The 50th Anniversary of Black Theology and Black Power: Looking Back, Moving Forward

AAR 2019 Annual Meeting Playlist


May 7, 2020


This session celebrates the 50th Anniversary of James Cone’s Black Theology and Black Power, published March 1, 1969. This panel features prominent thinkers who address the significance of Cone’s first book, the relevance of black theology, and the legacy of James Cone.

Adam Clark , Xavier University, Presiding


  • Eddie S. Glaude, Princeton University
  • Gary Dorrien, Columbia University, Union Theological Seminary
  • Eboni Marshall Turman, Yale University

This session was recorded at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion in San Diego, California, on November 24.


Adam Clark:

Welcome everybody. Welcome to our Cone Tribute. As many of you already know, this year commemorates the 400th year of Africans in the United States. It also marks the 50th anniversary of the iconic text, Black Theology and Black Power. It's only been a year and a half since the passing of our beloved teacher, mentor, and friend James Cone. Many of us are still grieving such a tremendous loss. Part of the reason why our unit has had multiple sessions dedicated to the Cone's legacy is because without Cone, as an anchor for our discourse. Which he'd been for over 50 years, we need to gather together and think about King's question, "Where do we go from here?"

How should Black theology take on the challenges of the 21st century? What is the meaning of Blackness that is embedded and rooted in our discourse? How should we understand and configure the theological? Response to these questions requires a looking backwards to rescue or reconstruct the best of our tradition. It’s also a looking forward to be open to novelty. In that spirit, before we get to our panel, we are very excited to unveil and present to you, The Black Theology Project. Could you put that on the screen please? Black Theology Project screen, there we go. Thank you. There we go.

This is the Black Theology project. We've been working on this for a number of years and what this is, it's an online repository. Housed at Columbia University that aims to preserve and promote the intellectual heritage of Black theology. This is a journal that will be published annually, featuring papers from the Black theology unit at the AAR. We're looking to make connections with other units that are related to our content such as Womanist, Afro American religious history and others who want to partner with us.

How we want people to use this, this is really dedicated for people interested in both the ... As we want people to use this as both a scholarly and teaching resource. For example, if you want know what type of cutting edge work was done in Black theology in let's say, 2018. Then you go here, press and here you would get Dr. Eboni Chillis, Dr. Eboni Marshall Turman and others who did a panel on sisters in the wilderness. Celebrating 25 years of Delores Williams work and others who presented there. Take a snapshot of our actually URL address. For those who will be on our listserv, or will, we're going to have an email list going around. We want to actually send out information about that. But we plan to grow. We actually are interested in people who teach in Black or womanist theology to send syllabi to the site.

If you're interested in sending to the site, there's a tab on the site that tells you where to send it. We'd like feedback from you about the look, or if we've made some significant omissions to the site. Andrea White is our contact person for the site. Our site is still under construction, but it's ready to go in terms of usefulness. Any feedback we'd appreciate.

For those of you who've presented in the past and wants your work represented, please see, where is Heather Ketchum, right there. Could you stand up, please? This is our actually editorial assistant and please see her actually, because she's the one who manages. She's done a great job for us. This website would it be possible without her tremendous hours of labor. Also, Andrea White is our co-editor. Who's not here because she's actually presenting on another panel, but she's the other person. We have a great team. We've been working very hard. We hope actually this model of preserving our intellectual history will be taken by other ARR units. Actually, because what happens is that we present to about 80 to 100 people. Then actually the paper maybe it was allowed but we want to actually preserve our intellectual heritage. So we could actually keep it for doctoral students and people who are writing books on Black theology. We want to keep our discipline revitalized. Please.

I'm trying to think if there's anything. That's about it. Thank you. You can take that off right now. Other things we're doing in terms of we had a great session year yesterday, and we have a fire panel right now. The session says we go to 3:00 PM, but we actually have a business meeting at 2:30. I'm going to try to discipline this before that. But I'm going to introduce in the order that they'll actually go. First up we have Eddie Glaude, a Morehouse man. He is the James McDonnell distinguished university professor of African American studies.

You might know him from Democracy in Black, but his latest book is Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own. Second to go will be Gary Dorrien, the Reinhold Niebuhr professor of social ethics at Union Theological Seminary. You might know him from Breaking White Supremacy. He's such a publishing machine. It's hard to know what your latest is. I think the latest is In a Post-Hegelian Spirit: Philosophical Theology at Idealistic Discontent. But last night happened and he might have another one coming out. I'm not really sure.

Third, we have J. Kameron Carter, professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University Bloomington. You might know him from Race: a Theological Account. But his latest, I think upcoming text he's working on is Black Rapture: a Poetics of the Sacred, which is part of a trilogy. Our closer will be Eboni Marshall Turman, who is our co-chair of the Black Theology Unit. Assistant professor of Theology in African-American Religion at Yale University Divinity School. You're probably familiar with her, Toward a Womanist Ethic of Incarnation. But her forthcoming book, actually say and her forthcoming book is Black Woman's Burden: Male Power, Gender Violence and the Scandal of African American Christianity. She's working on her third book, tentatively titled Loves the Spirit: The Black Womanist Theological Idea. First up you will hear from Dr. Eddie Glaude.

Eddie Glaude:

Thank you. It’s a delight to be here. I only have 12 minutes. Given that I'm in this room, I'm going to try to take 10 of them and leave some for others. Let me just jump into this. The title of the talk is James and Jimmy, a Reflection on the Relationship between James Cone and James Baldwin. I've been obsessed with Jimmy for a while, as I've been working this book. In an occasion and opportunity to return to Dr. Cone's work. What do you do when giants fall? When they no longer walk among us guiding our hands and shaping our thoughts. For some like me, death triggers and accounting. The mind begins to move backward in time looking to the work for that kernel of wisdom, recalling the demand for rigor and excellence and remembering the generosity of spirit. The sweet note, Dr. Cone wrote to me as the storm's gathered, when I wrote The Black Church Is Dead.

Thanking me for what I had done for the church comes to mind. Sorrow drives it there, and a certain bewilderment in the face of the gaping hole left by the dead. Luckily Dr. Cone left us with his autobiography: He Said I Wasn't Gonna Tell Nobody. There I was able to see in his own words, what shaped him and what fueled his prophetic fire. The book itself demonstrates how autobiography can serve as the ground for a certain theological imagining. In it we see his disciplined approach to craft as he made himself into a writer and decided after the break with traditional European theology to mine creative sources within the Black tradition for a different theological imagining. We see him as an interlocutor, relishing the fight and as an exacting and caring teacher, but it is in the last chapter of the book that captured my attention. It’s the last chapter, I had long heard that Dr. Cone was working on a book on James Baldwin.

