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Pillars of Cloud and FireThe Politics of Exodus in African American Biblical Interpretation$
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Herbert Robinson Marbury

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479835966

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479835966.001.0001

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Exodus at the Intersection of the Black Power Movement and the Black Church

Exodus at the Intersection of the Black Power Movement and the Black Church

(p.170) 5 Exodus at the Intersection of the Black Power Movement and the Black Church
Pillars of Cloud and Fire

Herbert Robinson Marbury

NYU Press

This chapter turns to the era of the Black Power Movement, probing its contours as the ideological heir to the Civil Rights Movement. It also examines the interpretive work of Albert Cleage. Delivered in October 1967, his sermon “What Can We Give Our Youth” interprets the exodus narrative both as an exercise in radical race politics and Cleage's own pillar of fire politics. While most figures of the Black Power Movement abandoned the Black Church for what they perceived to be its accommodationist orientation, Cleage constructed a theology and a politics that maximized the best insights of the Civil Rights and the Black Power Movements, while remaining grounded in the history and traditions of the Black Church.

Keywords:   Black Power Movement, Albert Cleage, race politics, Black Church, accommodationist orientation

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