Happy Belated Easter (to all who are down with J.C.)!
Outside of brunch and looking for eggs in the grass, for many of us yesterday meant three things: church, checking out the kiddie Easter outfits and food…not necessarily in that order.
Concerning the past weekâ€™s firestorm surrounding the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama, The Washington Postâ€™s Robin Givhan examines American pop cultureâ€™s often extreme and one-dimensional depiction of the black church.
If you are familiar with the â€œtraditionalâ€ black church then you know some of the stereotypes that have crept their way into film and television; the effeminate choir director, the fiery pastor, the young and hot harlot, the gossipy old ladies and their hats, and the holier-than-thou set of deacons, etc. Quite frankly, these stereotypes can be found in a Jewish synagogue as well.
In the article, Givhan discusses how nowadays churches, especially black churches, are becoming tourist destinations for their gospel choirs and larger-than-life celebrity pastors (can we say Creflo Dollar?). But after the show is over (and some folks leave), the black church becomes what it has historically been, a haven for candidly discussing issues that affect the black community which society may not be ready to confront; most notably race, class and history.
Last week we witnessed the nationâ€™s reaction to a candid look into one-type of black church, but is society ready to accept an institution as complex as it congregation? Or will we settle for big hats, Cadillacs and dramatic gospel solos â€“ which we love too.
A Failure to See Shades of Gray in The Black Church [WashPo]
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