[ applause ] >> cameron patterson: well, first i'd liketo say good evening everyone. i love speaking in the front of audiences this loud. i haven'thad this opportunity since graduation night. so, i like to thank you all for being here,and i'm just glad to see so many bright faces tonight, like professor knight said my nameis cameron patterson and before i introduce
sex education vocabulary words, one of the main most responsible for thisentire event, i'd like to take advantage of this platform to encourage every fresno statestudent and tenants to vote in the upcoming asi student government election. it is extremelyvital to exercise our right to participate in the democratic process, as we elect a newwave of representatives. we are fortunate
enough to attend a university that allowsus to establish a government for us by us. i my self i'm running for the position ofstudent senator. i believe that leadership is not about the next selection. it's aboutthe new generation. we are living tomorrow's history today. and 20 years what impact wouldwe have made? let us stand together to renew the age old promise of equal opportunity,fair governing, and equal access to a great education. let us take a stand and say nomore to turning our backs to uncalled for acts of domestic assault. let us work togetherto create new legislative policies that reflect our growing diversity here at fresno state.this is our election. this is our time. this is our year to show that we can work togetherand put our ingenuity to a common good. let's
make our voices heard, fresno state, let'smake a difference, let's be great. voting will commence tuesday, march 24th at 9 a.m.and end on march 26 at noon. now that i'm off my cell box without further ado allowme to introduce a man most known for his unmatched excellence in the classroom, but his contributionsoutside the classrooms as well is what sets him apart for--from his colleagues in thesame fields. his been nominated by president castro himself for the csu wang family excellenceaward, which is highly regarded as one of the most prestigious awards a csu professorcan receive and that doesn't deserve around of applause i don't know what does. and this award means that he is among thetop 13 social science research professor in
the entire csu system. he received his master'sof arts degree in africana studies from temple university with honors. he later receivedhis graduate certificate for africana studies as well as the university level teaching certificatefrom claremont university. this outstanding role model just never seems to get tired ofschool as he received his doctors of philosophy in cultural studies from claremont graduateuniversity as well. to sum up his educational background, he's a nerd--complimenting hisesteemed educational resume, he has a host of printed publications, most notably youmust learn a primer of study--for the study of hip-hop. he has won the provost award forthe most promising new faculty. i could go on for days listing the accomplishments. buti would like to thank him personally. for
working tirelessly to establish grants andfunding so that events like today are possible. i would like to thank you for having the audacityto hope in a profession where you are accomplishing sometimes overshadows by stigmas that haveplagued our society for far too long. finally, right before i introduce you, thank you forteaching your students that life is about grasping the understanding that the obstacleswe encounter in life aren't various to our success, but building blocks to a bright future.it's about making an impact as global citizens and maximizing our opportunities, it's aboutunderstands that it all starts with us. we are the inspiration we have been looking for,you can be great if you work hard, you persevere and you understand that the possibilitiesin life are limitless. without further ado
i like to introduce you to my professor dr.t hasan johnson. >> dr. t hasan johnson: ok can you hear--arewe working? good, we are. welcome thank you for coming, all right you deserve a roundof applause. kind of the difficulty of doing events likethis with no rsbp is you don't know 5 people are coming or 500 and i've had both kindsof events in my seven years here. so i do appreciate you coming. for those that don'tknow, this is the second year of the black popular culture lecture series an online researcharchive. and the purpose of it is to bring out folk who have unique experiences thatare known globally. well, this is the second year where i can say globally. and from thatand having an interview that is transcribed
and video and put on the website on fresnostate giving people an opportunity to use it for research purposes, right. last yearwas the first year we did it we brought out actor delroy lindo. we had a fabulous conversation.if you haven't had a chance to see it, visit the africana studies website, you get a chanceto take a look at it and tonight we're following through on that endeavor with what i knowwould be a wonderful conversation with our esteem guest. now, before i introduce theperson who's going to introduce our esteem guest, i do want to take a moment to thanka number of people and hopefully embarrassed them in the process because they've been incrediblyinstrumental. first and for most--and she disappears quickly. there she is. she's inthe back with a cream jacket hugging someone.
i want to thank melissa knight, professorin africana and women's studies. you know, last time i think i couldn't find her. i mostparticularly would like to thank somebody who has been a fixture for not only excellenceat fresno state but she has also stood for what's right, what's just, and has done soconsistently for a very long time. i wold like for us before i actually go into whatoffices she runs to give an applause if we can get her to stand for dr. france oputa. she runs the cultural valley heritage institute and women'sresource center and she is also presiding over black faculty and staff association andshe was one of the first to offer support
when i just mention what was going on. asa matter of fact, actually, i think it might have been before i actually had a formal conversation.she has been consistently supportive not only, you know, just me but anything she's run acrossthat stands for something right, stands for something just, and stands in the interestof the students. so i really wanted to take this time to publically thank her for herwork, her sacrifice, and her consistency. thank you. i also want to take a moment to thank anotherperson of significance i want to make sure i cover everybody. this person actually isa student and he is responsible for tonight in many ways because he has been a 46-yearfriend of our guest tonight. and without him
i don't believe this evening would be happening.he is an africana studies student, major. he's one of the best students i've ever hadin my classes and has always--not only transformed the conversations that take place in the classesbut the work ethics. he embarrasses his classmates and then goes and meets with them outsidethe class and then they all come back to class ready on a whole another level. so if we canjust quickly acknowledge mr. gary willis. i though i was go embarrass him, but it didn'twork. he has taken classes from all of my colleagues in africana studies and if we couldvery for a moment--if we can acknowledge, now this is a program the black popular culturelecture series program comes out of africana studies. so if my colleagues in africana canstand up please.
dr. meta schettler, dr. de anna reese, dr.malik simba, africana studies here at fresno state. ok. number of other thank yous, i definitelywant to thank asi, associated students made this event possible. i do want to say thatwe had donors last year who invested in wanting to see event happen again and they were instrumentalin making this happen as well. so i'm not going to call them out by name. but i do wantto say thank you to those of you that did donate to make this event a consistent thing.i want to also acknowledge the young men that were instrumental in the student componentof this event, the onyx black male collective. they actually were not only instrumental inmaking sure the student component happen, but many of them are working the room eventonight they help the event happen. so if
you haven't heard of the onyx black male collective,download my app you may see the image for it, check them out. these are young men thathave gathered together here at fresno state to focus on graduation because in our recentreports we found that black students are performing at a fairly low level, 38% is about the graduationrate, we have most listed and black males tend to fall at the very low ended spectrum.so this young men have gathered together to transform their situation and motivate eachother towards graduation. ok, so please. ok. and i would like to thank college of socialsciences and very particularly president castro who is the definition of cool under fire,he upon me introducing the idea this event last year to him, he didn't even let me finishthe sentence before he said "i'll fund it,
i want to be there." and last year he satin the first row and participated. unfortunately, he couldn't be here with us tonight. he hada conflicting event. but he did get a chance to meet reverend wright earlier today and,you know, so i just wanted to extend that. now, i do also--i was going to offer thisto a student, but once i had a chance to look through cv, i selfishly took the honor formyself. i wanted to introduce the faculty person that i wanted to come up and actuallyintroduce reverend wright, his name is dr. jerome e. jackson, phd, of course, right,fully tenured in criminology and his a license ordained minister for the past 17 years, he'sbeen senior pastor christian community baptists church, received his bachelor of arts in politicalscience at southern university, master's in
public administration from texas southernuniversity, master's in theological studies from faith evangelical seminary, doctor ofphilosophy in criminal justice at sam houston state university, doctor of philosophy andtheological studies in faith evangelical seminary. this brother is not planned, right. professorjackson has more than 30 years of teaching at the university level, has more than 20years of gospel ministry leading including 17 years of senior pastorship and serve asthe executive director of the antioch substance abuse program incorporated. please let usgive a round of applause to dr. jerome e. jackson. [ inaudible discussion ]
>> dr. jerome e. jackson: good evening again. >> good evening. >> we do want every minute we can to hearfrom our guest tonight, i've been given five to six minutes to say what i need to say.i won't give you some change back. it is my privilege and honor to introduce a man whoin my opinion is one of the most outstanding religious leaders and educators of our day.dr. jeremiah wright is pastor emeritus of trinity united church of christ, chicago,illinois. dr. wright is a graduate of howard university washington, dc where he earneda bachelors degree and master's degree in english. he also earned a second master'sdegree from the university of chicago divinity
school. dr. wright holds a doctor of ministrydegree from united theological seminary in dayton ohio. he studied for six years islamin west africa. he studied arabic, hebrew, german, latin, and french. he studied westafrican religions and east african religions. he studied the religions of nigeria and thereligions of zaire. professor wright has received a rockefeller fellowship and several honorarydoctorate degrees including degrees from colgate university, lincoln university of the commonwealthof pennsylvania, ,united theological seminary, chicago theological seminary, and star kingschool of the ministry--for the ministry. dr. wright has been a professor at chicagotheological seminary, garrett-evangelical theological seminary and other educationalinstitutions. professor wright has written
and co-authored several books. dr. wrightwas name one of ebony magazine's top 15 preachers in this country. professor wright has servedon the board of trustees of virginia union university, chicago theological seminary,and city college of chicago. he's also served on the board of directors of evangelical healthsystems, the black theological project, and the center for new horizons and the malcolmx school of nursing, and on boards and committees of other religious and civic organizations.dr. jeremiah wright has been recognized as an outstanding individual whose life exemplifiesthe commitment and vision of service of george washington cover. dr. wright has been andcontinues to be a national leader in promoting theological education and the preparationof seminarians for the african-american church.
so again, my brothers and sisters, my friendsand colleagues, i present to you with great pleasure, dr. jeremiah a. wright, jr. >> dr. jeremiah a. wright, jr.: ok. coupleof things before we get started. first and foremost i wanted to say that the other thingi didn't mentioned earlier was that i was--that this years the goal of this discussion andq&a later in the evening is to among other things celebrate the richness and diversityof what i've called in my classes the black sacred worship tradition. so in the audiencetonight, we've had a number of significant representatives from multiple series of religiousorientations. can the pastors and the audience please stand?
i apologize for the sake of time that i didn'tget a chance to go through each person because we will be here until tomorrow if we can.also we have representatives of muslim community in particular i invited imam abdullah sahibmuhammad [assumed spelling]. is imam muhammad here? there he is, thank you. and also in representation of--now imam muhammadrepresent the muslim-american community. we have one member that i invited from the nationof islam representation--darryl mohammed [assumed spelling], darryl you here? ok. he probablywould be walking in soon. so i wanted this as much as possible and for those that maybehere in representation of other faiths, other traditions, i do want to welcome you. i wantedthis to be a celebration because there is
a richness and a diversity to this black experiencethat speaks to faith in a lot of different ways and a lot of different context. so hopefullyin the course of the evening and the discussion we'll get a chance to tease some of that out.now, i wanted to start tonight by showing a short clip that gives us a little backgroundof not only our guest, but also the church that he built, helped build. i don't wantto say--it was there before him but he--when you go from 87 to 8000 can you use the wordbuilt? i'm just saying, that's fairly significant. now, these two lights here are going to haveto stay on because they're recording. we haven't had a chance to test this. so i don't knowhow it will play against the image on the screen. but we're going to watch a few minutesof this clip just to get a sense of the church
community that our guest comes out of. soif we can get the lights in the back, please. [ music ] >> [background music] in 1972, jeremiah wrightbecame pastor at trinity united church of christ in chicago. he inherited a strugglingcongregation of just 87 members. >> i have a friend who every time you greethim, every time you ask him how you're doing, he answers "just trying to make it man, justtrying to make it." >> but by the mid-1980, when pbs' frontlineshot this film about wright, he'd grown the congregation to several thousands. >> in our homes! help us to be your church!in our private lives, help us to be your church!
in our dealings one with another, help usto be your church. though our minds wander, our souls love only you. let the church sayamen. say amen again. >> trinity church is located in a largelyblack neighborhood on the south side of chicago, a mixture of working class people and thepoor. >> unfortunately, most churches now are "statusquo." and so that--you know, to the extent they're not trying to feed the poor, they'renot trying to hook up jobs and people, they're not concerned about the lowest, the least,the left out. they're not concerned about the youth, they're concerned about "let mecome here on a sunday, hear something that tells me i'm ok, and i'm going to back towhere i've been going. don't rock the boat."