My former student, Xavier Picket, who wrote an insightful dissertation on Baldwin and Cone told me of the project. I was anxious to see how Cone read Jimmy, because I too was moving about the same ruins. Cone declared in his autobiography that, "searching for answers to the problem of Black suffering that I could not find in either church or theology. I started to read Baldwin and couldn't stop." The sentence reminded me of one of my favorite passages from Jimmy's, The Artist's Struggle for Integrity. "By and by your uncles and your parents and your church stopped praying for you. They realize it won't be well, do a bit of good. They give you up and you proceed a little further and your lovers put you down. They don't know what you're doing either and you can't tell them because you don't know. You survive this and in some terrible way, which I suppose no one could ever describe. You are compelled.

You are corralled. You are bull whipped into dealing with whatever hurts you. And what is crucial here is that if it hurts you, that is not what's important, everybody's hurt. What is important, what corrals you, what bullwhips you, what drives you torments you is that you must find some way of using this to connect you with everyone else alive. This is all you have to do with it. You must understand that your pain is trivial except in so far as you can use it to connect with other people's pain. And in so far as you can do that with your pain, you could be released from it. And then hopefully it works the other way around too, in so far as I could tell you what it is to suffer, perhaps I can help you suffer less."

This is the backdrop to the line James Cone quotes from Baldwin’s conversation with Nikki Giovanni in November 1971, "your suffering is your bridge." In the end, Jimmy gave Cone a language, "right with the fire of Blackness like Malcolm and the passion of love like Martin." I'm somewhat puzzled and always been puzzled by what Cone means by Blackness like Malcolm, as he put it. I saw in Baldwin, what I like in Martin and Malcolm Blackness and love defined by justice for all in a vision of hope in the face of the enduring power and absurdity of white supremacy. The Fire Next Time, published in 1963, looms large here as does Baldwin’s July 7th, 1968 address to the World Council of Churches: White Racism or World Community. These are just two examples of resources for an unchurched theology as Cone put it. This is the Baldwin that shaped the writing of Black theology and Black Power.

But over the years, at least to me, Cone does little to mark the transformation in Baldwin’s thinking between 1963 and 1968. I wonder, given Baldwin’s complicated embrace of Black Power, how might a close reading of that transformation inform and shape how we read Cone's classic texts. I can't go through it all the way, but in my book, In a Shade of Blue, I argued among other things that Black theology and Black Power ought to be read as a kind of, or form of apologetics. In attempt much like the liberal Protestantism of old to justify his existence in response to the secular rants and new pieties of Black Power. This is what Judith Weisenfeld mentioned yesterday in a talk about the Black church. How the Black church or more specifically Afro Protestantism was seen by many proponents of Black Power as a problem to overcome, an obstacle blocking the path to freedom. In some ways I read Cone as trying to translate the Black prophetic church tradition into the idiom of Black Power. In doing so absorbed the problematic view of Black identity and Black history that animates Black Power.

But the revelation of Baldwin's significance to Cone's theological imagination has forced me revisit the argument. Baldwin's relationship to Black Power is complicated to say the least. I suspect given his close reading of him, that Cone’s embrace is just as complicated. Much more needs to be said about what happened to Baldwin between 1963, the height of his fame, Carmichael's declaration of Black Power in Greenwood in 1966, and Dr. King's murder in 1968. Baldwin post-1968 sounds a different note than the Baldwin of The Fire Next Time. In fact, in my imagination, no name in the street looms larger than The Fire Next Time. I'm puzzled by the relative absence of citation of that text in Cone’s invocation of Jimmy. Now I could go on and on, but I don't have enough time because I see folks looking at me. But the point that I'm trying to make is that by 1968, in the murder of Dr. King on April 4th of 1968, Jimmy collapsed.

In some ways his revolutionary insight of inverting the white man's burden. That the problem really wasn't us. The problem was actually them, as Jimmy said, "I didn't invent the nigger. We didn't invent the N-word." The question is, what did you need the nigger in the first place for? Until we figure that question out, Jimmy asks, we will find ourselves on this racial hamster wheel. The problem wasn't Black people, the problem for Black people was white people. That's his inversion. You see this going all the way back to Notes of a Native Son. You see it evidenced in Everybody's Protest. Now you see it in the early Jimmy, but by ‘68, there's something else that happens in Jimmy's work: there's a shift in his ‘we’ as Michael Thelwell says, “There's a shift in who he's talking to.”

He's given up the idea that what we have to do is convince white people to be otherwise. We see a shift in the aftermath of ‘68, where the rhetorics of Black Power are seen as what a logical conclusion to the betrayal of the country. Of the principles and the actions and the demands of the civil rights movement, Jimmy's wondering whether these folk who are committed to whiteness can be saved. In fact, he holds the view that white America is irredeemable in some ways. Part of what I'm interested in is how does Cone track the shift in one of the folks whose central to his thinking. I'm going to sit down because I see somebody looking again. At the same time, Jimmy is deeply skeptical of Black Power. He says, and excuse my language, we have to be wary of that mystical Black bullshit because that's how the trap was sprung in the first place. There's a sense in which he understands Black Power as the logical outcome of the betrayal.

But he's worried that our investment in the categories themselves will trap us in the very thing that he's trying to get us out of. Part of what I'm thinking again is how might we reread James Cone. How might we reread this classic text now that we know that Jimmy sits at the heart of it. If that's true, then how do we track and how shall we say exegete the way in which James cone is reading Black Power and the way in which he's reading Jimmy Baldwin. Thank you.

Gary Dorrien:

I am grateful to Andrea White, Adam Clark and Joseph Surette for organizing this book anniversary tribute to our late beloved colleague and teacher, James Cone. I'm grateful to contribute to it. In 1971, ‘72, I worked as a full-time volunteer in the presidential campaign of George McGovern. On the side I completed my sophomore year of college at Alma College. James Cone has been in my head and heart since that year, which was his second year of teaching at Union Theological Seminary.

