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The Role Of Christianity In The Fire Next Time By James Baldwin

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For centuries, Christianity has been used by white supremacists as a tool of oppression against people of color. More recently, Christianity has been used to justify the subjugation of black people through their enslavement and later segregation. Despite this, the black community has often been attracted to Christianity, “the religion of their oppressors,” for numerous reasons, including the hope for liberation (Brown Douglas xii). Black people raised in the Christian tradition have also rejected the religion in recognition of its unjust qualities. The challenge facing black Christians and those who deny white supremacy is whether to have faith in the liberating and positive aspects of Christianity, or to doubt the religious institution in light of its history of oppression.…show more content…
The book begins with anecdotes about the defamation of black bodies by white people and by Christianity itself. When speaking about his adolescence, Baldwin writes that “Owing to the way I had been raised, the abrupt discomfort that all this aroused in me and the fact that I had no idea what my voice or my mind or my body was likely to do next caused me to consider myself one of the most depraved people on earth” (Baldwin 17). The platonized Christian tradition that Baldwin was a part of saw the body, and especially the black body, as a symbol of sin, and so the onset of puberty became a source of guilt because of its association with sexuality (Brown Douglas
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