>> how about the fact that we have pledgedto take what we've got as black people and put it back into the black community? that'swhat i want to ask you. >> he challenged his growing congregationnot to lose sight of the needs of their neighbors. >> i want to be a vehicle designer. >> that meant soup kitchens, day care, drugand legal counseling, and mentoring for young people. >> i've watched tv and looked at lawyers inpast years and i've basically like, you know, the feel of being a lawyer. it's like--isreally exciting. >> as a matter of fact, there are a couplelawyers here in the church that maybe we can
just hook you up with. >> well, i'd like to be a doctor. >> you can't be whatcha ain't seen. and somany of our young boys haven't seen nothing but the gangs and the pimps and the brotherson the corner. they've never sat and talked to lawyers. they've never sat and talked toa man, a black man, with 2, 3 degrees! they've never had a chance. they've never had an optionin terms of thinking i could do this? i can be this? they see a doctor when they're sick.they don't get to sit and talk--me go to med school? they don't talk to somebody who writesprograms and analyzes systems and computers. a black guy? i can do this? i can--never havetheir horizons lifted.
>> [simultaneous] the commitment to the blackcommunity. >> three. >> [simultaneous] commitment to the blackfamily. >> four. >> he spoke out about racism from segregationin america's cities to the racist apartheid regime of south africa. >> what the word says about racism comes throughloud and clear! botha is wrong! south africa is wrong! apartheid is wrong! oppression iswrong! anybody who feels white skin is superior to black skin is wrong!
>> around that time a young barack obama cameto chicago and went to work as a community organizer on the south side. as he describesin his book, obama was a religious skeptic at first, and sought out pastor wright forhis knowledge of the neighborhood. but soon obama began attending sunday services, andin 1988 was baptized there as a christian. [ singing ] twenty years later, trinity has built a newbuilding for its burgeoning congregation, now over 6000 members. its ministry has grownas well, including tutoring for kids, women's health programs, and a hiv/aids ministry.trinity has long had strong ties with the african roots of its faith. parishoners areasked to respect what they call "the black
value system," to rededicate themselves togod, the black family and the black community. reinforcing the motto that they are quote"unashamedly black and unapologetically christian." you see the connection to africa in the stainedglass windows wright installed in the new church. they depict many of the biblical storiesthat took place there. >> we wanted our stained-glass windows totell the story of the centrality of africans in the role of christianity from its inceptionup until the present day. we play some interesting games educationally with the kids to helpkids understand--can you name the seven continents? as a kid, you learn that in school. all right,on what continent did everything in the bible from genesis to malachi take place? and they'llgive you an eighth continent, the middle east.
no, no, no, you just named seven continents.so, what continent do these things take place on in your bible? it's that kind of biblicaltruth put in stain glass so kids can understand this is not something somebody made up. thisis not something from black power "oooh." this is actual biblical, historical fact thatyou have a central role in the christian faith that is yours. >> --our focus today is on 127. >> several years ago jeremiah wright and thechurch began the search for his successor, and after 36 years as pastor, he will be retiringat the end of next month. >> but in genesis 2 it says god breathes intothe nostrils of what god had formed from the
dust. god donated some divinity to some dirtand we became living souls. that's god breath you have in you, that's god's breath thatyou just breathed. god is the giver of life. let me tell you what that means. that meanswe have no right to take a life whether as a gang banger living the thug life, or asa president lying about leading a nation into war. we have no right to take a life! whetherthrough the immorality of a slave trade, or the immorality of refusing hiv/aids moneyto countries or agencies who do not tow your political line! we have no right to take alife! turn to your neighbors and say we have no right to take a life! >> i've had a chance to spend some time withinthem today and going to tell you the secret
joy of being a professor is you get meet withyour heroes. so i've--anyway, ok, to get started can you tell us where and when, when you born. >> born in philadelphia-pennsylvania, september22nd, 1941. >> what was it like growing up in philadelphia? >> it was interesting, because i grew up in[inaudible] philadelphia. my parents, mother and father met at virginia union universityin hvcu in richmond, virginia. they were both from the country not from richmond. my motherwas from surry county, virginia, my father was from caroline county, virginia and theymet at virginia union. and of course, she graduate, undergraduate in 30--1938, he graduateat seminary at 38. they got married. they
graduated at may, got marriage in june. hegot called to church in philly and they went to philly. but every holiday, every decemberthey're back home which is back down south. so, i was going up in two worlds, the worldsof philadelphia and the world of caroline country and surry county of virginia. wheni say "county" please understand, we were talking with president castro today at lunch,a lot of young people in this room have ever, don't even know what a slop jar is. my grandparentshad slop jars in the house. there was no indoor plumbing. there was a well for getting water.but you went to the out house and at night you couldn't go to that house because there'sa snake who used the slop jar. so, that's my world between that and the philadelphia.in philadelphia what was really interesting
and different for me was when we move intoa neighborhood, it was 50/50 black, white. by the time i got to high school there was60/40 maybe 70/30 black, white. but my high school, i was just teasing one of the youngbrother in onyx over there waving at me. he's from philly, born and raised in philly. thatat central high school, when i got to central high school in '55 there were 2200 students,2000 of whom were jewish. so, i had all the jewish holidays, yom kippur, rosh hashanah,hanukkah. they would send us 200 gentiles into the [inaudible] i'm going to spend thewhole day because no classes, you couldn't hold classes with 2000 of your students missing.and i got to learn a lot about--up close and personal about jewish culture but the jewishreligion, jewish faith had some close jewish
friends. so there was that reality a blackchurch on sunday, a white--become the white school monday through friday, a mix neighborhoodin philly. but down in the south, it was all black. and going south by the time we werekids was an experience and that my mother--our mother, my sister and i would make lunch ina shoe box. long before serine wrap and reynold's wrap there was wax paper of chicken cut andpotato salad and lemonade in a thermos, why? because once we got south of the mason, dixonmind, everything was segregated and my father refuse to lend us allowance to go into segregatedfacility. and he would tell us that she got to go to the bathroom, let me know beforewe get to dc. once you get to dc, you're going to have to go outside in the woods, becausehe wouldn't stop it at a place that was segregated.
they had segregated. so, i grew up seeingsegregated signs. a lot of our kids never conceive of that unless they saw a movie orsaw "roots" or saw something about "keep your eye on the prize." i grew up seeing segregatedwater fountains, segregated lunch counters, segregated classrooms, and when i got to collegesegregated beaches. and i used to look at the line. there was a line, a big metal linechain going out about 50 yards out into the water. and i was trying to see the differencebetween the white water [laughter] and our water in the chesapeake bay segregated. so,i knew segregation up close and personal and didn't understand it. in philly, i raisedthis question with my dad. i was talking with some of my students this afternoon we engagedeach other about growing up while i was in
school in philly. we had a young men's christianassociation for the coloreds and the young men's christian association for the whites. >> ok. >> and the christian association for the whiteshad the pool in it, swimming pool, and we were allowed to go there one day a week. tuesdaywe could go, the blacks could go to the white while they have the pool, and then they wouldempty the pool and drain the pool because, you know, anybody infecting whatever we haveon us. and i didn't understand if this was a christian organization up north of why thatkind of segregation. and my father and one of his close friend, a white pastor, try toexplain it to me in terms of habits brought
up north to german town, one of the poor philadelphianeighborhoods. it was german town, that's where i was born and raised. so, it was interesting.it was a lot of mixture and a lot of experiences. one very powerful and i try to get and didnot succeed while i was a pastor, and i'll tell you about that in just a second. forone that was instructional, the eye-opening for me, was one of my good buddies took mehome for lunch while we were in the 8th grade. we call it junior high school in philly. theycall it middle school in other places in the country. when we walked in his house for lunchhis mother froze and says, "get that swatcha [phonetic] out of here." i didn't know whata swatch was. stew started crying. "what's wrong man? let's go to your house, let's goto your house." i took to my house and we
had lunch, went back to school in the afternoon.at 3:00 o'clock, 3:15, we've got out of school, he came back to my house, and he stayed there.we're doing homework and laughing and talking. at dinner time, my father said, "don't youhave a house to go to for dinner? won't you going home?" and he started crying again.my father said "what's wrong?" and he told him what happened at lunch. now my fatherspoke german, in fact daddy had an old german script. we have--it looks like an f, therewas two ss. he spoke old german stuff and read it. and when stew told him what happened,he put stew and me in his car, and we drove to stew's house. when we got out and walkin the house, he started speaking to her in yiddish, which blew her mind. and said toher, "be very careful, the names you call
people," because kids, just like the movie"south pacific", have to be taught to hate and they learn from their parents. i'm stilltrying to figure out, "what's swatcha? what--they knew some of the private conversation goingon. of course, later on when i studied in germany, i found what swatcha was. but thepositive thing i learned from the jewish culture that i love and wanted to imitate in the blackchurch you in here in fresno, all of my jewish friends in high school, monday, wednesdayand friday we're given an early dismissal. why? because they had to go to synagogue school.because in synagogue they learn their own history and their own heritage. and i maintainedthe whole time i was president, the black church needed to do the same thing. why arewe sitting around waiting for the public schools
system to start teaching black history, we'resaying all do. we need to have our own schools and our own churches, like the synagogueshad for the jewish. but that's what it looks like. it was a mixedbag, a lot of different experiences in philly and in virginia, both caroline county andsurry county. a private, personal pastoral [inaudible] of pk. i hated christmas wheni was growing up as a kid. i hated christmas. why? because with--first of all, we couldnot open our presents until after sunrise service. when we opened our presents, as soonas we open our present, we get in the car with that lunch packed up by mom and drivedown to virginia so that she could and he could spend christmas with their parents.all my toys are in philly. i'm down here in
the country, oh, they go give you sweaterand socks. i used to hate christmas. i hated christmas. but it was very interesting. iwas sharing with the students and the guys from onyx this afternoon the heavy emphasison education in the house in which my sister and i grew up where we had to read and hadto read and had to read and had to read and learn. everyday you had to learn of somethingnew. and while were [inaudible] i didn't get the chance to tell you kids this afternoonyou're students [inaudible]. at dinner time he has have dinner with everyday, now my motherfinished--listen carefully--she finished undergraduate at 17 had her first master's at 19. >> get it.