I grew up poor in semi-rural and not religious with no thought of attending college. I was a voracious reader, but never of school books. I squeaked into college entirely because of sports. There I bored over Kant, Hegel and Marx. I cut my teeth in theology by reading a little bit of Karl Barth and Walter Rauschenbusch. I checked out two recently published books in the college library, Black Theology and Black Power and A Black Theology of Liberation. Over the weekend I read both of these riveting, scathing, disorienting books from cover to cover. They held me spell bound as I struggled with them. I thought nothing of reading Kant, Hegel and Marx on my own because it didn't bother me when they were incomprehensible. I just kept reading. Presumably, it'll start to make sense. But with Cone I wanted to understand every blistering sentence he wrote, but here are my autodidactic approach to life did not work.

I was the product of isolated lower-class trailer park, white Michigan, who needed help from somebody to fathom what I was reading. There was no candidate for that in my college. Cone's electrifying prose was ringing in my head. When the college arranged one of those awkward ‘Meet the Administrators’ receptions, I found myself sitting next to our college president. I had no idea how to talk to a college president, but our president was a Presbyterian minister named Robert Swanson who had taught at McCormick Seminary before he came to Alma.

I asked him if he had read these books by James Cone. He said he regretted that being a president prevented him from keeping up with theology. I told him, you should really make an exception for these books. He surprised me by saying, "Let's invite Professor Cone to campus." He contacted our religion professor, Tracy Luke. A few months later, James Cone himself was speaking at our little college. Cone rocked our community with the fusion of his searing first book, his powerhouse second book. a brief excursus on a song by The Rascals and a stunning concluding section. That was just for us. He talked about slave ships and auction blocks and lynching. He explained that Black theology interprets Christianity in the American experience from the perspective of oppressed Black Americans. He said very hard things about white liberals, white Christianity, white presumptions, and white liberal renderings of Martin Luther King Jr. He lightened the mood for a moment with a song that everybody knew, “All the world over/ so easy to see / People everywhere / just want to be free.” Then he held up a copy of Alma's course catalog and he ripped it to shreds from a standpoint that no one had ever heard at Alma College. "We were being taught white theology," he said, "and white philosophy and white sociology and white psychology and white everything as though nothing but white thinking ever counted as thought. And all of it in the name of universality and the liberal arts."

White theology had died for Cone in 1967. He was alone at Adrian College and totally alienated from the field he taught. He thought about changing fields but Detroit exploded and he vowed to find his voice as a theologian. Then Martin was assassinated and Cone poured out Black Theology and Black Power in four weeks. It blared his rage at Black people being killed, it blasted white America for puzzling at urban riots after treating Black Americans despicably for centuries. It declared that Christ could only be a liberator in racist America by working through Black Power. In later life, when Jim talked about his career, he lingered over his first two books. He had a lecture version in which he would stack all his books on a table but then spend 90 percent of the lecture talking about the first two.

Black Theology and Black Power,” he would say, “was about the death of the Negro and the birth of Blackness.” Racism is not an independent variable or even the cause of something that they still long called, the race problem. Cone said, "Racism is a deadly disease not amenable to rational correction." "When Black children die of rat bites and Black people suffer because meaning has been sapped from their existence, how can you appeal to reason?" he asked. Human life is at stake. Over the years, he read many books in which people discussed his early work. He read many student paper versions of the same and he sat through a great many doctoral dissertation defense versions. He hated it when people just paraphrased what he wrote. "What was I feeling?" He would ask. "Do you understand the anger that I felt? Where did this theology come from? Why did I say that I had to unleash this rage or be killed by it?"

If you couldn't go there on a feeling level, he took minimal interest in how you construed his arguments about revelation or redemption or Karl Barth or the politics of Black Power or anything else. Black Theology and Black Power was the theological reading of Black Power. It contained conceptual dance, to Barth and Tillich but Cone used Barth and Tillich much like Frantz Fanon used his training in psychiatry. His affinity with Fanon is underestimated in most of the literature about him. Fanon described colonized people as non-beings who understood themselves only in relation to the white colonizer, "Not only must the Black man be Black, he must be Black in relation to the white man. The white man has no ontological resistance in the eyes of the white man." Cone was steeped in Fanon's analysis, especially his early book, Black Skin, White Masks.

It puzzled him that scholars didn't see the connection. To claim that God is Black was to repudiate any notion that Black being is contingent upon or measured by white society. "Black Power," Cone said, "is precisely an attitude. An inward affirmation of your essential worth of Blackness." Black Power was and is the power of a Black person to say yes to one's own Black being. It doesn't rest upon or require the recognition of anything in white society or anybody who was white. Fanon said unforgettably that the poison must be eliminated once and for all. True person to person relationships are impossible as long as superiority is claimed, but the poison cannot be extinguished through appeals to what we call mutual recognition. Fanon argued that racism is the same thing in and out of the colonial context. Cone quoted Fanon on that subject arguing that racism deprives the denigrated person of being a person.

Jim affirmed his affinity with Fanon and his debt to him whenever the subject came up. But of the many dissertations we read, there was only one that really went there. Charlene Sinclair in her aluminous dissertation and defense, Let the Dead Speak: Black Being-ness as Ground of Resistance, bravely corrected Cornel West while he sat three feet away from her. Cornel argued that Black Theology and Black Power is a de-disciplinizing text. Sinclair countered, "The power of this text is precisely that it sits within the discipline, but it refuses to be disciplined by the doctrines of his field. Rather Cone allows the ghosts to haunt creating a vocabulary that is commensurate with the needs of the people. Cone shows that the master's tools can indeed be used in the liberation project. In this Cone and Fanon are kindred spirits. Each appropriates the disciplines, the doctrines of his discipline, and appends them to speak to the reality that Black people face."

I talked with Jim many times about his career, sometimes over dinners that lasted three or four hours. Two weeks before he died, he said that the thing he savored most from his early career was that he had met so many people at different kinds of places across the country and the world. He said, "I grew as a person from those speaking engagements. That was more formative for me than my entire experience at Union." He didn't need to say what that didn't mean because he had told me many times about his important relationships with C. Eric Lincoln and Paul Layman at Union. Later in the '70s he acquired James Washington, Jim Forbes and Cornel West as colleagues. And he formed deeply treasured bonds with them. Jim had the gift of friendship which graced the lives of his colleagues and students throughout every year that he taught at Union till the end.

