Christianity and Black Oppression - Class #1

Tuesday, July 16th 2013 at 7:30 pm
Tuesday, July 16th 2013 at 9:30 pm
The Brecht Forum - 451 West St, Manhattan

Class #1: The Moral Issue and the Status of Blacks


Chapters 1-3

African peoples are outside the American class system.  Generally, when classes are alluded to—upper class, middle class, working class—they usually exclude blacks.  Indeed blacks seem to have their own criteria regarding class stratification of blacks which do not conform to the classification of the society in general. (Members of a small black professional class who work primarily for corporate America and the military are hardly representative of Black America).

The outcaste status of blacks within the American society has led to comparisons with the Dalits of India who are outside the main caste system of India.  Like the Dalits, Blacks have been stereotyped as mentally and morally inferior, and like the Dalits this stigma is genetic and can be transmitted.  Many blacks have internalized the stereotypical view of themselves.  This poses a dilemma in the light of the fact that blacks have been Christianized for more than four Centuries.


Who are the Dalits of India? Is there a valid argument regarding commonalities between the Dalits of India, and Blacks in the Americas? Do you think that there is justification for the perception of blacks as morally and mentally inferior?

Christianity is often projected as a religion that instituted high moral ideals but its history hardly reflects this as a reality. How is it that Blacks have been Christianized for more than four hundred years and yet Blacks are perceived as mentally and morally inferior?

Is it possible to have moral values without religion?

Additional Readings:

Bell, Derrick, And We Are Not Saved : The Elusive Quest of Racial Justice, New York, NY: Basic Books, 1987

--------------, Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism, New York, NY: Basic Books, 1992

Dawkins, Richard, The God Delusion, New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin, 2006.

Jones, William R, Is God a White Racist? : A Preamble to Black Theology, (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1998, c1973.

Rajshekar, V. T. Dalit: The Black Untouchables of India, 3rd ed, Atlanta, GA: Clarity Press, 1995 c1987.


This event is not sponsored by Center for Inquiry - New York City.