During the civil rights era, the black church stood as a foundation for the African American community. It was a safe haven for those who felt like they didn’t have a voice outside of the church. The black church used to be a political atmosphere especially for those advocating black rights. It gave blacks the pedestal to vocalize the issues in the community and in the world to the oppressed. This was during a time when African Americans received no respect and were placed at the feet of injustice by the American society.
This introduced the principle that slavery was a sin and an abomination. Ministers in the North preached about the horrors of slavery, especially the slave trade, and that God would seek vengeance on any nation that committed such cruelties. In New York during the year 1810, Reverend William Miller gave a sermon on the abolition of the slave trade stating, “According to the basis of the christian religion, we are bound to love God with all our soul, and our neighbor as ourselves: but this sacred injunction does not reach the heart of the oppressors of Africans” (Miller 11). This was the very premise for most of the Abolition Movement: thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. If thou doesn’t love thy neighbor as thyself, thou was unchristian like.
Due to his religious background he brought his theology into the Civil Rights Movement. Two of his key elements of his theology that he applied to the movement were nonviolence and the belief that the defeat of evil is inevitable and that good will triumph. There are theological, ideological, and historical resources that explain his use of these two elements.
The first leader, Martin Luther King Jr., was a reverend from Atlanta, Georgia, who advocated peace and tolerance between all races. He led huge numbers of people in protests against injustice and inequality, but he always insisted that his protests be peaceful and representative of love between different groups of people. His way of thinking would lead to the advancement of civil rights ideals for decades to come following his assassination, which left the movement in shock. Another leader who had tremendous influence and cultural significance was Malcolm X. X took his name because he considered his original name, Malcolm Little, to be a slave name and therefore unrepresentative of who he was. This mentality of separation from traditionally white culture
Thus, being close minded was truly a dishonor to oneself and to God. With this in mind, both writers who were true Christian didn’t appreciate when people would consider themselves Christians, however, they supported slavery. They couldn’t grasp the ideology of slavery, if those slave owners were real Christians. Being a real Christian meant that he or she respected the Bible and followed God’s moral guidance. By having this moral guidance, it gave blacks empowerment to have their voices heard without criticism, for they “may be refin’d and join th’ angelic train” (On Being | Wheatley).
Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X were both respected ministers and established leaders of the African-American people. Although most whites often say that they were "like oil and water", these two men, how different they may have seemed to be, had the same goal: They wanted to end exploitation, discrimination and racism. Both had been deeply influenced by their fathers, especially by their religion and attitude towards whites. Malcolm emerged from the black underclass in the northern ghettos to a spokesman for the poor blacks, following the teachings of Islam and holding on to black nationalism. He demanded justice and that African-Americans should be respected as human-beings.
An indispensiable event in Christian history is Martin Luther King, Jr. enlightening society that there were civil laws that did not appropriately reflect the laws of equality, which were consistently addressed throughout the Christian Bible; therefore, if there was such as abundance of followers of Christianity, during that time, then the dominate class [upper and middle class, Caucasians] were typically not living by the word of God considering the fact that they were denying natural human rights as well as promoting hatred toward someone of different background. One major event that calls into question the entire faith, whether or not it did in fact happen, is Jesus’s resurrection in consideration that he was persecuted by the Roman soldiers,
I have been a victim of racism before, but it was not extreme like a majority of the cases happening now. In either case one thing is constant: ; white is the “superior race,” even though we are all the same. The quote that Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Judge me not by the color of my skin, but by the content of my character,” is still not true. Wallis did not explicitly say it, but his thoughts imply he believed that racial stereotypes are heavily used and influence people 's decisions. The amount (70 percent) of Christians that believe the murders of African Americans are simply incidental, and that race played no factor, utterly disgusts me.
George Best describes in his document how people often misunderstand what race is, thinking it to be the fault of the sun, but he describes in his novel that the dark skin of those who live to the south of him was actually a punishment direct from god for being cruel during the biblical flood, (Doc. 2) [B]. While this explanation relies heavily on simple stories, the attempt to describe why some are different through religion is a way to have people widely conform to modern conceptions of race; people always look to god [C]. In another document, David Hume describes that he believes those with white skin are inherently better than those with darker skin, stating questionable and untrue facts about there never being a major African civilization, see Ghana or Mali. (Doc.
During the twentieth century and throughout To Kill a Mockingbird, there are several instances that support the idea of differing views when it came to the black and white churches’ participation in gaining equality for those of the black race. This is seen most prevalent with the segregation of churches in the South and the blatant disregard the white congregations displayed for the progression of the black rights movement. Both the black and white churches of the South shared the same religion, however the white congregation was hesitant to seek unity with their black brethren; ultimately leading to an assumed difference in values and religious morals. In To Kill a Mockingbird, there are many obvious differences that arise when comparing the black church to the white church, however the most telling difference is a need for segregation from the members of the white church. While there is a need for segregation shown by the white church goers, a majority of the blacks are very accepting of a church with mixed races.