>> second master's by 21, she ended up witha doctor from university of pennsylvania, all right. daddy had a best of theology, bestof arts, master of divinity and master of [inaudible]. so here's our dinner [phonetic]with.. all you parents here pick up on this. not--how was school today? if you say howwas school today? the kids kind of easy out fine and no conversation. well first of alli know that at for some of you younger students at fresno state i just used a fine word, conversationat a dinner table. not when you pass through the kitchen, get your plate and go to yourroom with your flat screen and do what--no, we all sat down to eat as a family each nightand each night, they would do this. they would start with my sister, she was 16 months olderthan i. they would start with her and they
will say, not how was school today? what didyou do in english today? what did you do in history today? what did you do in algebratoday? they go subject by subject, by subject, first her because she's older than me. andyou wouldn't be [inaudible] they knew--i mean these are educators, right. one that i neverforget--i shouldn't not tell this, especially because you're taping it for prosperity sake.as i said i got all the jewish holidays. and some days i got tired of the seating in theauditorium all day. so one of the things i mastered very early in life was how to writeyour signature. i'll write my daddy's signature for early for early dismissal, go get my girlfriendrather than seating in the auditorium all day long. in that day that i wrote my dad'ssignature, went on west philly high school,
see my girl. she went to overbrook high school.when i got--they acted like nothing had happen, nothing was wrong. we sat down the regularroutine at dinner time. when they got to me, they started with history and they went totrigonometry, then daddy said in english, i say we're doing shakespeare. oh, i likeshakespeare, what are you do in prose, poetry, plays. i said it plays. he said which plays?"midsummer night's dream". he said, no, that was yesterday. today was the tempest. he wasmy substitute in my english class. [ laughter & inaudible remark ] but to have parents who not only had conversationbut knew what you were studying and knew what you should be learning in those classes. soyou had liberal arts dad and a scientific
mom with a degree, advance masters and doctorate.her first master's in the university of chicago in mathematic. the second one up in educationand the terminal degree from up. they made sure you didn't bs or try to bs about studyingand they keep you on target, on task and it was interesting that's. >> tell us about him? >> that's me. let's say i was born in '51so i was '41, so i was 10 years old, preacher's kid growing up of course in the church, asmall church. it was not a mega church. maybe we had to 200, 250 members and church wasall day long, sunday school at 9:30, 11 o'clock worship service, 3 o'clock afternoon service,5 o'clock bypu, 6:30--7 o'clock evening service
you could not take off your shirt and tieon a sunday, [inaudible] of the devil. we had to stay choked up and shared some [inaudible],could not play ball, could not do anything. now, my grandparents moved in--that was wheni was 10. when i was in the 7th grade, which when we were 12, 13, my grandparents--my parentsmove our grandparents into our home with us from down the country. my grandmother hadearly stages also--today called alzheimer's dementia back then and grandpa could not bekeg. and so, they moved and they did not believe in senior citizen homes. they did not believedin nursing homes. they did not believe in senior assisted living quarter. they movethem in to our house with us and that meant moving an old--and my grandfather, her fatherwho moved into our house with us, he was--i
was sharing with president castro today. hewas phenomenon and that he was 20 years old when he was right off to plantation with noeducation, whatsoever. and at 20, he went and got--the promo from elementary school,finished high school, undergraduate at virginia union and finished seminary in 1902. i havethe diploma hanging on my wall today at the seminary, all right. but he's old school,southern virginia baptist. that meant no doo-wops. i was talking to the asl people they wantto know which doo-wops i was going to do from the stylistic. they've been practicing allweek on "you are everything". but we couldn't have doo-wops in the house. we could not playcards in the house. grandpa didn't play there. as central, you're going straight to hell.so we had to sneak out of the house to play
[inaudible] in philly, because grandpa didn't--soin my house there was no--there was--what normal teenage. in fact, i've often talkedto our teenagers, not only my youngest grandson but the teenagers at the church when i wasa pastor. my mother would rollover in her grave if she could hear what our teenagersheard today. first--the first instance and then what happen to me with my dad and thesecond is with my mother. when i was a paperboy, i was a paperboy, we used to deliver papersto people's house. i know that's something strange too. getting my little bicycle anddelivering papers to the houses. i took my paperboy money and went and bought a 45, 45,young people are records. [ laughter ]
they look like big cds, with a big whole inmiddle of them. i went and bought a 45, "oh, here's one for you. here's one. i got one.""cherry pie" is the name of it. she kept asking me was i going to sing. it's a very simplesong. yeah, i remember this. [ laughter & applause ] the second verse--the second verse was-- when my mother--when my mother heard giveme some, she came into my room took my little 45 up off to turntable and pop, it broke intwo. this is a pastor's house. you don't have that kind of song. i knew what they're talkingabout when you say "give me some."
if she could hear wizzy, if she could hearnicki minaj, oh, my god. if you look at her--my mother would be rolling over in her grave.rick ross, whoop, somebody lied [inaudible]. now, my parents died literally. they died.they never had a cable, never. tv had--here's another little flash for young people. tvsused to go off at midnight, every night. united states flag be waving. that's it. at 6 o'clockwhere have "doo!" they never had cable. in fact, when i started pastoring, i gave mymother--i bought her a vcr so she could watch our services, right. that was the most expensiveclock i've ever purchased for my mom. i'll be talking on the phone she said, "boy, yougot to come fix this thing it's flashing." i said, "did you unplug it?" "yeah, i haveto plug the vacuum cleaner." she never used
it. but they never had--they had abc, cbs,nbc. so, i was the guest lecturer at the international ministers wives and widows association conference.that's 2000 women every year. about 400 husbands come along to play golf and enjoy themselves.and my father was there with my mother. she was an officer and then vice president, internationalministers wives and widows association, i'm the lecturer. so dad said to me, we're goingto eat tonight--it was the third night of that. i say, yes sir, what time? thursdaynight. i said 8 o'clock. ok. i'll meet you in the lobby. ok. quarter to 8, man, there'sa knock on my door. i thought it was turn down. this is thursday night and those ofyou who are little older might picture this in your head was getting ready to happen.i open my door for turn down. it was my father
thursday night, quarter to 8, def comedy jamwas on. i start looking for the remote. [laughter] i'm trying to find the remote to find outand kind of off quick, he had never seen that or heard anything like that. >> oh goodness. >> and the guy who was coming on while i wasscrambling to find the remote. it started all sounding religious and my father smiled.he walked-- he walked over to the television and the mansaid i had to thank praise the lord that i'm alive. i thank, praise the lord--you know,some people got to wait for thanksgiving to give thanks to god. some people got to waitto new year's eve, they go to testify and
they did--it's glad to be--listen i'm gladto be alive today because i know the whole bunch of you woke up this morning dead [inaudible].now, my father staring at the television and i go click. he said they allow this on [inaudible].yes, the federal communications commission allowed it. i said yes sir, yes sir. we getto them and he wouldn't get up off. you ought to see what [inaudible] had on his televisionscreen. i said it wasn't me daddy. that's the name of the show. you know, but that'swhat--when no profanity, no card playing, no smoking, daddy when i say old school, nodrinking, no smoking, no running women, daddy was one of those straight by the bible kindof preachers. and that's how he raised us. >> i can share some with that but i messedaround. my father is a pastor as well and
he came to visit me about four years ago andi turned on kevin hart. i had not felt like a child in a long time until i was sittingin front of my father trying to rationalize that that was on. but tell us does this jeremiahwright dream about being a pastor? >> no, i dreamed about being a professor ofseminary. i grew up in a home with [inaudible] my dad's degrees and my grandfather's bothgraduate of seminary. samuel dewitt proctor who was the pastor well in rhode island phdfrom boston, he was one of dr. king's teachers. he grew up in bank street baptist church innorfolk where my uncle, my mother's brother was the pastor. so, every time they came tophilly, he would come to our home. he was also the president of virginia union, samproctor when he died. before he died said
he was--the only reason he had gray hair onhis head was that he was the only human being alive who could say that he was a presidentof the college where both jeremiah wright went to school and just jessie jackson. heleft virginia union and went to north carolina a&t. but he used to come to our home. so iknew the seminary community, her brother john henderson [assumed spelling] did his masterof divinity at oberlin school of theology. and knowing the seminary community, i knewthe various professions and ministry that they were. not just--you go to the ministryor you can be a preacher, no, i'm going to be a teacher in seminary. that was when iwas heading forth. so that kid, yeah, i knew i wanted to be a teacher because when we hadto read i was in my father study reading his
books and became fascinated with the fieldof theological studies, biblical studies, ethics, history of religions, church historyand i wanted to teach seminary. so yeah, i knew i was headed for one of those disciplinesof the 11 different full-time professors that they are in ministry and that discipline wasto teach and as i ended up when i went to the university of chicago in divinity school,it was for discipline, the history of religions not to be a pastor, all right. and as i mentionedto president castor today, god has got jokes. so i ended up doing--that's what i swore,i never do, i swore i never be a pastor and i swore i never be a pastor because i sawhow they treated my father with all his degrees. >> yes.
>> and i said not me, not the kid. do younot ever worry about me being a pastor, you know. forty three years later, yesterday wouldhave been my 43rd anniversary as pastor of trinity united church of christ. >> wow. wow. i just had to show this one because i justthought this was too cool and so this one. tell us about--yeah. >> well, again going back-- >> in the [inaudible]-- >> going back to--
>> to [inaudible]. >> going back to my senior year, everybodythought i lost my mind, maybe i did. in my senior year of college, everybody kept sayingwhy are you going to seminary, where are you going to preach and you're going--i kept sayingno, that's not what i want to do. and no one will listen to me, no one. senior year incollege, i was president of the senior class. i was president of the college choir at virginiaunion university. i was [inaudible] as president of the fraternity, the chapter there at virginiaunion and i quit school with good grades to go into the marine corps. now, my best friendat the time was stationed at cherry point in north carolina. he had been to lebanonduring the lebanon crisis as a marine. so
i wanted to be a marine. i came in just thebest way to take this vacation that john henderson, the pastor of sam proctor's church said itwas a divine interruption at--interrupting my career track when i went into the marinecorps and they thought me how to be a killer. what's the name, i don't know, roosevelt usedto define marines as underpaid, over sex teenage killers. they taught you how to kill. no,don't ask questions, your job is to follow orders, all right. and it was while i wasin the marine corps--in fact as i explain to the president castor, i applied for a school,cardiopulmonary technology, and most people don't know, you should know as close as youare to the air force or to the navy base here that the marine corps is a part of the navy,it only has a four-star general, a commandant
who was under the admiral of the navy. sowhen i applied for the school as a navy school taught at--national naval medical center,i had to transfer from the marine corps into the navy to get to school and the reason ihad to transfer the school is 52 weeks long. i had two years in the marine corps, 52 weeksmakes three years and they said if you think we're going to let you out with only one yearto go and you got another thing coming. so, i had to extend to make it six years of militaryservice and transferred into the navy and became a cardiopulmonary technician. but thisas marine was all--i mean like that you have one job--like the "american sniper", yourjob is to kill. don't ask questions about who you're killing just follow orders.
>> some of you may have seen this image. canyou tell us what we're looking at here? >> yeah, after when i transferred, were youthere in [inaudible] when thompson [assumed spelling] was there? when i transferred intothe navy, i went--i graduated from cardiopulmonary school and became one of the teachers at cardiopulmonaryschool. your student, gary willis, is one of our students. and while i was at bethesda,president johnson came in for two different times for surgery. now, this was the minoreffect. if you see dr. fox [assumed spelling], you know, the other doctor [inaudible] holdinghis hand, showing that little image. he is showing the president how big the scar isfor the gallbladder surgery. he had gallbladder surgery this time. now gallbladder is nota major surgery, however, where your normal
heartbeat goes lab-dab, lab-dab, lab-dab ifyou have a leach of valve you hear lab-dab-sh, lab-dab-sh, lab-dab-sh. his heart, johnson'sheart did not sound like lab-dab, lab-dab or lab-dab-sh. he sounded like a competitionbetween florida a&m and grambling at half time. he had a series of arrhythmias and allkinds of problems so we had to monitor his surgery--surgeries and we're monitoring thembeing scrubbed in at 3 o'clock in the morning so that he could be out of surgery, fullyawake and talking by 9 a.m. when the stock market open. you don't want the stock marketopening with the president unconscious, he's semi-comatose, you want him having a logicalconversation with the president going to be there. so, we had to be there from 3 o'clockuntil--and the or suite, not in the hospital.
