In 1963, at the height of segregation, Martin Luther King, Jr. called for creating the beloved community. He exhorted all Americans to stand for justice, not by eradicating our differences but by affirming and claiming our identity, heritage, and legacy. His vision of the beloved community embraced principles of inclusion: sharing the rich resources of the earth; eliminating poverty, hunger, and homelessness; and combating racism and discrimination.
In recent years, debates over the appropriateness of public monuments celebrating Confederate figures have become increasingly common. Along with exposing deep racial divides, these debates have brought to light historical attitudes and structures built on enduring notions of white supremacy. While generally taking place in local contexts, they have ramifications that concern all Americans.
The African American Intellectual History Society, founded in 2014, hosted its first annual conference last weekend at UNC Chapel Hill. Scholars from various disciplines delivered engaging papers around the theme “new perspectives on the black intellectual tradition.” The changing nature of black identity in today’s world is complex.
It was the evening of Super Tuesday, and my social media feeds were filling with expressions of shocked incredulity. “How is this possible?! Has the world gone completely mad?”
Historically, black people and those deemed “homosexual” have been marginalized and silenced on many faith-based campuses. My Then & Now post from December notes the increasing acceptance of black Christians at Christian schools. However, such acceptance has not been extended to LGBTQ Christians. W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Souls of Black Folk intertwines “the problem of the twentieth century” color line with LGBTQ resistance in the 21st century.