For several years, we talked a great deal about his forthcoming book, On The Cross. And occasionally he would send me a piece of it. He planned to devote an entire chapter to a detailed critique of womanist and white feminist criticism of the theology of The Cross. But that chapter stymied him. Jim deeply respected this critique. If The Cross was a source of harm to you, he had no desire to impose it upon you. But brushing aside The Cross was not an option for him as he explained eloquently in that book. Jim struggled to write that chapter in a way that did not suggest that select womanists should change their position. Finally, he decided it wasn't worth the risk of being misunderstood or of causing harm. The critiques got him started on that book in the first place, but the magnificent book he finally produced summarize them very briefly driving toward his reflection on gathering at The Cross.

I began today with the lecture circuit angle, because that is how so many of us came to Union for 50 years. We heard him give an unforgettable talk at our church or campus. Over the years, many students came to Union who didn't understand at first how deeply theological Jim was. It surprised them to learn how passionately he cared about theology and even the field of theology. Contrary to a few talks I've heard at AAR, Jim was not on his way to becoming a post-Christian atheist or an aesthetic secularist or any such thing. The gospel of a Black God who liberates the oppressed and afflicted was a burning fire in James Cone. It astonished him when people didn't see the gospel in these terms or thought it was a menu option.

He read every book I wrote before it was published and sometimes he would say, "Gary, how can you rattle on about Hegel? People are dying." In 2015, the Reinhold Niebuhr Society sponsored a forum at the AAR meeting in Atlanta at which Jim, Peter Paris, Nikki Young and I spoke. Some of you will remember it. Talks were given, discussion was held, Reinhold Niebuhr got blistered and perhaps we went overboard. Because near the end someone asked, "Could one of you say something constructive?" There was an awkward pause. Jim shot me one of those looks indicating I should break the silence. And I talked about the nightly demonstrations in New York over the Eric Garner verdict and Black Lives Matter and Interfaith Community Organizing. Finally, I could see that Jim was ready to say something. He took the microphone and some of you will remember the moment. He looked at that crowd and he said, "We have a gospel. The gospel has something to say to us." That was it.

Pay attention to Luke 4, try to live up to it. Jim taught us to care about the gospel and the suffering of real human beings as much as he did. He was far more exceptional in this respect than he wanted to be. Vincent Lloyd says that Black theologies had three phases. Early James Cone was phase one. Everything from his middle period to the advent of Black Lives Matter was phase two. And today we are in phase three, which is more like the early James Cone. I asked Jim in his last days what he thought of this scheme. He said, "Well, there's something to it." He didn't believe that 40 years of Black theology should be bundled together as phase two, but Jim recognized that his last book Said I Wasn't Going to Tell Nobody was more like his first two than the books of the '80s and '90s. I grieve that we have lost him, but I give thanks for his blessed memory and companionship and the towering significance of his work. Thank you, friends.

J. Kameron Carter

So, first as they say in my church tradition I want to, after giving honor to God, I want to give honor to James Cone who's convened us here. His life has been and continues to be shaping for us all certainly for me. After I say that, I'm just going to say publicly that you don't know this man doing this to me. I'm thinking I'm just going to a little room, you're just going to be a couple of people there. And I could talk for 30 minutes and we'd split hairs over stuff. And then I walk into this thing I'm like, "Oh my God! What have you done to me?" So, you owe me man. Listen, this is something that I presented and these are just thoughts in process. So, you all bear with me a little bit.

This is something that I started to work out a little bit at the conference at Northwestern University a few weeks ago, in which again, we paid homage to a great soul and spirit and intellectual James Cone. So, I'm just going to rehash some of this and just on again, think out loud. I've written on Cone. Cone has been a profound mentor for me and so, a lot of my thoughts about Cone are in my book. But I wanted to take the occasion of the Northwestern gathering of scholars and so many friends and colleagues that I think with and look up to. To think not just with Professor Cone but to begin to ask the question, what are the next steps for Black theology?

We all celebrate Professor Cone but I'm of the view, and I may be a minority in this room in this regard, but I'm of the view that we're at a moment where we need to go back to the beginning again. As Gayl Jones says in Corregidora, "And maybe rethink our beginnings." And from the rethinking of our beginnings in something called the Black theological endeavor, maybe extend what it's always been about. If we think about Professor Cone as himself not doctronizing and giving us a doctrine, but actually bequeathing to us a spirit. And asking what is the spirit of this type of intellectual endeavor that we're about? At the way it shows up on the ground, the way that shows up in the earth, what are the next steps for this project?

And so what I did in my talk at Northwestern, which I'll read here, was trying to re-engage one of the early moments as Black theology was coming into being what we now take it to be. And this was the kind of interlocution, the kind of pressing backwards and forwards between two great friends before the field was starting to lock in and eventually produce all of us, all of it. And this is the moment of conversation between James Cone and Charles Long. So, I actually want to revisit that conversation here if you will allow me. And in many respects before it even is a word to you, it's a word to myself in many respects, as a response to myself. I'm getting ready to rewrite the chapter that I wrote on Charles Long. And I want to actually stitch together that chapter a little bit more tightly with James Cone.

Okay so, this is called Black Theology Hesitant: What Are the Next Steps for Black Theology? Here we go. This afternoon, I would like to think about the significance of Professor James H. Cone and his contribution to the emergence of a field called Black theology. I like to do so under the rubric purloined from W.E.B. Du Bois of hesitance and hesitancy. Hence the title of these reflections or, as I like to say much more humbly, these notes that might one day become something of a coherent argument, Black Theology Hesitant. In 1905, in the 1905 essay titled, Sociology Hesitant, written as a reflection on the state of a newly emerging field, there was a new kid on the block of the social sciences in the U.S. University the field called, that we now call, Sociology.

And written as well after he'd just attended a conference on the topic around this newly emerging field. Du Bois took it upon himself to address his dissatisfaction with the emerging discipline as he saw it on display in that early conference. He wanted to identify what was hampering this emerging discipline. I cannot hear, track the entirety of Du Bois's account of what he saw as limiting sociology as a field of inquiry as it was making its way into the U.S. Academy. But the core of the issue as Du Bois saw it, at least was this: The sociologist has the task of formulating laws meant to give scientific explanation of social life, even though such laws cannot be mobilized to fully contain or explain the reality of social life.

Freedom, at a minimum, means that any formulated law can be broken in the face of what is irreducible to law, what is fugitive from law, what Du Bois speaks of as the uncalculable and what is immeasurable. Rather than confront the task or take up the task of developing a method of inquiry suitable to thinking through and towards a sociology that is conducive to talking about the measurable and the incalculable, the fugitive would instead happen, Du Bois's critique goes, is that the newly emerging field hesitated before the task of the social mystery of the immeasurable as what refuses captures by the laws of any discipline, the laws of any field of knowledge production. Of late, I've been given to thinking about theology's own hesitance, its own hesitation and hesitancy.

