Reconciliation Blues

Du Bois week continues with a nod to Ed Gilbreath's Reconciliation Blog, which the younger DuBois surely would have appreciated. Gilbreath's book, Reconciliation Blues: A Black Evangelical's Inside View of White Christianity, is well worth reading, as is his very interesting interview with Jerry Falwell. Ed Gilbreath points the way to a good further discussion of Race, Presidential Forums, and Evangelicals, from "A Man from Issachar," an African American Baptist theologian. Thanks again to Bald Blogger for linking me up to this discussion.

Apropos of Christianity and race, here is a salient quote from the introduction to Ed Blum's book W. E. B. Du Bois: American Prophet:

If one looks for religion in W. E. B. Du Bois's life and times, it seems ubiquitous. It is there in his childhood at the Sunday school he loved so much. It is there in his first written works as he unveiled black souls in a culture that denied their existence. It is there in the prayers he wrote for his students, in his attacks on church segregation, in his jeremiads against war and unbridled capitalism, and in his literary creations of black Christs and dark princesses. It is there in his friendships with white ministers, in his lectures in churches and synagogues, and in his conception of Communism. Du Bois never hid his assessments and feelings on religion behind codes or riddles or anagrams. They were too vital then. And they are too vital now. Du Bois was, in his self characterizations and in the hearts of thousands, a prophet with sacred insight. He could see past the myths of the present age and reveal worlds beyond what lies on the surface.Du Bois was an American prophet; he was a moral historian, a visionary sociologist, a literary theologian, and a mythological hero with a black face. In a world marked by white supremacy, capitalistic exploitation, grotesque materialism, and wicked militancy, Du Bois became a rogue saint and a dark monk to preach the good news of racial brotherhood, economic cooperation, and peace on earth."

Finally, a hopeful recommendation: People of the Dream: Multiracial Congregations in the United States.

Peace, Out till next week.


Phil said…
Paul, thanks again for the HT, and a very solid quote from Ed Blum's book. Emerson and Woo's book is a very important work, and of course I should remind interested readers that Blum co-wrote a chapter to that volume.

I look forward to more of your observations and reflections.
Edward Carson said…
Phil introduced me to your blog and this discussion. I have read Blum's book and have concluded that Dubois was a man of both reason and faith; it seems as though his faith in God was much stronger than his faith in religious institutions. Note: I am not drawing a CS Lewis comparison here. DuBois was clearly a part of the left -- as for the Christian left, I am still trying to decide.

I am reviewing my notes as I try to conclude whether or not DuBois was really an agnostic, which Blum contends he was not; yet some of his rational question of faith and of man causes even the most astute reader of DuBois to pause. Blum gives ample evidence supporting Dubois faith. I continue to find doubt in his life. I look forward to sharing my review with readers of your blog.
Paul Harvey said…
Thanks to both of you for your thoughtful responses -- I look forward to reading further reflections on your own blogs.

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