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BLACK AND REFORMED IN AMERICA: The Witness of Black Presbyterians – Class 1

HENRY HIGHLAND GARNET: The Sinfulness of Voluntary Submission

Presbyterian churches in America have long had Black members. But even though Black Presbyterians had some eloquent leaders their thinking has not been well known by other Presbyterians in this country (most of whom have been White). Indeed, more often than not the views of Black Presbyterians on everything from theology to civil politics have been ignored by the White majority. Only in recent decades has this begun to change. The purpose of this set of talks is to provide an introduction to the thinking of some of the more prominent figures in the history of Black Presbyterianism in America. The talks will focus in particular on the careers and views of four notable figures who represent distinct stages in the history of the Black experience in America: Henry Hyland Garnet (1815-1882), Francis Grimke (1850-1937), Gayraud Wilmore (1921-2020) and Katie Geneva Cannon (1950-2018). They will include some discussion of the strategic challenges faced by Blacks in this country in combatting racism as well as the issues raised for Presbyterians by the rise of Black liberation theology.

This is a sequel to last year’s class on the history of race relations in American Presbyterianism. You can find those class sessions HERE

This is the first class in the series in January 2022:

  • JANUARY 2—HENRY HIGHLAND GARNET: THE SINFULNESS OF VOLUNTARY SUBMISSION
  • JANUARY 9—FRANCIS GRIMKE: “SLAVERY IS GONE BUT ITS SPIRIT REMAINS.”
  • JANUARY 16—GAYRAUD WILMORE: DESEGREGATION AND/OR BLACK POWER?
  • JANUARY 23—KATIE CANNON: “WOMANIST” LIBERATION
  • JANUARY 30—BLACK PRESBYTERIANS AND THE REFORMED TRADITION