This essay blends historical analysis and autobiographical reflection to reckon with Southern Baptist histories of white supremacy from the 1845 founding of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) to the present. Despite recent moves to acknowledge the SBC’s origins as a denomination of enslavers, current denominational positions reflect a long and ongoing white supremacist framework. The 2018 Report on Slavery and Racism in the History of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary provides an occasion to examine the legacy of the SBC and its flagship seminary. The report confronts the denomination and seminary’s roots in proslavery theologies, but it neither addresses the experience of black southerners nor acknowledges an ongoing legacy of racism among Southern Baptists and their institutions. While historical self-assessments at their best invite action to address institutional white supremacy, Southern Seminary’s assessment declares the problem solved and forecloses opportunities for further action.


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pp. 46-67
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