we could not leave the or suite and we willgo from the or suite up to tower--in the tower 17th floor with the presidential suite, inhis presidential suite and we have to put all--we have to keep monitoring him even postoperativelyto check his heart rate and his blood pressure. and that's a picture where you see the african-americantop left hand corner, that's chief jones who was our boss. willis' boss, my boss, that'sthe machine, i'm hooking him up here to that machine so we can monitor his heart rate.we monitor him throughout surgery, but then postoperatively, we had to keep monitoringhim until he was discharged because his heart was just that bad. >> now, for soldiers like yourself in thissituation, how are black soldiers in this
medical arena treated? what experiences didyou have? >> well, in--well, in cardiopulmonary schooland that's the national naval medical center. >> it was the only school of all the militaryunits. the air force sent their personnel there to be taught how to be cardiopulmonarytechnicians. the army sent there personnel there. and the navy, marines don't have corpsmanoutside of the navy corpsman, so they would send their medical personnel there to learncardiopulmonary technology. the racism there was much more subtle. in fact i had to tellgary willis, "just because they don't call you a nigger don't mean they don't think youas one." when you privy to some private conversations and overhearing things, you find out wherepeople's head really are. so it was very--it
was not as--it--and we put it this way, itwas not as rabidly open as it was in the marine corps. in the marine corps, one of the thingsi can't--i can fix it up, i can just--i can't tell you about that grin on my face. firstof all, those--anybody here who's been in the marine corps, has loved ones who's beenin the marine corps, those pictures of graduation from parris island, i went to parris island,now out here you all got hollywood marines, you all go to san diego. but we went to thereal marine corps boot camp, parris island. and i saw these guys. they were standing asfar as from here to about the fifth row back with the brother of my hair color, my color,that's how far you are from the photographer. we stand in that attention, you go one byone. and they put on this uniform. it's not
a real uniform, it has what you call a velcroin the back, one size fits all, one hat fits all. and they--you adjust it, but it's closedback here and what looks like a uniform is closed back there. and every time he comeout from under that hood, these guys are laughing, i said, "i ain't laughing." i've been, firstof all, i was two classes behind at parris island. we have the gym instructor, marchthose guys out into the swamp and killed them. so at parris island, south carolina, yemassee,south carolina, for 16 weeks, i have been called 43 niggers, i counted them. i dareyou to say something nigger. so i'm watching these guys, well i said, "i ain't smiling.i'm a hard marine. i graduated from parris island." so i stood there thinking of allthe different time they have called me nigger.
so when they took my picture i was going tobe a mean marine. i'm just a sex machine. >> you know what? i didn't know interpreterswith that deep into it. this is a lesson for me, boy. >> i had my mean lean marine look on my face.right. i went over there. they put the uniform on me. i thought about the times they talkedabout my mama, the times they talked about my girlfriend. and he comes out from underthis hood, the photographer says, "are you ready?" "yeah." i'm going to clean it up.he said, "punani." and i did that, i've broken to a big brawn grin, he snapped. there's anotherword for punani that he used. and my mother said, "why are you grinning so broadly inthis picture?" i said, "you really don't want
to know." but the overt racism of parris islandor the marine corps was much, much, much, much different in the navy. now, where i wasstationed in the navy as a hospital--at a hospital, '71, right after i got out fromriots [phonetic], onto the uss wilmington showed that the racism in the navy was--usswilmington the navy ship, was just as rampant and guys would get into it physically withweapons. but it was much--it was much more subtle and much more low key. but they--becauseplease remember, what year is that on there? you do remember the civil rights movementis still going on. so when we sit in the squad they--the navy has to have one-third of itspersonnel aboard ship or aboard a land facility like this at all the times. so that meantyou had to stay overnight, depending on what
rank you were ascertain--lower ranks, e1,e2, e3, they have to stay almost every other night. e4, e5, we stayed four nights, fivenights. and when you're off duty together and they show in television scenes of kingand water hoses, and birmingham, and places, montgomery, that guy from the air force andthe guy from the army would sit there laughing, they're talking and say, "look at damn niggers."now, we're off duty. >> yeah. >> so what are you going to say? are you goingto start a fight and get court marshall? no. so it was--the racism was there, yes, butit was not as pronounced as it was either at parris island or camp lejeune in northcarolina.
>> so how did you transition from militaryto this movement that's happening? right, the students you guys have recently i'm surewatched selma, right? do you get a sense of the climate of the times? others of you inthe audience may have been there. how did you--how did that transition in your lifetake place? >> well, before i went into the military,i had been in the sit-ins. so i was a part of the civil rights movement in the sit-ins.i had my painful awakening as to the christians from what today is virginia commonwealth university.it used to be called rpi, richmond polytechnic institute. we had christian groups. they didthings together, from virginia union, our church school, and the other white schoolsin richmond, christian groups. now, to see
the christians in one setting like this, wherewe're all loving the lord jesus christ, and we're reading scriptures together remember,and then to see them at the sit-ins calling me nigger, the same students. >> wow. >> and calling my classmates and draggingwomen by the ankles across the street and their dresses coming up, that taught me alot about christianity also. so the transition was not--it was not--it was before i wentinto the service, i knew about what was going on, and i knew the mood of the south peace,remember i grew up understanding segregation. >> segregated facility. so when we took partin this desegregation of those facilities,
i understood clearly what was going on duringthose hours and during those times. and the black guys who was stationed both in bethesdaand at camp lejeune, they understood clearly what it is. you've raised your hand to protectand defend against all enemies foreign and domestic, a country that dishonors you. itdoes not see you as a human being. they see you as less than human. historically, hascommodified your body as something you can buy and sell. so that was all a part of theethos while i was stationed up to and when i got out of the service in '67 it was stillthe same. >> i've been asked about a hundred times inthe last few weeks about the sound bite, and i'm sure in the course and the discussion,we'll get to that, but the sound bite in regard
to reverend wright. but what--what i findinteresting is how many people do you think know that he had that kind of history in themilitary? right. and if you connect that to the sound bite, most of you, i'm sure allof you know what sound bite i'm talking about, does it give another angle to that? that 30-secondsound bite versus a history, particularly in the military that gives you that wholeanother angle. notice how much is left out of the conversation. but this gentleman here,how do we go from military to that gentleman? >> i was still with gary when it happened.one of the things in terms of my own personal journey soldier is that the discrepanciesbetween the profession of christianity as articulated in the black and white churchand the reality of that same christianity
with white racists and black charlatans andbsers made me leave the church. i left the church. and the only time i go to church iswhen i go home to philadelphia, i ain't stupid. but i didn't go to church. i didn't do church.and 1966, the year before i got out, the summer before i got out, i was sitting on the stepsof a church and i think, i don't know, pbs i think caught some of this and there--andwhen they did a biopic on me, i was sitting on the steps of a church in rockville, maryland,station at bethesda. me and my partners we're sitting at on the steps. solving the problemsof the world, drinking a fifth tailor poured wine. it was a saturday afternoon, the churchwas closed. all right? now we're sitting there me and my two partners drinking wine. thisis the year after malcolm x has been killed.
so we're talking [inaudible], we're talkingabout what role did the nation have in this murder up in new york at the mosque, all right?we're talking about the differences between the nation and sunni islam. we're talkingabout the differences between christianity historically and christianity as made manifestand the racism which justified slavery. we--i mean we're solving problems of the problemsof the world, we're talking about vietnam, we're talking about all these things and thisold dude came up. now this is '66 that mean i was 25. we were 24 going to be 25 that september.this old dude came up and got into the conversation with us. i say, oh leave a 63, i found out.and while talking he tried to interject and be apologetic for christianity and i'd cuthim to shreds, you know. and offer--one of
my partner something to drink almost calledhis name. and he said, "no, no thank you." no thank you? that's more for me. and offeredhim and he didn't want to drink. you [inaudible]. they knew because they were from around there.and this old dude was the pastor of this church which we were sitting on. well, by this time we had this much wine [inaudible].hey, it's all like neck ball, it's going down like full flat tire, you think i'm going toback out now? i'm free, black and 21. we got into it. they left us there. those two guysleft the old dude. rev. dr. houston brooks as it turned out his son was henry brooks,professor of ethics at colgate rochester divinity school. i mean he wasn't no dummy he wasn'tno sloth [phonetic]. and we got into this
long argument discussion and that three anda half four hour market of our talking he said, "i have a question i want to ask you."now i don't want you to answer today. and he got nothing with the wine, the wine beengone. i want you to think about this, you know, i hear you angry with what white racisthave done to christianity, i hear you angry with what the renaissance did with those falsepictures of italian artist and italian models, what they did, i hear you angry with constantinepulling christianity out of africa into europe and making it a state religion, i hear youangry with black preachers pimping folk, i hear you angry about--i don't hear you angrywith the lord jesus. and i got a feeling that you love the church very much and have beenhurt by what the church has become. so here's
my question. where do you think somebody wholoves the church as much as you do can do the most good? on the outside throwing stonesat it or in your case leveling ancient 8 inch howitzer shells at it. on the inside workingto make it become what you thank god having god's mind. think about that. don't answerme today, think about--here's my card and give me a call when you come up with an answer.so i went home thinking about that question. i went home thinking about it. and i got upsunday morning--that was a saturday afternoon. i got up sunday morning getting ready forchurch. my wife say, "where are you going?" i said "to church." now i think she said,"what's the witch's name?" that's--it rhymed. that's what it soundedlike. and i said, "no, no, no, no." let me
[inaudible] in a conversation when it getreal on you. i showed her this card and i said i met this old dude yesterday, he hada good rep. but i want to see what his worship services were like. come on go in. no, no,we don't do church that's your things. so i went critical. i went critical. i went withpen and pad to criticize everything going in that service. and he preached for matthew16 that day. they came into the coast of caesarea and philippi and jesus--we had talked aboutcaesarea and philippi, the day before. what are you doing with a country or a city, pardonme, in north africa named caesar philip because the romans colonize north africa. that wehave talked about that the next--the day before he. they came into the coast of caesarea--yeah,i said, yeah, we talked about that yesterday.
jesus said to his disciples who the man saythat i am. they said "i'm going to give you the good answers today." elijah, jeremiah,one of them prophets that's what they say. and he says, "ok." and he flipped the script,who do you say that i am? and he stopped right there on that point. and said that is theultimate question in terms of a personal relationship in christianity, not who did your mama saidjesus says, not who did your pastor say jesus is. not who did he elijah muhammad say jesusis. not who did muhammad say jesus is. who do you say he is a person? and i think convictingme and i went--i hangout after church to talk to him and ended being ordained by him andassistant pastor. he took me from drinking wine on the steps of the church to servingwine in communion inside the church.
>> so that's how you end up. tell us what is black liberation theologyand where does this come in, in your experience. >> well, as i was explaining two or threetimes today starting at breakfast this morning with the ministers from fresno. and i didn'tsay this and i should have. all theology is contextual. because that's number one, yougot to remember that. because a lot of folks who are outside of the black church traditiontrying to make it sound like something is wrong with black theology. your theology iscontextual and it's done from the context of your sitz im leben, your place in life.german theology, and by the way dietrich bonhoeffer got his theology from abyssinian baptist churchin harlem. he was a member there. it took
that back and went up against hitler kindof put to death but he saw what abyssinian was doing for the least, the poor, homeless.and he took that theology is contextual. now, black theology and black liberation theologywith the name black liberation theology became a systematic academic discipline in 1968 whencone came out with his books "black power and black theology", "theology of black liberation""god of the oppressed". his early books, he's written 14 now. and you must pick up a copyof "the cross and the lynching tree", one of his last books. but that's when it becamean academic discipline with that name. black liberation theology i was explaining to thestudents this afternoon, again the name--the names attached to it because it is similarfrom the ground up contextually not from academic
chairs down from south america with liberationtheology. the south american latino liberation theologians writing in that same period fromthe ground up contextually. what do the people on the ground believed? what they're experiencing?not formal doctrines of the church but what are they are saying. how do they see god atwork in a place? i did not mention [inaudible] place, the same thing operative in the cairo'sdocument which was produced in soweto during the apartheid regime, theology from the folkunderneath the heel of africana races dutch reformed church theology responding to thattheology. well, separate and distinct from not against, not contra, not diametricallyopposed to, that academic discipline believed theology from the bottoms up, from the grassrootsup has to do with africans understanding of
god. black. wanting them and creating themto be free long before cone wrote anything. and as i try to show today in couple of places,the conversations going on today on campus. when the first african said or sang beforei'd be a slave i'd be buried in my grave and go home to my god and be free. that's blackliberation theology. i'm no, no, no. i'm not buying into your definition of me. i'm notgoing to let you define me. i'm not going to be a slave. i'm not going to be property.i'm not going to be a piece. i'm not going to be commodify. i'm free. all god's childrengot shoes. and when i get to him i'm going to put on my shoes and walk all over god.i can't walk over any cliffs down here because i'm black but i'm going to walk all the waybecause everybody is talking about heaven.