Now to gain some traction in just the few minutes that I have on the kind of hesitance that I think may be afoot, perhaps maybe just bear with me, in Black theology and the Black Theology Project. I want to revisit an early debate that was taking place in that fluid moment before Black theology fully congealed into the thing we now take it to be. I referred to the important debates between James Cone, a young James Cone and a young Charles Long coming out of the 1960s and into the 1970s. These were debates between friends, let us be clear. One drawing on the resource of the Christian theological tradition to make sense of the Black Power movement, as a particular instance of the Black radical tradition.

The other drawing on the resources or resourcing the field of the history of religions. And more generally operating as a theorist of something called religion as it emerged under the material conditions of settler colonial contact and conquest. I want to revisit this debate because to not hold my cards close to my chest, I find the debate still relevant, particularly now given conversations in Black Studies around for example, Afro-pessimism and what is also sometimes called, and I insist as a misnomer, Black optimism. That was supposed to be funny. But even more, I find that the core of Long's argument remains insufficiently addressed by and in Black theology or theologies inflicted through African American, African Diasporic or more simply inflicted through Black social life.

And so if anything, my hope is that these fleeting comments will not only serve as a write post to myself, that is to say as a fundamental revision of my own take on the significance of Charles Long as I worked out that in the chapter dealing with Long in my book raised a theological account. But I also hope that these remarks might add on at Long and Cone into discussions of Black critical theory today and what Black religion means for Black critical thought, which is to say critical theory. Okay. Charles Long. In Charles Long’s Assessment of Black Theology, or Theology is Opaque. In Freedom, Otherness, and Religion: Theology is Opaque, the culminating chapter of the still-arresting book Significations-

... the culminating chapter of the still-arresting book Significations, Charles Long undertakes the task of interpretation, interpreting the meaning of the emergence out of the 1960s or the symbolic year 1968 of what he called theologies of color or what he also called in that book Significations, theologies of matter. That is to say theologies that confront the very issues of the organization of matter itself. That is the question of race, the question of matter. Okay. He has two American versions of such theologies of colors as theologies of matter in mind. On the one hand, Long wants to talk in relationship to James Cone's Black Theology Project, as Cone announced that in his first book is arguably still most seminal book, Black Theology and Black Power. The other theology of color or theology of matter is Vine Deloria's Native American inflected theology which aim to interpret the ongoing problem of settler colonialism in relationship to the problem of theology.

Long called this version of theology, Deloria's theology of color, red theology. In this essay, we might say that Long was confronting the structural, the ontotheological problematic of what Frank Wilderson has powerfully and with his book, titularly called Red, Black and White: the Structure of US Antagonisms. Long's question was then, and I still think is a pertinent question in effect, what do these versions of theology have to do with this problem of antagonism? In what way are they addressing the structural problem of settler anti-Blackness or the problem to adapt Calvin Warren's potent formulation, the problem of ontotheological terror, not just ontological terror.

Long answers in the chapter by first providing a religious and intellectual background for the meaning of "theologies of color." Here, Long makes a case for how color in the modern world has become the locus of, to quote Long, a primordial sense of identity and what he otherwise calls a scene of the archaic structures of modern consciousness, where in color became a kind of raw matter, a kind of prime matter elements, almost on a kind of periodic table, elements in a kind of periodic table of elements through which archaic meanings of spirit are produced.

In this way, under conditions of contact color became the locus in modernity for the organization of the sacred and what meanings there are of the ultimate. Whiteness becoming a sign and symbol of the ultimate. This condensed statement on color generally and how Blackness comes to function as a prime color or prime element in relationship to which other color meanings are produced to yield a general palette, a color palette of gradations of closeness or not to the sacred summarizes, yeah, the ground he covers on various other chapters of significations. Pardon me, my fingers were going faster than my mind. My apologies.

In this last chapter of the book, Long brings this all to bear on what theologies of color are attempting to do and he believes rightly how they're trying to innovatively, importantly, intercept this problematic. Such theologies are trying to intercept the color symbolisms within the Christian West and how that color symbolism, excuse me, how that color symbolism works to create a general order of existence and ontology or something that we might call simply, a world. And a general ordering of knowledge within that world in epistemology.

This is to say, theologies opaque according to Charles Long are trying to intercept, and this is to quote him, “the significations that have operated to produce the semiotics of racism, precisely as the semiotics of theology or the system of signs that is theology itself.” Pause. I just want to make sure you're following me try to follow Long. He's saying that the structures of theology are structured through color symbolics. So of course the question is going to be, how do you relate to a symbolizing system that is structured anti-Black? Okay, let's continue.

Within this semiotics or sign system, to quote Long one more time, the nonwhite color symbolizes and its significations have been acted upon within the modern Western world as signs of defilement and uncleanness. This defilement and this deviance, perhaps this anti-color or anti-color Blackness must be suppressed, Long says, in order to theologically cohere the system of signification, the system of symbols that constitute the general order of being and that travels under the name of the modern western world and its universal coloring of the sacred. That color is white.

From here, Long goes on to explain and I quote him, “on Blacks, the colored races caught up into this net of the imaginary and symbolic consciousness of the West rendered mute through the words that is through the word, the word of God, of military, economic and intellectual power assimilated as if by osmosis structures of this consciousness of oppression.” The Blacks take in this very structure themselves, to continue with Long. This is the source of the doubleness of consciousness made famous by W. E. B. Du Bois, Long continues. But even in the symbolic structures, there remained the inexhaustibility of the opaque of this symbol for those who constituted the things upon which the significations of the West deployed its meanings. Blackness, in other words Long is arguing, is inexhaustible, even in this system that would dominate it. This, Long says, is the context for the communities of color, the opaque ones of the modern world.

In other words, this is me now, no longer Long, caught between theology semiotics. It's practice of languaging the world, theology as an episteme and thus as a structuring and structural anti-Black settler colonial arrangement on the one hand and at the same time, Blackness finds itself inexhaustible within that system. This is the situation in which Black folk are caught within. Okay. It's against this backdrop that Long advances his deep appreciation and yet critique of Black theology, his deep appreciation and his critique also of Black theology as an instance of hesitation or what I'm calling Black Theology Hesitant.

