after King penned the famous "Letter from Birmingham Jail," his dream of full racial equality remains unfulfilled. Racial polarization remains a fact in our schools, offices, churches, and neighborhoods. King wrote of disappointments with the church and its leaders, of "shattered dreams." But he also praised those "noble souls from the ranks of organized religion" who have "broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity" and joined in the struggle for freedom and equal rights.

If King were to write a letter to American churches today, what would he say? How are churches today contributing to racial justice and equality? At a time when athletes and musicians dominate the ranks of nationally-known African Americans, how can the power of music, sports, and popular culture be harnessed to help fulfill King's vision?


RACE AND THE CHURCH (VIDEO): Watch Maria Dixon, Ed Gilbreath, and Michael Waters in conversation around issues of race and American Christianity in an exclusive Patheos live event!

 

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. 

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.

Spiritual Practices to Eradicate Racism

Spiritual Practices to Eradicate Racism

Michael W. Waters

As a matter of the heart, the fight to eradicate racism is a deeply personal, even spiritual, undertaking.

Imam W.D. Mohammed on Religious Freedom

Imam W.D. Mohammed on Religious Freedom

Precious Rasheeda Muhammad

The first in a series on Muslims of black African descent who have contributed to the American religious and historical landscape in a significant way.

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.

If King Wrote Us a Letter Today

If King Wrote Us a Letter Today

Gracie Biskie

If King wrote the American church a letter today, I believe he’d have lots and lots of questions with lots of bad answers. 

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?

Shattering the Illusion

Shattering the Illusion

Miles Mullin II

The story of how African American Churches of Christ moved from segregation to independence is the story of American Christianity writ small.

Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall: Claiming our Social Justice Story

Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall: Claiming our Social Justice Story

Carl Gregg

It is vitally important for us to learn to better tell our history in a way that highlights how social justice movements have worked together in coalitions, inspired one another, and laid the groundwork for future expanded visions of social justice.

"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.

Recovering Lemuel Haynes: Patriot Hero, African American Pastor

Recovering Lemuel Haynes: Patriot Hero, African American Pastor

Thomas Kidd

Because of Haynes’ remarkable career, and his trenchant criticism of slavery, he deserves more notoriety among Calvinists and evangelicals today.

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.

The Quandary of African American Evangelicalism

The Quandary of African American Evangelicalism

Miles Mullin II

The racial reconciliation movement of the last few decades demonstrates that there is something that draws evangelicals together across racial lines, and recent historical works give hope that things are trending in a different direction historiographically.

Race and The Church: Patheos Hosts a Conversation on Issues of Race and American Christianity

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