mr. whiteman ain't going there. that's blackliberation theology and it has been existence since europeans tried to dehumanize, demonize,commodify black bodies. in the [inaudible] called the european slave trade he said iwish you all stop saying in your discipline transatlantic slave trade. you're blamingthe atlantic on slavery, the ocean didn't had nothing to do with the european slavetrade. but ever since, ever since africans reacted negatively to that dehumanizationof white christianity is how old black liberation theology is and has been. and jim and i talked,we're good friends. somebody ask me was he a student of mine. jim and i just are sameage. he may be two years older maybe 75, 74. we don't disagree we just--his is an academicdiscipline taught in the seminaries, all right.
what i'm talking about is the religion ofthe folk. >> the same ones who produced the corpus ofour oral literature we know as the spirituals and the folk service. what is the folk theology?what do the people believe in? >> well, in that respect it would seem thatthe rubber hit the surface as you were working in chicago applying this, dealing with a community,that whole transition of studying it and then dealing with your church, you becoming a pastorin chicago. can you talk about that kind of engagement from the concept to the applicationat trinity? >> yeah. the first thing i need to say abouttrinity publically, especially since it's going for prosperity, i've said it acrossthe years talking to younger pastors. our
church--well, for many people because somebodyasked me today, "where is the united church of christ out here?" out church, the unitedchurch of christ is made up of four different denominations, a congregational church ofnew england which had a long sterling history in terms of its involvement with africans.the congregational church of new england paid for the defense of the mende people aboardthe amistad. paid john quincy adams, all the way up to the supreme court. the congregationalchurch had active conductors on the underground railroad and many of its church buildingswere used as stations on the underground railroad. the congregational church have passed--whatdo you call those things? at the annual meeting or biannual meetings resolutions against antislaveryresolutions going back to the 1600s, all right.
immediately following the civil war, the congregationalchurch sends hundreds literally thousands of missionaries into the south to set up schoolsfor the freedmen, they were called back then, all right. our denomination, the congregationalchurch set up 500 schools in the south. eight of which still exist today. you know themby the names of fisk university, tougaloo, talladega, lemoyne-owen, houston-tillotson,clark-atlanta, it used to be atlanta university when dubois taught there, it was a congregationalchurch, and howard university. the general--for the freedmen's army, general oliver o. howardis named--that's what howard university in the congregational--in the sanctuary of firstcongregational church is where the seminary started at howard university. ok. the congregationalchurch and the christian church both are autonomous.
we're autonomous. the christian church isin the south. the congregational church was in new england. those two merged in 1931 andbecame the congregational-christian church. the other two denominations in our denominationswere the evangelical and reformed, virtually no blacks in those denominations. they weregerman and dutch. some of them are older than the country. they came across the atlanticas a congregation. the evangelical church had a strong tract record in terms of notstarting any black congregations but in terms of health care and settlement houses duringthe great migration. they merged in 1934 so now you got congregation of christian, evangelicaland reformed. in '57, they merged to become united church of christ, '57. back '57, integrationreally assimilation was big in all of the
predominantly white denominations who hopedfor an integrated community. and in '59 they began talking to the assistant pastor of thecongregational church of park manor because blacks were moving south into the far southcorridor of chicago. and when they started moving south, listen carefully, the denominationsaid, "we need a church for the home owners moving into this community." now jesus cantalk all that who so, well, he want but we don't want who so [inaudible] with. we wanthome owning negros who knew how to worship properly because the church was right nextto the project. we don't want people in the--they didn't try to start no church there. thatproject's been there since world war ii, we don't want them. we want home owning negroswho knew how to worship properly and not only
that they can speak the king's english properlybut they'll be shouting and falling down and waving their hands and howling [inaudible].we have new english worship. that's how the church was started. and the founding pastor,we got letters where he wrote to the denominations saying, "we're still having trouble attractingour kind of people." when they built their first sanctuary, they would not put on thesigns [inaudible] '61, 1961 is when trinity was founded. that's four years after the unitedchurch of christ, right. they wouldn't put united church of christ on the sign becausethey didn't want black folk in the black community think this was a church of god and christor church of christ. so they put trinity united church (congregational) to show you what kindof worship we have. we have congregational
worship. >> so '61 to '65, we had this nice littlenegro church on the far south side of chicago called trinity united church. the charterreads trinity united church of christ but we wouldn't say that out loud because we don'twant the wrong kind of people coming in to worship. our pastor left us in '66, our foundingpastor. our second pastor walked into a buzzsaw. he walked into the same thing that lyndonbaines johnson walked into and ralph david abernathy walked into. after kennedy's, "it'snot what you can do for your county as [inaudible]. anybody want to hear lyndon baines johnson[inaudible]. what's wrong with--now, johnson was the much more seasoned politician buthe would in kennedy, he didn't have the camelot
aura. our second pastor, same thing, he wouldour founding pastor. dr. king behind, "oh i have a dream." ralph david abernathy hada phd before king finished college. they didn't want--well, [inaudible] become. they didn'twant him. why? he wasn't king that's why. and our second pastor wasn't our foundingpastor. he came in '67. guess what happened in '68. we had a photojournalist--news journalistwho used to say, "it's enough to make a negro turned black." in 1968, negros turned blackby then. [inaudible], say it loud. >> carlos and tommie at the olympics. andthe neighborhood turned black. people would [inaudible] natural out here, andrew davis,fred hampton. please remember '69, they murdered fred hampton and clark. murdered, the policemurdered blacks. we got super black, black,
black. and there's at this nice little negrochurch in the community that had turned black on them and the church started dying. we wentfrom 400 members down to 87. why? '68, how don't know if you're old enough to rememberthis, but '68 was also the year that gospel music hit the black college campuses. priorto '68, there was no gospel music allowed on a black college campus because the missionarieshad told us that's not sacred music. we sang european anthems and negroes spirituals. wesang no black gospel, richard smallwood, howard university gospel choir all those choirs in'68 and they would not allow gospel music at trinity. that's beneath us. gospel musicthat's for those pentecostal, you sanctify people. and the church got down to 87 members.here's what's important. the church decided
to change before they call anybody to be theirpastor. the church looked at--are we going to be a black church in a black communitybecause at that point, they had nothing related to the community at all. no programs related.we sit next to the project. >> nothing for the project, nothing for readingtutorial, lowest reading scores in the city. it was just us. my mother used to call theology--dearlord, bless me and my wife, my brother, john and his wife, us for no more. amen. and the church said, "are we going to continueto be a white church in black face?" because that's what we are. we had--we got out whitepeople doctor. you had 60 minutes worth of worships. you got 68 minutes of communionon sunday. you got--we'll give you eight more
minutes. are we going to continue doing this,are we going to be a black church? and they decided to be a black church before they calledme. in fact, the slogan, my predecessor coined that slogan, "we are unashamingly black andunapologetically christian." now, can you lead us in this direction? they ask everybodywho candidated for the church, can you lead us in this new direction? i said me? be likethrowing a rabbit in the bright pants. come on let's take [inaudible]. so that they haddecided to change. so that you quiet because now we have '72. we have '72, 1972, blackswere leaving the church. we have conservative reactionary, recalcitrant, conservative uncletom's in the city of chicago who preach sermons against the natural, all that african menshirt you're all wearing, dashikis and young
people were leaving the church, some joiningthe nation, some joining black hebrew, israelite-- >> --which is headquartered in chicago. othersjoining that big christian church that you all knew is operation bread basket, operation[inaudible] because they had worship all saturday. >> mm-hmm. >> and the members who called me to be theirpastor, i said, we need--we're losing all our young people, why, nobody want to be apart of that. in fact, when you teach a new member of the class, he'll say, nobody--haveyou ever howled to you, don't tell us because you'll be on tape but at your age, have youever--just picked up the phone and invited one of your friends to go to a funeral withyou? that's what our church services would
look like. come on, i want you to go to thefuneral. so they wanted a change in worship. they wanted a change in mission. and theyhad to change mentality, why? because a lot of churches that are upper income, upper income.and let say upper middle class karl marx and not have you in mind when he came over [inaudible].they have an attitude of doing a mission work with the poor people over here. we'll havea [inaudible] case then a close [inaudible]. we got a mission for you. how about a ministrywith the people in the project? how about if they make the people in the project ourmembers? >> but the conversation changes. >> you can't be talking about them people,when them people are sitting at the table
with you. that kind of change the mentality,is what happened in the early '70s, they were ready for that kind of change and they said,can you lead us in that direction and that's what brought about a shift in evolution andi've said that across the years because a lot of young pastors, man, they go in thesechurches thinking they're going to change. if they're not ready to change, you're talkingabout the buzz-off [phonetic]. you're wasting your time in there then they will quicklyget rid of you. so, they had made a decision to change and that decision was to be a blackchurch in the black community with programs and ministries that address the reality ofthe blacks in that community. welcome to the reality, let's sit down to find out. not onlythe reading scores, child care back in '72,
'73, '74; $50 a week. you got poor fixed income.they can't afford that. so title 20 programming addresses that because you're sliding scales,some parents pay no money. others had to pay depending on the size of the family and income.programs like the programs from mentoring. you heard the segment to bill moyers, oneof our members george pension [assumed spelling] said black boys can't be what they can't see.if a black boy has never seen a black judge or a black lawyer except going to court, howcould he aspire to become a new [inaudible] how can you aspire to be what you've neverseen? i didn't even know it was possible. i can actually write programs, having thosekind of ministries that address the needs of the community as what the church said itwanted to do and that's what we did, beginning
in '72 when they've changed and made a decisionto change before calling me to service as pastor. >> wow. what are you--i know i'm skippingbut what are you seeing today after having had that experience in the 1970s. how wouldyou juxtapose that with what you've seen today? >> what i'm seeing today in churches many,many african-american churches around the country is number one where i grew up in thechurch and you grew up in the church and people in their 40s, 50s let's say 50s and abovegrew up in the church, the young people today particularly the millennials did not growup in the church. so, where you have a breakfast this morning, i'd lift it [inaudible] go soundlike a foreign language to many person because
of the multicultural reality of fresno state,[inaudible] and dr. watts [assumed spelling]. there's a genre of music called meter singing.common meter-long, meter-short reader. it's a part of the african-american tradition religiontradition has been a part since the 1800s. when the 1800s and blacks couldn't read, itwas against the law to teach in africa how to read. so they took the words of hymnodist,many of whom were european and put them to african tunes. and the call and response tothe african way of singing, they would call out the line and the congregates would answerthe line. so that where we grew up knowing [inaudible], you can go and i know in thelibrary, well maybe not at fresno state library but moad in san francisco, the museum of africandiaspora, you can go to the library in that
museum and see a meter hymn book. meter hymnbooks have no notations. they just have the verses that it says cm common metre, lm, longmetre, sm, short metre and the one leading the song knows how to line it out so thatthe congregation can answer the--you try lining out today where young people, they look atyou and they wonder what is that, what that do? >> anybody have time for that? they don'tknow what you're talking about. so that that has changed that young people weren't raisedin the church. yesterday, i was preaching in washington, dc and the organist doing communionservice thought of playing those old hymns of the church that hymn, her mother sing,her father sing around the house softly and
tenderly is jesus is calling, calling foryou and for me. and the one who started, the one that i'm hearing sounds in their mother.this kid's mother they heard nicki minaj. they heard wheezy so then when you start talkingabout the differences in generation, they did--were not raised in the church. i'm notgoing to get real because you get nervous every time i get real. >> oh. >> but-- >> no. >> they have a whole different vocabulary.
