God Loves Blackness:
Unlearning Whiteness and Building Habits of Solidarity
America in Crisis
After the death of Michael Brown in the Fall 2014, Dr. Mark Medley listened to a Black student talk about the conversations he had with his two teenage sons to protect them from arrest or worse when stopped by police. Mark realized he did not have to say any of these things to his own teenage son because he had been racialized into Whiteness.
In this video, Mark explains the terms “Whiteness” and “Blackness” in American society, and describes how this has shaped White Christianity to theologize Blackness and Black bodies as corrupt and inferior. In repenting and resisting this system, Mark talks about how to confess and unlearn Whiteness, and how to take the next step to turn away from Whiteness and toward Blackness.
To prepare for this session, please view the video and try the brainstorming assignment.
Watch the video lecture (below) and then use the Zoom link below to join the live discussion at 7 pm EST on Tuesday, July 14.
Link to Live Zoom Session
Click to join meeting:
- CLICK TO JOIN MEETING
- Meeting begins: 7 pm EST, Tuesday, July 14
Session Video Lecture
Brainstorming Assignment: What are two to four ways you might be able to “incarnate solidarity” with Black persons and communities in your life and in your community? Please bring these imagined ways to class so we can have some conversation about concrete steps of solidarity.
In advance of our presence session, please give attention to the suggested material:
For Further Reading:
Mikael N. Broadway, “Mistaking White for Light: Awakening to a Truthful Search for Light,” in Sources of Light: Resources for Baptist Churches Practicing Theology, eds. Amy L. Chilton & Steven R. Harmon
After the Session: Research, Action, and Reflection
Check this space for further research and activities to engage in your learning toward change after the class discussion. There are no grades! We to encourage you to try something new and learn from mistakes and successes. Let us know how it goes. Feel free to use the public question board to post your reflections or send a private note to the instructors.
Research Professor of Preaching and Black Church Studies
Dr. Lewis Brogdon has served in numerous positions in undergraduate and graduate institutions as a professor including roles at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, Claflin University, and Bluefield College. Brogdon is the author of several books including A Companion to Philemon (Cascade 2018), The Spirituality of Black Preaching (Seymour Press 2016), The New Pentecostal Message? (Cascade 2015), Dying to Lead: The Disturbing Trend of Clergy Suicide (Seymour Press 2015), Hope on the Brink (Cascade 2013) and No Longer a Slave but a Brother (Scholars Press 2013). He has authored numerous journal articles, book chapter essays and magazine articles.
Assistant Professor of Christian Mission
Dr. Levens oversees course development and teaching for the department of Christian Mission at BSK. She teaches a Foundations of Christian Mission Course, exploring biblical, theological, and historical aspects of mission practice. She also teaches several mission elective courses based on student interest in topics like Social Justice, Global Christianity, Women’s Experience, Leadership and Wisdom, and Biblical Interpretation.
Dr. Levens is currently working on a book about the mission theology and practice of Ann Hasseltine Judson, one of the earliest American Baptist Foreign Missionaries to Burma. She is also currently working with Dr. Inscore Essick on a field research interview project with rural black churches in North-Central Kentucky.
Questions, Comments and Ideas
Have a question or comment about the ideas in this session? Want to ask the professors a question?
Leave it in the comments area below.
Ask A Private Question
Need to ask a question but do not wish for others in the course to see it?
Leave your question below for Dr. Brogdon and Dr. Levens. Note that if question volume is high they may have to be selective in which questions are answered.
Flourish courses offer great learning opportunities around key topics designed to help equip church leaders for vibrant ministry. These short-term courses are offered online and are affordable.