"If we don't transform our pain...We will transmit it..." Richard Rohr
James H. Cone begins the book by providing a history of lynching in the United States and its impacts on black lives. Cone criticizes white clergy and academics for not making a connection between the crucifixion of Jesus and the black experience of lynching in the United States. Cone further criticizes the white church for actively participating in the lynching of black people throughout the 19th and 20th century. The second chapter of the book criticizes Reinhold Niebuhr for not speaking out against racism and lynching in the United States. The third chapter discusses Martin Luther King Jr. and his influence on Cone's work.
Strange Fruit Song
Southern trees bear strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees Pastoral scene of the gallant south The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh Then the sudden smell of burning flesh Here is fruit for the crows to pluck For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop Here is a strange and bitter crop
Before listening to her sing, please read this next piece...and sit for awhile with the feelings and emotions that rise up...
[One individual who was determined to silence Holiday was Federal Bureau of Narcotics commissioner Harry Anslinger. A known racist, Anslinger believed that drugs caused Black people to overstep their boundaries in American society and that Black jazz singers — who smoked marijuana — created the devil's music.]
As you'll read, he persecuted her...to her death...
A 3-in-1 Solution for Racism
[I believe racism is often rooted in this distorted view of divinity; rather than reflecting the One who created all things in God’s own “image and likeness” (Genesis 1:26-27),
we instead make God into a mascot who, as Anne Lamott brilliantly quips, hates all the same people we do.
When you start with a conception of God as an old white man sitting in the clouds, it is of little surprise that white men, preferably empowered white men, are considered the closest to God and the most worthy of respect and value. It becomes a top-down universe, a pyramid much more than the circular dance (perichoresis).]