My Prophetic TraditionOctober 23, 2009 Leave a comment
In a March 2009 post in their now retired blog, Kitchen Table, Princeton’s Melissa Harris Lacewell (Professor of Politics and African American Studies) and Yolanda Pierce (Professor of Literature and African American Religion) engage in a conversation about the Black Church prophetic tradition. Other than the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. it is possible that the recent controversies surrounding the widely respected and widely reviled Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright have been the ways in which most Americans have even come close to truly understanding what this one of so many beloved contribution of African Americans to social justice, theology and Christianity is all about.
If you have interest in learning more about the Black Church prophetic tradition, of which I humbly strive to be a worthy legatee, I commend to you the brilliant work of Drs. C. Eric Lincoln and Larwence Mamiya, The Black Church in the African American Experience. (It is well known by those who Study Dr. King, that he always carried on his person three books: The Bible, The Constitution of the United States and Howard Thurman‘s Jesus and the Disinherited. If I had to choose just three, while the Bible would indeed rate, this one by Lincoln and Mamiya’s book would also likely make the cut).
In the last line of her post on the Black Prophetic tradition, Professor Pierce asks the question:
Melissa, I wonder what other voices we, and the Kitchen Table, can identify who merit a place in the prophetic tradition?
Neither black, nor of Her Church, and at 12 years, hardly old enough to be entrenched in any tradition, Seven Cullis-Suzuki clearly fits the bill of the prophetic. Check out her prophetic stylings at the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit:
For me, an “Amen!” goes right there.
And, I ask: Who are some of the prophetic voices, of your tradition or others, that embody prophetic sensibilities in social justice? Thoughts? Reactions?