By Charles Lattimore Howard (auth.)
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Additional info for Black Theology as Mass Movement
He never obtained his doctorate. Rather he was a full time Pastor, denominational leader, writer, and movement maker. The very controversial and opinionated19 Alistair Kee, who provides the quote found above about Cleage not receiving enough recognition, also says, “Anyone familiar with modern western theology will know that it is now written within the university rather than the church: its dialogue partner is the academic community rather than the community of faith . . ”20 Albert Buford Cleage, who later in life changed his name to Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman, was born on June 13, 1911, in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In seminaries, if Black Theology relied on Black professors alone to teach it, hardly any future minister would graduate having read even James Cone, let alone any other Black theologian. Sadly this is the case of an American Academy of Religion Black Theology Group study in 2007, which demonstrated this reality. It found that the mean number Underground Railroad and Underground Rap 47 of Black professors teaching at seminaries in the United States is 0%. Black theology cannot sustain itself—as a taught theological school—at this rate and certainly it will never translate into a theological movement with just the Black professors who are practicing now.
Hip Hop will always be identified with Black (and Latino) culture(s). Yet, there have and always will be non-Black voices within Hip Hop and this consequently brings a more universal appeal. Is there a way that Black Liberation Theology might imitate this? Black Theology must always be a Black institution, but if the borders of Black Theology might be expanded to included non-Blacks, if not in its constructive development, at least in its application and teaching, it will be far more effective and will reach a larger audience.