Black liberation theology
Black liberation theology is a theological perspective found in some Christian churches and the Nation of Islam in the United States which contextualizes liberation theology in an attempt to help African-Americans overcome oppression. Black liberation theology seeks to liberate people of color from multiple forms of political, social, economic, and religious subjugation and views Christian theology as a theology of liberation- “a rational study of the being of God in the world in light of the existential situation of an oppressed community, relating the forces of liberation to the essence of the Gospel, which is Jesus Christ,” writes James Hal Cone, one of the original advocates of the perspective.
Modern American origins of contemporary Black liberation theology can be traced to July 31, 1966, when an ad hoc group of 51 Black pastors, calling themselves the National Committee of Negro Churchmen (NCNC), bought a full page ad in the New York Times to publish their “Black Power Statement,” which proposed a more aggressive approach to combating racism using the Bible for inspiration.
In the minds of many African-Americans, Christianity was long associated with slavery and segregation. The Southern Baptist Convention had supported slavery and slave-holders, and it was not until June 20, 1995 that the formal Declaration of Repentance was adopted. This resolution declared that they “unwaveringly denounce racism, in all its forms, as deplorable sin” and “lament and repudiate historic acts of evil such as slavery from which we continue to reap a bitter harvest.”