>> take it there. >> they have a whole different vocabularyand what i find different is that the church today has to relate to them where they are,you know, you can't correct if you can't connect. if you haven't connected with them, don'teven try to correct them. they have not been taught code-switching. they haven't been taughtfor instance, you felt like a child in front of your daddy watching kevin hart. all ofus might--we loved what your prayer. >> but you didn't do that in front of yourmom and dad. these kids have not been taught. you don't do that and they don't understandboundaries. they don't understand. they don't think they're transgressing any boundaries.riggins--somebody mentioned riggins is here
but there was a riggins earl who teaches ethicsat the interdenominational theological center at atlanta. a classic illustration rigginsearl gave us when i quoted him martin marty, my church history professor says yeah "youbetter stop quoting people because every time you quote people, you get in trouble." butriggins earl, i quoted him at the black church confronting the 21st century conference heldin vanderbilt trinity school, 1999, 2000, we're going into the 21st century. and i quotedriggins earl as an example of what the church needed to be aware of about this current generation.and we all quote at him to serve this present age. all right. what is this present age like?i quoted riggins earl was saying how the young people in this current age do not know thedifference between appropriate language and
inappropriate language. and to illustratehis point, he is a professor of ethics at itc interdenominational theological center.for his ministry of his church, he volunteers to teach a gd--ged course, three times a yearin twelve weeks, three courses, 36 weeks of the year. he goes into the project and teachesged trying to get all his kids release a high school diploma. and he said after six, fiveto six weeks, you get to know the kids each class. you know the names, and all that. andhe said, he was writing up on a chalkboard, getting ready for class to start one evening.he said i'm a seminary professor i'm not gq. clean, i got it all and then he said i hadone i think a purple shirt, i had on blue corduroy trousers and some green socks. andwhen i lift my hand to write on the chalkboard,
you could see my green socks. bobby and johnnycame and sat down right behind me on the front row where they always sit and bobby said tojohnny "maybe that motherfucker's in green socks." and he turned around, he said "holdon young man. there's a young lady sitting right behind you. apologize to her. we donot use language like that in front of a young lady." he said, "i didn't use no language."he said, "you cursed in front of that young woman. apologize to her." he said "prof, ididn't curse." he said, "don't make me put you out of class man, apologize to her." heturned to us and he said, "will you tell this motherfucker i didn't curse?" because that ain't cursing to do. or you starthaving, talking about bringing them into church,
you know, he'd better get ready. because alsopeople get ready because the change are coming. that today's young people are very differentfrom the young people we knew. i don't see nothing wrong with that. and when they'llbe shaking your hand after church, they don't say "dr. johnson, that was a powerful wordtoday." no [inaudible]. they say something else. i've heard them say it. so, the differenceis we're losing a lot of millennials who think the church is full of stuff. they think thechurch is full of crap. but again, preachers of la, preachers of detroit, ain't by talkingabout getting rich, bling-bling. and they didn't want them. many millennials want nothingto do with the church. i argue with my--our baby daughter and our granddaughter same--they'rethe same age all the time, because they--where
they're at is what's the point? >> and did the young generation nearly reflectthe loss that's happening in some of the cleargy you're identifying. is that a-- >> is that a reciprocal relationship or isit just the young people that is a problem? >> so, what's the second part of your question? >> so is it reciprocal? i mean, you're seeinga loss of value. so what's in the discriminate--clergy you're talking about and the young peopleat the same time, if there's a synergistic relationship whereas [inaudible] or the other. >> i have a different response to that. andi'll explain what i mean momentarily with
the young people. their theology, contextual,they get from hip-hop. i mean, corporate hip-hop. i'm talking about most definitely you've seen[inaudible] krs-one. who you're bringing next week, kumodi [phonetic]? they get their theologyfrom salt and pepper. they get their theology from hip-hop where we got it from sunday school,bypu and something like that. they're getting the theology from a very different place.and went to church, they're saying is not speaking to their reality at all. and whenthey're speaking, it does not put it as i--i was stating earlier today, in any form thatthey can recognize or connect with. the preacher thing, i don't see this synergistic becausei--my--being my age, what i have seen in seven decades, the church today when it comes tothose shock and [inaudible] preachers, is
the same today as it was when i was a kid.the difference is the media, ok? so, one no television and one day, one no televisionwhen i was growing up, there were no black churches on television. but the media putsthe attention. in fact, the media always tries to name for us who are [inaudible] some heroshould be. >> right, right. >> so when they lift up tvs [inaudible], theylift up [inaudible] dollar. they lift a bill once to-- >> they're ignoring first of all, every churchof every race. and this country has an average of 10 [inaudible] 200. not megachurches. butthe media didn't pay them any attention and
all those faithful women of the gospel whoare pastoring 52 weeks a year, all those faithful men of the gospel who are pastoring 52 weeksof the year who are burying, who go into jail and getting mama's kid out. they don't talkabout them. there is no media spotlight over them because there's not glory. is that then,if he bleeds at least-- >> right. >> --it's not important to them. so, we don'tsee them but i saw him growing up. i saw how they ignored, you know, you get somebody makinga fool of themselves by saying something crazy. that would put them on the spotlight. butthe church that i saw growing up and the church that i see today are the same in terms ofyou have some very serious pastors who are
very serious about what they're doing. andthey take their calling serious, they take the ministry serious. and you got some otherfolk who see how the quick bling-bling, how to get some money. make it rain, make it rain. >> talking about. talking about media andyou talked about the change from then to now. what have you noticed especially in termsof what you've experienced with media? how can i put this? what do you think about therole of media in the church? and i'm also taking into account what--how media can beused, right? because you can also talk about broadcasting, a sermon across the world overthe internet and things to that nature. media in and of itself, how do you see the relationshipbetween church and media and what can be done?
and how do you see the problems that comeabout, having experienced what you experienced? >> i'm talking about what can be done ratherthan promised. that no one talk about the promises. i don't want to speak in tongues.every time i speak in tongues, you get mad, upset, nervous about your job in 10 yearssomething like that >> no. the-- >> the, well, just a quick word about theproblems and the egregious nature of faux pas news. oh excuse me, it's f-a-u-x news,f-o-x then fox, that's right. anybody trying to get rid of o'reilly forhis lies, all right? but who take fox news and what they did to my family, not me. whatthey did to my family, it's just egregious.
that's why i don't want to talk about thembecause if i mess with you, you have a nine-year old son. if i mess with your son, you ain'tgoing to be too happy to talk to me about not knowing you. well i mess with family tofox. the newscasters and the misreporting and the--see what most people didn't knowwas president castro was shocked and the dean of the school of social sciences was shocked.i was not at trinity church when the media started this mess. i was retired. i have beengone and they came. the fox news and msnbc, cbs, and abc came to the church and each ofthem spent $4000 buying 20 years worth of tapes to see what obama had been listeningto over 20 years. and then they took one sermon from 2001 on sunday after 9-11-01 and oncein 2005 and took, snatches of it--out of context
to try to scare voters away from the black.they didn't want a black man in the white house. that's just egregious. they didn'tplay the whole sermon. they don't want to play the whole sermon. because if they playthe whole sermon, the whole argument is lost. that kind of vicious attack where you loopit over and over and over again. right now, you got jackasses out here in fresno. jackasses.i'm calling you jackasses. whoever was in the call to school talking about "why areyou having him here?" you know no nothing about me. you know no nothing about me. allyou know is what the media say, that's all you know. now, if you're going to take that issue withmy name-calling, just remember jesus called
the pharisee's sons of asps. he say "you brutalvipers." he say, "your mama was an asp." i'm quoting jesus. so, we try to get off the negativeside. the positive side, i think that social media, especially is very important and canbe used by the church just as it was used in ferguson. social media and young peopleare showing us what's really going on and not what the media is saying are going on. >> and social media is unlimited in termsof its positive effects and can be used by the church. i was sharing--when was that lastnight? when was that last night. sunday. sunday. i was in washington dc and i was sharing withthe pastor there in washington something i'd never seen before. i was at the church andwho was that asking me about the bay area.
i was in harold mayberry's church in the bayarea. first half of the [inaudible]. they have a number that--a tweet number that theyput up on the screen like the screen and it say, 11:15 in their service, they tell youto dial whoever you want to have a prayer. and everybody gets their cellphones out andthey have prayer while you on the cellphone, tweeted all over the world, you're seeingmessages coming in from troops in afghanistan and troops in iraq. >> thankful for the prayer. that's-- >> and i was like, "man, i've never seen thisbefore." and so the evangelist come to the altar and bow and pray and go back to hisseat. who you want prayer for? where are they?
call them right now. call them right now andfor five minutes in the service, the song--playing and prayerful that whomever you want on theprayerline at that hour, instances like that make the sky the limit in the terms of thepositive things and positive effects that can be used by the church in terms of socialmedia. >> let's give reverend wright a round of applauseplease. >> one of the difficulties with getting achance to sit on the stage with the hero of yours is when you have to manage the evening.i will still--had 100 other questions and there was a lot more that i wanted to hearbut for the sake of time, we're going to transition at this point and allow for some q&a. so ifyou're interested in asking a question, please
come up here where professor night [assumedspelling] is. we're only--let's see. we're going to do about--we only have about 20 minutesor so to do. so please be concise in your questions and i do hope you have a questionmore so than a lecture of your own. ok. so you all know how we do. all right. we have--ok. >> good evening, dr. wright. i really enjoyedthis session. i hope that i can be with you afterwards and we can extend this conversation.but i really believe i learned a lot. my question is to the slogan of the church, where it says,"unashamedly black and unapologetically christian." considering how christianity has been usedto dehumanize people in reference to the natives, aztecs, asians so many different people. iunderstand that you know, jesus didn't cause
those actions but he--in a sense it was allowed.you know, he saw it and--you know, went on with it. >> he saw it? >> doesn't there have to be--i'm sorry, goahead. >> who saw it? you said jesus-- >> jesus. jesus, yes. >> jesus saw it and allowed it to go on? >> well, i said--i'm saying he didn't causethese things to happen, he didn't--you know, say, "do this." but there has to be a levelof--because he is omnipotent as many christians
would argue. there has to be a level of allowancethat he--he saw what was going on and he allowed it. so keeping that in mind when we're witnessingas christians, don't we have to have a sense of sorrow or a sense of apology about ourhistory as christians? the one we're witnessing to those groups that in the past times weresubject to the doctrine? >> thank you for your question. there's adifference between christianity and christendom. >> and christendom is what's caused when itbecame a religion of the state as what caused what you're talking about, not christianity.christianity have nothing to do with precepts. it has to do with a person. did jesus allowkatrina? did jesus allow hiroshima? nagasaki? those are human actions and nature. s to putthat on jesus is to move into discussions
that have nothing to do with what christianityis. go back to mark--matthew 16, who do you say he is? not who do the client say he is.not who do the lynch party say he is but who do you say that he is. now, in terms of whatchristianity did is the same and again where i would have--where i would--well, disagreewithout being disagreeable and i'll be mad at you. i don't hate, just a statement. idon't see our job as being as witnessing to the aztecs or witnessing to the greek or theseminal, that is not what jesus intended either. when you say witness, what do you mean? iwant to change what you believe or do i want you to be fully human as god created you?and what we do, well we witness. we try to make somebody christian?
>> yes, sir. >> and that's wrong. >> because i'm saying to you there's somethingwrong with your--i want to witness --your mom left? i want to witness to him. i wanthim to live his faith to the fullest while i live my faith to the fullest. i don't wanthim to convert because that's one step--our witnessing is one step away from isis andisil. >> the crusades and the jihadists. if youdon't believe like i believe, i'm going to kill you. and that has nothing to do withwhat jesus taught, and what jesus did with his life.