In speaking of Cone's Black theology and Black Power books specifically Long says these words; "Cone states explicitly in Black Theology and Black Power that his work is an effort made in order to investigate the meaning of Black Power placing primary emphasis on its relationship to Christianity, the church and contemporary American theology. Later on, Cone defines Black Power in short as an attitude, an inward affirmation of the essential worth of Blackness. This is Black Power, the power of the Black man, as Cone writes it, to say yes to his Black being and to make the others except him and be, or be prepared for a struggle."

While this is descriptive, Long is making a descriptive statement, there is I contend a critique embedded inside of it. Long is calling attention to the ways which Cone's project continues to operate under the structuring terrain of theology, and it would be interesting, this dissertation, I made a note I want to read this dissertation that you Sinclair because I think Sinclair's dissertation is trying to argue against this. I need to see how this has worked out but let me just do what I got. Okay.

Long understands, however, that when you think with a book... Let me back up and get the sense. I'm sorry y'all please forgive me. I'm not used to talking to as many people at once, y'all got to work with me. Long is calling attention to the ways which Cone's project continues to operate under the structuring terrain of theology itself as a semiotic system for the general ordering of being. Long understands however that when you think with a book, for example, like Cone's The Spirituals and the Blues, that is to say, when Cone thinks about Black expressive culture, something a little different is going on. About that latter text, Long says that the references in that text are not so much to the semiotic system of theology, though it is indeed in some sense connecting itself to that. Rather in that second text, referring to Black culture itself as a kind of para-semiotics, this is a term I borrow from Ronald A.T. Judy, that works in the creases of the theopolitical sign system or semiotics of Western being Cone in that second book, The Spirituals and the Blues is in effect, interested in a structure of meaning and value achieved in narratives of beauty that break the code of color signification.

Heroic persons, Long says, still speaking about what's at stake in Cone Spirituals and the Blues are mentioned in that book but narratives, theological narratives as it were, are not built around them to constitute heroic, almost salvific themes. They are not built around individuated, Christological, charismatic kind of structures. The narratives, Long goes on to say, are filled with ordinary persons with anonymous creations that emerge from the self-definitional intimacy of all human communities. In this way, some other modality, this is me speaking, no longer Long, in this way some other modality of the ultimate beyond the ability of the theological signifying system is at work. What Long calls a Godhead beyond God, almost invoking Meister Eckhart. As Long sees it then, the problem of Black theology, the moment of this hesitation lies right here, for in order to think what this para-semiotic moment of the excess and towards an alternative social aesthetics beyond the theological symbolics that structure the anti-Black world, it will require a fundamental, and here's the force of Long's critique, it will require a fundamental destruction of theology as a discourse as we know it.

I'll end with a quote from Long one more time. To quote Long one more time on this. Long says if God is red, if Black is beautiful, then this modality of the Godhead, what I just described above, has always been the case. The opacity of God forms a discontinuity with the bad faith of other theological modes. The modes of theology that structure the settler colonial world. There is a theology of accusation and opposition which is at the forefront in the theologies opaque. But, it is precisely at this point that these theologies should not move forward to possess the theological battlefield that has been rested from the foals. It is at this point, Long continues, that theologies opaque must become deconstructive theologies, that is to say theologies that undertake the destruction of theology as a mode of discourse as we know it. I'll end there just with a question. I want to revisit the force of that critique.

Here you see long appreciating what Black theology as a project has done. What is Black theology as a project done according to Long, and what we see in Black Theology and Black Power, Black Theology and Black Power has unearthed the ways in which the signifying system that we call theology is a white structural system. It is radically identified that. But then Long wants to say, is the move after that to go back inside the terrain of theology and then just as it were, Blacken it? Long wants to say, that's not the move. And instead he wants to say in effect Cone, what you're doing in that second book, where you're trying to think the unique internal structures of the sacred to Black expressive culture stay right there because there's another mode, shall we say, if I can invoke Rudolph Otto, there's another mode of the Das ganz Andere, the Holy other that is internal to Black radical existence itself. I want to propose that, that question that Long put on the table is not dead. We need to come back to it and we need to deal with it. Thank you for your time.

Eboni Marshall Turman:

I'm very excited to be here, especially with this most distinguished panel of scholars and colleagues. I offer these words, this reflection, simply in memoriam. On the occasion of this 50th anniversary celebration of Black Theology and Black Power, I cannot help but to think about my return trip to New York city last year from delivering the 2018 Trout Lectures at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio when I received word that my beloved professor, mentor, then colleague and friend Dr. James Hal Cone had died. In 2012, Dr. Cone had been invited to lecture at Trinity Lutheran, in 2012, but had to cancel his appearance because of an onslaught of death threats in response to the newest publication at the time, his newest publication at the time, The Cross and the Lynching Tree.

Amidst the outpouring of thoughts and prayers, the world over at that time and the host of remembrances held in his honor at divinity schools and theological seminaries and conferences across the nation, I'd like to propose to you today that the truth is, James Hal Cone was in fact, the most hated theologian in America at one time. The first African American to earn a PhD in systematic theology from Northwestern University in 1963, Cone often recalled how his experiences in the theological Academy typically aligned with the racist ethos of the nation.

Some of Cone's graduate school professors regularly intimated that his embodied incongruity with his academic pursuits. At least one of his professors went so far as to tell him that he would never be accepted into a doctoral program and even refused to shake his hand upon his successful completion of his PhD. This incoherent theological and social landscape squarely positioned Cone to interrogate the glaring contradictions between theology as an academic discipline and the struggle for Black freedom in the streets and eventually to reposition his expertise in the theology of Karl Barth, say, as secondary to the God talk of his mother, Mrs. Lucy Cone, a pillar, he always said, of the Macedonia African Methodist Episcopal Church in Bearden, Arkansas and a firm believer in God's justice. And this repositioning spurred him to interrogate the question at the heart of Black life in the US asking: What does God have to say about why whites treat Blacks so terribly?

Cone acknowledged his father, Charlie Cone, as his first image of Black dignity. Dignity that demanded resistance against the oppressive climate of Black, white social arrangements yet it was in the church of his mother, Baldwin [Phanom 01:01:31], and Charles Long not withstanding. It was in the church of his mother, Mrs. Lucy, where the social significance of Black resistance against racism that had been regularly demonstrated by his father was contextualized in relation to God's righteousness.

