God and Blackness
Race, Gender, and Identity in a Middle Class Afrocentric Church
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: NYU Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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I extend my gratitude to First African Presbyterian Church, especially Reverend Dr. Mark Lomax, Reverend Dr. Will Coleman, Reverend Dr. Itahari Toure, and the church members who participated in my research project. Your graciousness, candor, and insight made this project possible...
Introduction: Sunday Morning: Anthropology of a Church
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First Afrikan Presbyterian Church is a standard triangle-faced red brick building surrounded by a parking lot, a few acres of grass, and several trees. Located in Lithonia, a suburb of Atlanta, the church is adjacent to several subdivisions and is the religious home of a predominantly African...
1. The First Afrikan Way: Method and Context
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The term “Afrocentrism” was coined by the academic Molefi Kete Asante, who defines it as a “frame of reference wherein phenomena are viewed from the perspective of the African person. The Afrocentric approach seeks in every situation the appropriate centrality of the...
2. Situating the Self: Becoming Afrikan in America
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I met with Carmen at one of the grocery stores in Lithonia. In her thirties, with creamy deep brown skin and short cropped reddish brown hair, Carmen worked as a quality-control manager for a chain of markets. Amid the din of clanging shopping carts, chattering children, and...
3. “Who I Am and Whose I Am”: Race and Religion
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I met with Hamida one morning for breakfast. Fifty-six years old, she is a tall, slender woman with high cheek bones and a quiet attractiveness. On this morning, she wore gold-wire-rimmed glasses and was dressed in a roomy black caftan emblazoned with a golden and swirling African...
4. Ebony Affluence: Afrocentric Middle Classness
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One Sunday, Reverend Lomax preached on the biblical character Zacchaeus and drew some compelling parallels between him and the membership of First Afrikan. The scripture for his sermon was taken from Luke 19:1–10, which is about Zacchaeus, an avaricious tax collector...
5. Eve’s Positionality: Afrocentric and Womanist Ideologies
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I first became interested in the relationship between Afrocentrism and gendered dynamics at First Afrikan during one of my earliest visits. It was October 2003 and the pastor’s birthday. During the meet-and-greet portion of the service, he stood at the front of the church shaking...
Conclusion: The Benediction: Ashe Ashe Ashe O
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A community is a group of people with common values who perceive themselves in some respect as distinct and who have a sense of social cohesion. At First Afrikan Presbyterian Church, community is based on the congregation’s shared Christianity, Afrocentrism, middle class status...
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About the Author
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Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2014