>> thank you. [ clapping ] >> reverend wright, thank you for being here.your presentation is beautiful but i had a question i wanted you to address about thepre-christian, pre-islamic, pre-western concept of religion and spirituality. i'd like tohave you say something about how a thousand--5000 year old history as an african people andsome of the concepts from our system of spirituality. it's--i know you got lots of background init as i heard you talk. >> well-- >> can you show us some thing that we don'tknow about our rich 5000 year old history
as african people before christianity andslavery and all that mess. thank you. >> l.h. whelchel, w-h-e-l-c-h-e-l. in hisbook "the history and heritage of african american churches: a way out of no way", he'sthe same guy that said, "stop calling the transatlantic." has a powerful book in thatvolume and that he shows how christianity started in kemet. and that from kemet, youget judaism which grew out of kemet. a lot of christians freak out when they find outthat moses' 10 commandments are found in the book of [inaudible] and the coffin texts.but it came out of there. well, the bible said they lived in egypt for 400 years, whatdo you think? and out of that comes christianity. and the first four centuries of christianitywere all african writers, all african theologians,
athanasius, tertullian, augustine, all ofthem were african. constantine took christianity out of africa into europe and made it a statereligion. the nicene creed--the council of nicaea was not called by the bishops of thechurch. it was called by the state. and they made it a state religion that [inaudible]argues. from that point on, it had nothing--when you take it away from its foundation whichis african religion, so when you take it away from its founder who was the african, it ain'thad nothing to do with christianity ever since. it had nothing to do with jesus. it had somethingto do with the state and the state is what signs asientos that permit the enslaving ofthe mayan people and the olmec civilization and the taino and the tunica and the greekand the seminole and everybody else. the state
religion, it had nothing to do with jesus.but yeah, what moyers quickly talked about, stained glass windows in our church. we wantour kids for generations to come to see the stained glass. it starts in kemet and that'sthe first stained glass window that they see. that's where it starts. and then it comesall the way around to the 20th century. >> so happy to have the [inaudible] program. and you hear tonight, i do hope that the tapeof this will be played in both african studies, us history and religion classes. it's veryeducational. one of the things i happen to be--have been raised on paul robeson. i don'tknow how many people in this room-- >> do you even know him?
>> --actually know who paul robeson was. >> do you know who he is? >> and i was wondering if you might sharea few words about who paul robeson was, a man way ahead of his time. >> he was one of the great heroes of african-americanhistory. he was put on the blacklist by the mccarthy era. he was--his passport was revoked.he was considered a communist. he was--my god, a renaissance man. he was an athlete.he was a straight a student. he was a rhode scholar. >> [inaudible] all american from rutgers,international singing and actor.
>> and we're busy watching the scandal anyway.you know, he was one of our tremendous heroes and he's not taught in most schools becausethere's almost no teaching about him or even mention of his name. hs wife--i was tryingto remember the book. >> it's mellinda. mellinda? or eslanda? >> there's a book out--shawn bergen has beenadvertising about his--the real esmeranda--is it esmeranda? >> esmeral-- >> there's a book out about his wife and she--inthe book, she tell us parts of his life and story that have gotten lost in the historybecause of the media debunking him and trashing
him and making him a persona non grata. butyou have to--paul robeson needs to be taught and studied and learned by this country, personsof every race. >> thank you for coming to fresno state. myquestion has to relate to professor--i mean to president obama. president obama was inyour church for almost 20 years and technically by the rule of the media, well i'm wonderingif you might explain a little bit why is it that the same people who are accusing, arespending 20 years in your church, they are the same people who believe he's a muslim.so how do you reconcile that too? >> a combination of ignorance and arrogance. >> straight [inaudible].
>> anything to debunk him if there's anythingyou hate worse than an african-centered christian man is a muslim. so make him a muslim andthat'll scare people away from him. just like you saw american sniper. classic line in thatmovie, you didn't see it but most americans saw it. when their planes went into the towers,"look at what they're doing to us, let's go fight in iraq." iraq had nothing to do withthem planes, nothing to do with 9/11/01. but the muslim, the tower [inaudible] and militarypeople will tell you, they call them sand niggers. so there's that smudging argumenton [inaudible] weekend getting because he left the church, well, he can't leave me inthe muslim. he was a muslim, his daddy is from kenya. he's a muslim. his sister is amuslim over there in southeast asia. so you
say muslim and what's interesting, once youput that label on him, ask the average christian, "ok. what do muslims believe? what is thedifference between sunni, shia, and sufi?" and you will go get a blank stare, "all weknow they're muslim, we don't like them." a terrorist. excuse me? did they bomb, theunabomber that was here, was he a muslim? was columbine high school something carriedout by muslims? they're terrorists, they are terrorists. ok. are you from africa? how manypersons were killed in 9/11/01 by the terrorists? do you remember? both--both in world tradecenter and the pentagon. >> three thousand. >> three thousand. how many civilians, noncombatants,that we killed in hiroshima and nagasaki?
hundred and seventy-five thousand. but they'rethe terrorists. now, i'm going to ask another question in different settings. weren't wefighting hitler in world war ii? you do remember hitler and the jews, ovens and six million.why didn't we bomb hitler? because he was yellow. people of color are expendable. soonce you [inaudible] somebody with a label like that, what if he not a black nationalistchristian, anti-american self-hating, then he's a muslim. and we know the muslims don'tlike us. that's why the same people make that cognitive dissonance kind of pronouncementon the president. >> thanks for coming. i hope you come back. >> thank you, man.
>> enjoyed you tremendously. i've had theopportunity at [inaudible] to hear, but both of the [inaudible], my teacher, roswell jackson,forced us to repeatedly listen to mordecai wyatt johnson and running through all of the--thoseministers was a common theme in some of what they were speaking about and what he was tryingto get through to us, which was--which i don't hear much being discussed today in generalin our community and in the church as well, which is a--and this isn't related to theyounger generation. i'm talking about the older generation, which is being ashamed ofnot being engaged and not taking part in the community. >> they--because today we don't see ourselvesas a part of the community, as a part of what
so called integration or desegregation broughtabout was us moving away from the community into enclaves and xrbia or condos where wehave nothing to do with the community. calvin butts, abyssinian in the heart of harlem isone thing, but we don't--our church is out in the suburbs, mega churches. we have nothingto do with the inner city because we moved up and out. in fact, i think there's a tvprogram that says we are moving on up. they moved away from that element. so don't--thata lot of churches don't talk about because there is no investment or involvement or concernabout those who live in [inaudible] poverty. in fact, you can go back to king, go backto king from morehouse, mordecai wyatt johnson. what was he starting when he died? the resurrectioncity and the poor people's campaign, right,
that got killed. so no--now, you're not talkingabout the poor, you're talking about how to get rich, bling, bling. [ inaudible remark ] >> thank you very much for coming to fresno.i was at your retirement party in chicago. >> and my friend shelvin hoath [assumed spelling]says to give you her greeting by the way. >> yeah and sheldon hoath. >> my question is about something you mayhave covered before i was able to arrive. i heard your tape of a talk about the blackresponse to the gay community and in there you mention mary borhees [assumed spelling]i've been trying to kind of follow up on some
of the things that you talked about and findsome of those references. i wonder if you could tell us a little bit more about thatwork and also the theological basis for some of the things you were mentioning in yourdiscussion. >> i don't remember-- >> ok. this was a--let's see. this was a talkthat you gave about you started out with--by talking about having a lunch or breakfast,i can't remember, having a meal in a public restaurant with another minister and how uncomfortablehe became when the subject was broached--how there was sort of an e.f. hutton moment whenthe two of you were-- >> got into--he turned over the water, heturned over the tea on the table, he got very
animatedly agitated in what i was saying andi don't remember--i was trying to remember the name mary-- >> mary vorhees, you talk about my son eric-- >> oh, borhek. >> i couldn't catch it on the tape. >> yeah. b-o-r-h-e-k. one of the--and youwant me to say some more about that? >> yes, if you would. >> the 1975 is the year that i had all ofthe mental furniture in my head rearranged in our denominational's national biannualmeeting, the general synod of the united church
of christ meeting in minneapolis, minnesota.dr. charles cobb who was ben chavis's boss, sent a note around asking for all black delegatesat the general synod to come to his room at lunch when we broke for lunch. now, the generalsynod, 700 delegates about 30 black. so, we all made our way to charles cobb's room. iwas the last one to get there. and when i got there, he started signifying, "oh dr.wright is here, we can begin. now, let's give dr. wright a hand. let's give him a--" soi tipped across all the person, some seated on the bed, some seated on the pedenza, someseated in the furniture, sofa chair, went to the far corner of the room and leaned upagainst the wall and charley closed the door, the only door out of the room and said, "iinvited you all here today because i want
you to hear from the president of the gaycaucus." i want to walk back across all those people and get out of the room because i washomophobic and didn't know i was homophobic. it was just how i was raised. and so, i puton a poker face to look at this guy. and the guy blew my mind. he blew my mind so badlythat i couldn't talk about it for four years. and four years later, i preached about it,i just didn't talk about it and that's good news for homosexuals. and after preachingthat sermon, it opened up the doors in our church and in our congregation for not onlygay and lesbian, bisexual, transgender person to come talk to me about their parents andfamily members who've been wrestling with what do we do about this? and one of the booksthat we found was very helpful for families,
for parents like mary herself. mary was awoman who found out when her son was 22, 23 that he was gay. and when she went to talkto her pastor about it, they put him out of church. both of you are going to hell, himand you. and so she began her own search for what does the bible really say about homosexuals.i was talking this afternoon about what the difference between what the bible says andwhat translations say. the word homosexual is nowhere in the bible. in english, the translatorstook the word pederasty and pedophile and made that homosexual. they're not the samething. and after she did her own investigation, she read the john hopkins study. she readwhat the association of psychologist--american psychological association is saying. she nowis an hiv activist person. she joined another
church and that book was very helpful as ispeter gomes, g-o-m-e-s. his book called "the good book" which is about the bible. he hasa chapter on homosexuality that helps people to work through their understandings. themost helpful thing that i have found in terms of literature was eight and a half by eleventwo-sheet printing on both sides put out by the denomination several years ago. 2001 iswhen my dad died so it would be 2001, "good news". "good news" was a publication of theboard for homeland ministries of the united church of christ. they printed "good news"once a quarter. and in this quarter edition, a father like mary borhek, a father foundout his son was gay and conducted a year-long bible study of what does the bible reallysay about gays and lesbians. same gender loving
consensual relationship. what does the biblesay? and at the end of a year's time he said, "the most eye opening lesson for him was howintellectuals like people here at fresno, people with advanced degrees never come togrips with the homophobia." homo means what? same. phobia is what? >> fear. >> fear. what is fear? an emotion. and untilyou deconstruct the emotional blockage as a person has when they come to the table andtalk about sexuality, heterosexuality or homosexuality, i can give you the entire world book encyclopedia,i can give you the world book britannica, encyclopedia britannica. i can give you thewhole internet, but you can't hear a word
i'm saying until we deconstruct whatever itis that's causing the blockage emotionally. and what causes that blockage? and that guyin the restaurant had been in the joint--had been raped in the joint. that's not a homosexualrelationship--that's rape. but he couldn't hear--he didn't want to hear anything at allabout people born same gender loving, genetically wired, he didn't want to hear--because allhe had blocking him was what happened to him in prison. same thing with someone who--oneof our members whose husband was on the dl and didn't tell her. she's got aids. she don'twant to hear nothing about peter gomes, mary borhek. nothing what the association of psychologyis saying. all she knows is that man gave her aids. and until you can deconstruct thatemotional blockage there can be no conversation
between the individuals that makes any sense.it's just going to be generated into an argument, name calling and hard--and hurt feelings.but that--when i was trying to talk to him, he had written that sermon good news for homosexuals.and he wanted to challenge me on it. god is--there are some people who were born, they're goingstraight to hell, the way they're born. that helped? mary borhek. b-o-r-h-e-k. my son ericis the name of the book. >> now i want to say very quickly before wecontinue. we have--we've actually gone over rev. wright has been good enough to stay buthe is--he started today very early this morning so i would ask the last few people to havequestions be very concise so that we can actually let him go on his way.