It was also in his mother's church where he witnessed those who had been treated as things for six days of the week affirming and experiencing another definition of their humanity as children of God whose future was not defined by the white structures that humiliated them. In contradistinction to compensatory patterns of religious experience that assert Black Christian faith as cathartic escape from the harsh realities of everyday life, for Cone, the Black church, his mother's church, and its religion of Jesus was a primary source of identity survival and empowerment. The church and the radical ministry and activisms of its clergy was where Cone first encountered Blacks who believed that God was on the side of the oppressed and against the satanic force of white supremacy. The church was the heartbeat of what propelled the opaque synthesis Cone found between enduring faith, Black history and Black culture that propelled his deep thinking about the theological meaning of Black people's commitment to political and social justice, which of course induced the beginnings of his intellectual structure of Black theology.

Morley anchored in the Black church its gospel of Jesus Christ and the very traditions of integrationism and nationalism that propelled the Civil Rights and Black Power movements respectively, the revolutionary commitments of this prophetic Black clergy were largely guided by the witness of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. While King's theology of justice was grounded in divine love and democratic principle, Malcolm X asserted a theology of justice rooted in Blackness. Cone emphasized Malcolm X's life and legacy as a critical theological conversation partner for the Black church. He argued that Malcolm's God talk was not only theologically defensible, but a necessary corrective against the powers of domination. His theological statement, Malcolm's that is, about God defiantly proclaimed God is Black amidst a social context where in Blacks had been enslaved and segregated for nearly four centuries by whites because of their color and where evil had been portrayed as Black and good as white in religious and cultural values.

Consequently, Blackness functioned as the dominant symbol of Malcolm's theological idea. Love and justice were always interpreted in light of Blackness, which for Malcolm rested on God's love of Black people and God’s judgment of white America. The critical confluence of Malcolm's justice imperative that was built on the theological claim that God is Black and that Black is beautiful exhorted suffering Blacks to love themselves, and King's love imperative rooted in the cross of Jesus Christ that urge suffering Blacks to love the enemy as God loves all humanity served as the definitive precursor to Black liberation theologies, late 20th century emergence.

Following the February 1966 assassination of Malcolm X, the physical and moral exhaustion of young Black SNCC activists in the face of Black impoverishment, the hypocrisy of white liberalism, Black disenfranchisement and the surge of white terrorism in the South collided with the differing, philosophical and theological perspectives of the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power sentiments of Black nationalism. In June, 1966, Stokely Carmichael who was then chair of SNCC proclaimed Black Power at a march headed by King in Greenwood, Mississippi, in order to call attention to the glaring contradiction of preaching love of white brethren, while simultaneously preaching the funerals of Black freedom fighters who had been killed by them.

... Of Black freedom fighters who had been killed by them. One month later, the Black church represented by an ad hoc committee of Black preachers, pastors and scholars known as the National Committee of Negro Churchmen publicly affirmed Black Power by publishing a full-page advertisement in the New York Times. It's three primary claims, namely that there is a disjunction between white power and Black conscience. That white conscience is corrupt because it meets a little resistance and Black conscience is corrupt because it is powerless.

And that Black inter-communal reconciliation that is self-love is a primary task prompted Cone to write his very first essay titled Christianity and Black Power, a decisive departure from the pristine and dispassionate theoretical analysis of the theological anthropology of normative white theology. Christianity and Black Power dare to identify Black Power with the gospel of Jesus.

But it was the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968 that marked the turning point in the political and theological consciousness of many Black Christians. By that time, of course, Cone had already embraced Black Power. However, King's murder intensified his conviction, that there is no choice to be made between one's Blackness and one's Christian faith.

In fact, Blackness is the prerequisite of Christian faith. Raphael G. Warnock explains that in the aftermath of King's death, Cone, incited by the pain of the Black poor exploding in riot-torn cities, went in dogged pursuit of a theological world that would ring true for his own people who were being shot in the streets of American cities by white policemen. And this is when Black Theology and Black Power, Cone's first book, initially released in March 1969, was born.

It was the first publication to use the expression Black theology, toward the development of a constructive theological posture, which not only argued that Black Power is the gospel of Jesus Christ. But further and more provocatively contended that given its support of slavery and segregation, the white church, not Black Power is the antichrist.

Said differently, white Christianity in America was born in heresy and the white church is precisely what Christ is not. To that end, Cone's life work in scholarly corpus endeavor to develop a systematic and comprehensive exposition of the Christian faith using the Black experience of struggle as the chief source. That is as the primary determinant of the character of Black theology, where in the suffering and death of God and Christ becomes one with crucified people.

Crucified people like Emmett Till, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, Carol Denise McNair, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Nia Wilson, the Exonerated Five, the Emanuel Nine, Muhlaysia Booker and [Jaseline Wear 00:01:09:25] Those who are hung, shot, burned and tortured. God in Christ takes on the totality of human oppression through the facts of history. But in a remarkable transvaluation of value and power, Jesus inverts the cross in his resurrection disclosing a God who's not defeated by oppression, but who transforms it into freedom.

Thus, the historical Jesus whose crucifixion was what Cone called a 1st century lynching that mirrors the experience of African-Americans as innocent victims of white mobs thirsting for blood. Reveals that violence and death do not have the last word. In the Black church, the preacher might say it like this. "Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory? But thanks be to God who give us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Cone concedes that Christ has conquered the death of the lowest of the low in society. Precisely because cursed is the one who hangs from a tree. Despite the threat of death, the oppressed are free to say no to the oppressor because God has said yes to them, thereby placing them in the state of freedom. They can now deny any values that separate them from the reality of their new being.

Cone contends that descendants of enslaved Blacks now sing, is taken from the spirituals and the blues, “Before I be a slave / I'll be buried in my grave / and go home to my Lord / and be free.” Precisely because Black Christian faith grasps how the lynched Christ, who is risen, sets the oppressed free from death. The dialectical meaning of Jesus Christ for Black liberation theology is found in the confluence of who Jesus was, who Jesus is and who Jesus will be as Cone always told us.

Jesus, who was born in the poverty of a barn, baptized by a wild man in a country river, who ministered to the outcast, died a slave on a cross and was buried in a borrowed tomb, stands with oppressed Blacks now amidst the rope and faggot of the new Jim Crow. And its disproportionate state-sanctioned physical, social economic, and environmental violence.

