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!
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.
Despite my forever admiration for my foremothers and fathers, I've realized that I have come to hate Black History Month.
Michael W. Waters
As a matter of the heart, the fight to eradicate racism is a deeply personal, even spiritual, undertaking.
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.
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 the American church a letter today, I believe he’d have lots and lots of questions with lots of bad answers.
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?
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.
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.
John Markoe, S.J.: football star, soldier, alcoholic, priest, and a civil rights activist a few decades ahead of the rest.
Because of Haynes’ remarkable career, and his trenchant criticism of slavery, he deserves more notoriety among Calvinists and evangelicals today.
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.
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.