>> rev. wright, i thought you presented alot interesting stories, analogies and ideas. the idea you presented about when you wentto school with the jews leaving to go to school and you went over it very quickly you say,"that's what the black should do." i totally--i think it's your strongest idea presented allevening. and in every discussion i've ever listened to on the radio dealing with blacks,never once, you're the first one ever to say that. i think it's your most important idea.maybe you could talk somewhat about that idea. how hard do you think that would be to accomplish?how do you think your colleagues, friends, pastors, ministers and ideal people believein ideals would help you in that idea? >> well tried for 36 years as a pastor andi had success in our church limited in an
urban setting. what's possible in an urbansetting is not as possible--well let me say this--reverse that. what happens in a smalltown setting, in a black church is much easier than an urban setting, with after school programsof kids coming straight from school, in chicago you got to cross gang turf territories onpublic transportation to get to the after school program and that's what made it notas successful in our church as it could have been, have we been in a smaller town. otherpastors, i never could get any interest with other pastors in 36 years. one maybe in texas,one maybe in oakland but no roof of black churches said, "ok our churches are goingto be open monday, wednesday and friday from three to five for an after school program.if your kids live in this neighborhood, they
can come." i could not get--i could not generateany interest because it wasn't about the lord in heaven and grace and gifts of the spirit.but i saw it work, i saw my classmates learning their own story and that's what we need tobe doing. but i didn't have any much success. i didn't have nationwide success like i wouldhave like. or even citywide in chicago because the shelvin halls church on the west side,you're talking about chiraq that's what they call them. you know that's a combination ofchicago and iraq with bullets flying. nobody letting the kids go to no school--after schoolprogram in that neighborhood. so we had those kinds of problems in a city like chicago.but i agree with you, i thought it was a perfect idea because, i mean, it's what my parentsmade us do, learn, go learn. stop talking
about what they're not teaching in schoolgo in the library and learn it yourself, go read. and i saw it working with andy steinerand [inaudible], my jewish buddies but we wouldn't do it. not even in philadelphia wherei was growing up did i see it happen on a wide--city-wide or nationwide basis. but i--we--totally,i think that's something that the church of today, the millennial church especially, shouldbe doing even using hip-hop to teach. >> by the way. in case anybody didn't knowof and some people have left. did you all know the only black oscar winner? >> cj, common. >> common is a member of trinity united churchof christ.
>> born and raised in our church. >> walter brooks: dr. wright, thank you. myname is walter brooks [assumed spelling]. that's a brooks name. i'm a preacher's kidraised same like you have. same common experiences, fraternities, college, military experiencesand all that kind of stuff. i had a question though about this christian thing. this wordjesus and you know i was raised jesus, jesus, jesus, pray, jesus, jesus, jesus. don't youthink that we are crucifying the man? because-- >> get back. >> --we don't use his hebrew name [inaudible]. >> but we don't speak hebrew there's no jin the hebrew. my name is not jeremiah.
>> you took semantics in college. >> yeah but my name is not jeremiah. we speakingenglish and that's the anglicanization of the word. my name--there's no such thing asjeremiah or job or joshua. >> you see no reason to go back to the originallanguages that-- >> well if you're going to speak--if you'regoing to aramaic, yes. if you're going to speak hebrew, yes. but if you're speakingenglish, you use english. do you say florida? >> say it again. >> florida. that's the state at the bottomof the united states. >> do i speak?
>> do you say florida? >> no, no, no. >> what do you say? >> florida. >> florida. is that what you're saying florida? >> the spanish gave it a name for flower.florida. >> i-- >> but we don't say florida we say florida. >> there's another aspect to this. and thatis that, the man was--and i think you would
agree that he was an african. he was an african[inaudible]. moses came out of africa. every pitch that you see at this person you calljesus is a european-- >> not every. >> almost? i bet some--i came out of amy church[assumed spelling], i've seen amy churches. >> that's different. >> you're from philadelphia so you know theamy has-- >> that's a monumental. >> --you know all that stuff. but this hasbeen an issue with that we need to-- >> we don't speak the languages anymore.
>> but i'm talking about more than that. i'mtalking about characterization-- >> well the characterization starting in the'60s. starting with our plaque, the black messiah, the picture, the [inaudible] hasbeen trying to correct what the renaissance did. >> we have to correct history-- >> that's true too but the point is. can yousay that in akan what you just said? >> this may lived in-- >> i don't want to make--speak in akan, speakin sui [assumed spelling], speak in african language, speak in--
>> i speak the language called [inaudible]. >> but nobody here speaks that. that's mypoint. this is a country where english is spoken. different dialects of english >> the kids after school learn hebrew. weas an african people need to have some connection to africa and language is a part of that.and i'm just saying in context of christianity in the 345 child student council-- i haveto [inaudible]. >> because we only have a minute, please. >> i'll stop with this. i'll stop with this.everything jewish, everything hebrew was to be exercised from the church and in that wasthe word use of greek language versus the
hebrew language. that's all. i just want toget your point of it. >> well, the greek language, 200 years beforethat council became the bible in greek [foreign language] in translation. that's what theethiopian, the african, the [inaudible] was reading in greek. so, that language, i understandwhat you're saying but all i'm saying is [foreign language]. >> there you go. >> i understand what his name is but we don't--wespeak english. >> that's english with you. >> all right. that--
>> what's my name? >> jeremiah. ok. into the mic. close to the mic. >> at one point in time, did the church everfulfill the need of its members? so, when you were growing up in the church, did-- >> closer to the mic [inaudible]. >> when you were growing up in the church,did it fulfill your needs? because today, now, i don't go-- >> --church because--
>> smaller churches do. smaller churches,in my experience do. megachurches can't. that's not what they're designed to do. the smallerchurches yes do. yes. >> ok. thank you. >> i'll be brief. thanks for coming to fresnoagain, dr. wright. you mentioned the black theology and i was wondering in light of ralphwarnock's [assumed spelling] new work "the divided mind of the black church" where hetalks about-- >> we channel james cone but we--no, he said,we read james cone and quote james cone but we channel billy graham. >> right, right. so, my--is that so. that'smy question. the question is why, from your
perspective, has black liberation theologynot made its way into the black church? >> several reasons. several reasons. numberone, it depends on geographical location and pastoral leadership. number one, 90% of african-americanchurches do not have seminary-trained pastors. and as i said, james cone's black theologywas for the academy, it's for the seminary. and most pastors in african-american dominationsare not seminary trained. did you know that? >> all right. that's part of the problem rightthere, number one. number two, what dale andrews among others in the field of practical theologyhave argued correctly--accurately argued is that nobody ever made--make sense to the personin the pew because the pastor without seminary education didn't know how to do that. so,he just put [inaudible] it. and kept up with
the fans of the white jesus and michelangelo,leonardo da vinci's "last supper". he didn't try to make black theology make sense forthe average worker. the person in the church and practical theology also dealt with howdo you take deep theological issues like the difference between equality as oppose to equityand make them make sense for ordinary church folk. if you don't, you'll lose them. youcan tell them about equity, equity, equity. i've got some equity in my [inaudible], youknow? anthony reddie, one of the many practical theologians, he's afro-british shows how todo that at the local church level for folks even though we're near seminary. and one exampleis musical chairs forget that that one takes too long, i'll do it privately at dinner.i haven't eaten dinner anyway. the one he
says equal footing where all in an even playingfield, right? take me 50 years ago. i would have been 23, 5'10", 200 pounds and put meat the starting block in a 100 yard heat with another 5'10" african-american, male, 23 yearsold as equal footing, it's a equal playing field, isn't it? we both got equal chanceof winning this race, don't we? you can tell me that this brother here named [inaudible]. in order for there to be equity in this race,give me a 50 yard head start and then fire the gun. and how that relates to you is inyour black community, you don't have computers in your school like they have in the whiteschool. you don't even have books. so you're not on the equal playing field, we all havea chance to succeed. no, no, those black kids
need equity. they need the same things thatare in the white community, by zip codes, in black communities. it's that kind of practicalapplication that church folk then begins. see, that's what colin [assumed spelling]is talking about. that's what the other survivors was talking about. but if you don't breakit down for them in language they can understand, it never--yeah, you end up channeling billygraham. so that's why. >> imanihas muhammad: thanks, dr. wright.my pleasure to attend this event and obviously appreciate all your wonderful contributionand remarks, et cetera. i am imanihas muhammad [assumed spelling]. my quick question to youis in light of our contemporary issues like lives matter and all the progress we've madehence civil right, civil rights. so now, what's
your view on this concept of iconoclasm ortaking a doctrine of pictures and other means of, i would say, language that is in conceptsand images have on continuing making progress as again one step forward and two step backand i.e. getting to this issue as a root problem existing here with us, politics is alwaysgoing to be there, economics, but until we can deal with the psychological perspectiveof let's say caucasians, in particular not all caucasians, but those who would say a[inaudible] races et cetera have an idea that they're superior be perpetuated by their viewwhat we're talking from [inaudible] and then also the view of images portraying god asdivine being them and we obviously not a part of that fabric of the divine being. just yourcomment on that.
>> i understand. i understand both the muslimteaching about images of the divine and i understand abpsi's position, association ofblack psychologists, 45, 50 years ago talked about the damage that it does to black kidsto put a white jesus on the fan or in your church when they sing, "wash me whiter thansnow", they mean literally, make me look like this image, which i can never be like, therefore,i can never measure up, i'll never be fully saved or fully human because i can't be likethis white image. and i understand both abpsi's position and the muslim position. i studied--heknows, but two years with [inaudible]. so i've intimately connected with--in fact mymaster's paper was on the [inaudible], 19th century sufi movement that swept into westafrican and how it was accepted by the--or
rejected by the bambara, fulbe and took alot of people in west africa. going back to the fact that we are an audio visual culturein the west, we can't change that. well, i mean, i shouldn't say it like that. the difficultyof changing the reality of the audio visual culture that are kids grow up from the timethey rather watch something than read it, that the images need--that they're going towatch need to be changed so they have a more wholesome healthy understanding of what itmeans to be an african, living in diaspora. but you have to--but you can't--that's evenin the bible when in terms of making images, you can't--how can a human make an image ofsomething that's nonhuman, that you've never seen and you can't see god. so i mean, that'sa scriptural teaching, that's a quranic teaching,
that's psychological teaching, but since they'regoing to see, they're going to be watching rather than having then watch nicki minaj,"oh my god, look at her butt." let show them something positive to look at is the response.theoretically, i understand exactly what you're talking about in terms of-- >> i got you. >> --how their minds, how our minds are controlledby the images. >> thank you, sir, beautiful answers. >> he's from philly. >> well, next time you come i'll have a [inaudible].
>> all right, there you go. >> i would like to ask, well, you didn't makea comment about how that you--well, you have paid attention to the issue with fergusonand now the social media aspect of combatting that with--combatting the police brutalityand everything and using social media to bring knowledge to everything that's coming on,well, what's going on in our country. would you say that that has been an effective formof combatting racism as well and the systemic aspect of racism since you have been--sinceyou have lived through the civil rights era, would you say that what we're doing todayis an effective way of combatting that? >> is an effective way of bringing attentionto the problem and a first step towards addressing
how we rearrange social structure, to eradicatethat what jim wallis calls america's original sin. it's a step. i don't see it as end allbe all because you're all going to have all the die-ins you want until we change the policies,things will go right on like they've been going on, but i think it's a very importantfirst step, yes. >> please give a round of applause for reverendjeremiah wright. now, unfortunately reverend wright has togo right away, so he won't be able to stay for questions and whatnot, but we would liketo thank you for coming and just so you can kind of see the young man on the corner hereare all members of the onyx black male collective. so they would be acknowledged and thank you.so everybody have a good night. thank you
for coming out. keep checking the black popularculture website, connect to the africana studies, you'll see the video soon. >> please exit at the back of the room. thankyou. [ silence ]