Dr. Wright’s talking points (3.1.7) for Trinity United Church of Christ its Web site and the Black Value System (in response to Erik Rush’s comments (2.28.07) on the Hannity and Colmes show):
• One of the biggest gaps in knowledge that causes the kind of ignorance that you hear spouted by this man [Erik Rush] and those like him, has to do with the fact that these persons are completely ignorant when it comes to the Black religious tradition. The vision statement of Trinity United Church of Christ is based upon the systematized liberation theology that started in 1969 with the publication of Dr. James Cone’s book, Black Power and Black Theology.
• Black theology is one of the many theologies in the Americas that became popular during the liberation theology movement. They include Hispanic theology, Native American theology, Asian theology and Womanist theology.
• I use the word “systematized” because Black liberation theology was in existence long before Dr. Cone’s book. It originates in the days of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. It was systematized and published by theologians, Old Testament scholars, New Testament scholars, ethicists, church historians, and historians of religion such as Dr. James Cone, Dr. Cain Hope Felder, Dr. Gayraud Wilmore, Dr. Jacqueline Grant, Dr. Kelley Brown Douglas, Dr. Renita Weems, Dr. Katie Cannon, Dr. Dwight Hopkins, Dr. Linda Thomas, and Dr. Randall Bailey.
• These scholars, who write in various disciplines, also include seminary presidents like Dr. John Kinney and professors of Hebrew Bible, like Dr. Jerome Ross. Black liberation theology defines Africans and African Americans as subjects – not the objects which colonizers and oppressors have consistently defined “others” as.
• We [African Americans] were always seen as objects. When we started defining ourselves, it scared those who try to control others by naming them and defining them for them; Oppressors do not like “others” defining themselves.
• To have a church whose theological perspective starts from the vantage point of Black liberation theology being its center, is not to say that African or African American people are superior to any one else.
• African-centered thought, unlike Eurocentrism, does not assume superiority and look at everyone else as being inferior.
• There is more than one center from which to view the world. In the words of Dr. Janice Hale, “Difference does not mean deficience.” It is from this vantage point that Black liberation theology speaks.
• Systematized Black liberation theology is 40 years old. Scholars of African and African American religious history show that Black liberation theology, however, has been in existence for 400 years. It is found in the songs, the sermons, the testimonies and the oral literature of Africans throughout the Diaspora.