The Trinity Bapitist Church, like most churches, saw themselves as being a positive addition to the African American community. After reading both the article and readings from Karenga, I found it hard to formulate the opinion that they didn’t. However, there were a couple of things that stood out to me as I read along. What I noticed that it did not agree with the historical role that Karenga articulated. Karenga states that the church stressing historical continuity would never be made (Karenga 264).
I found this to be an interesting remark because it states that even though the church is supposed to be a spiritual place for people to congregate, they don’t teach the idea of social activism and the history of slavery. However, Reverand Wright saw otherwise because within the church he belonged to, African Americans were the minority. He stated that race in part, an assertion of self-determination, a declaration that no church is culturally natural (Sanneh). I can almost see why he would make this statement, being that because his race was the minority, he would make sure that they were not underrepresented.
However, many people from the outside may not see it as that way, and they would assume that this particular community probably did not speak about the idea of religion being inclusive of slavery because it would not relate to their majority, being those outside the black race. However, many may question how this would even be possible when Christianity was not the first religion of African people, being that it was imposed on them during the time of slavery. The Black Liberation Theology was inclusive of steering Black people away from the Black church. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. elt that it was necessary to have religion, which was consistent with Wright. King felt it was a social and spiritual function (Karenga 266). However, he felt that religion should depict the aspects of his experiences, which makes perfect sense because how else would one find spirituality with a religion or a form of worship that they could not relate to. And Wright attempted to do this through his sermons. First, he would still use the same readings from the bible, but he would put a twist and use his own dialogue so that he could draw in his members of his church.
They were better able to relate this way because it was more upbeat and he used language that they all could understand. However, one could judge this because even though he was using language that everyone could interpret, it didn’t mean that it agreed with what the sermons actually read. This might be a horrible thing to say, but after reading the article, I began to make the assumption that Wright was selective with conflicts that he wanted to address. He did attend the Million Man March directly, but addressed other similar ideas in a certain way.
He states that Islam and Christianity are very close, and that he can voucher for this because he studied this area in school. He states that Islam came out of Christianity t and this statement was the theory of interfaith. Malcom X spoke about how Christianity had a huge role in slavery, which it did. He stated that the bible was the single ideological weapon for enslaving millions of color (Karenga 280). Although Wright tried his best to incorporate both worlds of his life, being religion and Black Liberation, not everything is in agreeance with Black Liberation.