This Black Christ is Emmanuel. As Blacks continued in the struggle of inaugurating futures in the present where Black lives matter beyond the brutalities of white power, its racist God and its demonic God talk. And for this: the white church and its theologians, represented by this great body, hated him. They hated him for uncompromisingly identifying the paradox of white theologians, who scarcely uttered a word about white inhumanity toward Blacks, as the arbiters of the nature of the gospel and of the discipline responsible for explaining it.

They hated him for deploying their beloved German theologians to indict white American theology for its moral failure. In the 1986 edition of his Black Theology of Liberation, Cone recalled how white theologians refer to Black theology as a theology filled with hatred for white people and the assumption of the moral superiority of Black over white.

He remembered how "White theologians wanted me to debate them about whether Black theology was real theology." That is in everyday going on in the heological Academy. Even today, he recounted how white men would call him angry and hostile as a way of marking his scholarship as morally untrustworthy rather than truthful. But Cone's response was always precise. Oppressors never like to hear the truth in a sociopolitical context defined by their lives.

Black churches were not much better, lest we start pointing fingers. With their off-guided aspirations toward white respectability and opposition to the virtue of the in sarky day. Let's not be deceived. White Jesus has cachet in the conservative Black church where the absurdity of white racist theology demands the disjointedness of Blackness and Christian faith. And where Black theology’s assertion of the Black Christ is understood as racism in reverse.

In the wake of Cone's death, those who never thoughtexcept for at Elmont—to call his name, or at least those who called him everything but a child of God. In the wake of Cone's death, those who never considered adding his text to their syllabi are now fondly referring to him as Jim, feigning personal intimacy and intellectual respect. Institutions that would never have invited him to speak or elected him president have sent for thoughts and prayers in ways that lend more to colonizing his legacy than carrying it forth.

To be sure, men have long been sanitized posthumously to assuage and erase the guilt of those left behind. Martin Luther King Jr. was the most hated man in America at the time of his assassination, is a prime example of US amnesia rooted in the sterilization of the legacies of Black freedom fighters. The phenomenon also works in reverse. Billy Graham, Ronald Reagan, they serve as exemplars, more recent exemplars that keep coming up, especially in this political moment of how a white racist Christian past can be completely expunged in the glory of death.

Womanist theological ethicist Emilie M. Townes identifies such maneuvers as the cultural production of evil that, echoing William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, paint perfect men, but does not tell the truth. The truth is that James Hal Cone was far from perfect. In fact, sometimes he was downright mean and I can say that because he was my teacher.

Some of his closest friends and colleagues like Gayraud S. Wilmore and Vincent Harding and Charles S. Long, and even his dear departed brother, Cecil Cone, made sure to remind him of this regularly: Cone was far from perfect. Black womanist theologians and ethicists like Katie Geneva Cannon and Jacqueline Grant, Dolores S. Williams Kelly Brown Douglas would emerge in the mid-1980s and early 1990s respectively as his students to assert even more blind spots, namely sexism and misogynoir within Black liberation theology and especially in relation to its economy of Black women's erasure and later the apparent unknowability of Black sexuality.

And in his For My People: Black Theology and the Black Church and later editions of his earliest work, Cone would eventually reflect in a sustained way on his imperfections on the weaknesses of his system, especially in its development as an overreaction to white racism, what Jay is pointing us toward in the work of Long, as well as its lack of social economic and gender analysis.

Nevertheless, his fiery rhetoric, his scathing critique of church, academy and society was a wake-up call to the entire Christian community. And while some will continue to disingenuously characterize his critique as angry, hostile, and excessively harsh, to be factual about it if you had to live what he lived through, you'd be mad too.

But while we may continue to disingenuously characterize him as those things, what must never be forgotten is the depth of his love for Black people. Cone's profound love and abiding joy for Black life surfaced every time he stood in front of a classroom or put pen to paper or heard the spirituals and the blues. His love surfaced in his passion for Black art and Black literature and Black dance, and his celebration of Black excellence lived out loud in the face of white supremacy and its goons.

The most hated theologian in America built an entire disciplinary field. He authored more than 12 books and over 150 articles. He trained, chided and developed more generations with an S of Black theologians, ethicists and pastors than any other systematic theologian in the contemporary world. He taught us that God is Black, that Black is beautiful, baby. He did all of this because he loved us so.

I must have called Dr. Cone's name over 100 times in the lecture hall at Trinity Lutheran Seminary where just a few years earlier, death threats had urged his retreat. As I sat at the airport that Friday afternoon on my way back to New York City, just hours before he would take his last breath, I penned a letter to him that I was never able to deliver.

A letter that I had hoped would serve as a reminder at his end, how much, we, his students from Room 207 at Union Theological Seminary, now teaching and preaching and serving and fighting all over the church, the academy and the world loved him. I wrote the letter to remind him at his endbased on a conversation we had had a few weeks ago at Henry's on 105th and Broadway, a few weeks prior—

That we, his students, are still here proclaiming in the face of white devilment, proclaiming in the face of blue-eyed demonarchy, unhesitatingly that God is Black and that Black is beautiful. And with millennial flair, that Black Lives Matter. I wrote the letter to remind him at his end of an enduring Black and deeply Christian hope that the last shall become first, and that the most hated will always be our most loved. Thank you.

Adam Clarke:

Thank you. This was a great panel. Now, I knew this was going to happen. We don't have a whole lot of time for questions. So I'm going to ask the panel, would you be able to stay a little bit extra after so the people could interact with you or y'all got to run off? Okay. Okay.

So we're going to have to bundle questions. Could people go to the mic and we have about maybe about 10 minutes to do this. And so if you have a question, please step to the mic.


Adam Clarke:

If not, we got to a meeting to do, but because we already over, but. Great panel. Thank you everybody. There's a Black theology email list that's going around. If you would please sign it, you can keep up with our events. We have, for those of you who are interested in Howard Thurman, tonight at eight o'clock, we are getting together to try to start up, start the formation of a Howard and Sue Bailey Thurman Society. Eight o'clock tonight.

If you can look in your ... It's actually under the film. It says film discussion on Martin Doblmeier's film in the actual handbook, but it's actually we're going to talk about creating a Howard Thurman Society. Tomorrow at one o'clock, we have a commemoration of 400 years of Africans being in America. We have a panel on that tomorrow at one o'clock. Sign the list to stay tuned to our events. Please remember our website and use it generously, and also contribute to it as well. But thank you very much. You've been a great crowd.