+ an excerpt from BLACKOLOGY: The Theological Dexterity of Blackness…a recent work by the Dean, the Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood and the James Baldwin Professor of Practical Blackology, Dr. Yoel Omowale of The New Theology School.
The Black Pentecost
By record of the New Testament and the testimony of believer’s in antiquity, the indwelling, outwardly manifesting Holy Spirit; was and is capable of performing nature-bending miracles on request. This was intended to making the believer righteous…but our contention is that The Black Pentecost is what makes us whole.
So, it seems to me that what is going on in the world…what Blackness is doing in the world…is that Blackness is constantly bringing out the flavor in the world. It’s constantly drawing us back to spaces of excitement…spaces that allow us to be different in order to make a difference…a true fullness of life. During Pentecost, the Spirit of God comes down and people are speaking all different kinds of languages and doing all different kinds of things…and so it is with Blackness. Blackness has touched the entire world…it is a spirit going throughout all the world…and we’re witnessing the miraculous. We’re hearing the Spirit of God, move and shape and go, inhale, exhale, do all these different things. And it shows just how if we are willing to embrace Blackness, how much our lives can change. I mean, you know, Jesus says, “In those days, as you embrace the message, as you embrace Blackness, you will see greater things than these.” And so I feel like Blackness is constantly showing us these greater things. These more exciting things…these more flavorful…these more divine things.
I think that’s a really interesting way of interpreting the meaning of Pentecost. It takes us outside of just a traditional rendering of that story, extrapolating a broader meaning of the passage through the lenses of Blackology. Part of the tragedy is that Pentecost has often been reduced to a religious event in certain Christian circles, where it’s exclusively reserved for a small subset of initiated believers called Pentecostals. It’s a bit of a shake, shuffle and shando, a hyper-emotional experience thought to be empowering for ministry. But what if there was something so much more magical, so much more expansive and inclusive, that it was inviting humanity, to taste and see. What you describe sounds like an expansive, beautiful awakening, that began like a Pentecost event, an outpouring restoration of Blackness and in its fullest extent, that we are invited to be baptized in. So as you said, we are to embrace the diversity, embrace the power of the creativity, that it rekindles and invites us to encounter afresh again and again.