Critical Race Theory, and the Church

The Critical Race Theory has been all the buzz in education systems and boards across the country. Politicians have issued statements, passed measures forbidding the teaching of this movement. Wikipedia defines the Critical Race Theory as 'an academic movement of scholars and activists seeking to critically examine ways the US justice system intersects with racial issues and challenges mainstream liberal approaches to justice'.

It is a movement that has been in circulation among civil rights scholars since the late 1970s. It was not until the 1990s that Dr. Gloria Ladson-Billings introduced a framework for education to examine systemic inequities in school systems. Since then a contingency of activist, including 1619 Project’s Nikole Hannah-Jones have sought to reframe the story of US History to include the byproducts of slavery and the contributions of African Americans.

These are not brand new constructs or realms of social activism! These rather reflect on frameworks or schools of thoughts of the likes of Kimberlé Crenshaw, Richard Delgado, Randall Robinson and Derrick Bell. The latest dialogue focus on the Critical Race Theory, also called CRT, has intensified in part because of a new band of 21st century scholars and activist challenging the American history narrative all the way back to the revolutionary war and its purpose.

What is at the heart of this 21st conversation? What really fuels the latest fire that has state boards of education and politicians forbidding the teaching of this movement?

It would seem that it could be a combination of the moral unrest brought on by the pandemic, along with the George Floyd and other incidents of police brutality and America’s political transitions particularly as they play out on social media. Each has painted a kind of new picture of a paradigm shift in power biases or images. A sort of smashing of the romantic picture of American history.

It is the prayer of this professional in Ministry that education systems seek ways to teach American history void of racially based disparities and present history in such as way that does not foster ill values or illustrate an ugly picture on any race or demographic. And, churches, especially the Black church examines ways they have failed to educate congregations on black history.


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