Lyceum Studies Black Liberation Theology

As part of Black History Month, Emory & Henry held a lecture session featuring Jim Dawsey, who is the Professor of Religion and Wolfe Chair in Religious Studies at E&H. Dr. Dawsey discussed the movement of Black Liberation Theology, which was founded by Rev. James Cone. The movement got its root during the 1960’s civil rights activism and received inspiration from Martin Luther King and Malcom X. When asked what he was trying to get across to the students that attended, Dr. Dawsey replied, “One of the things I wanted to get across was the rich history of the African American community in our society, so I wanted to have a number of slides that presented some of those heroes and heroines, like Harriet Tubman and Ida Wells.”

The movement got its root during the 1960’s civil rights activism and received inspiration from Martin Luther King and Malcom X. When asked what he was trying to get across to the students that attended, Dr. Dawsey replied, “One of the things I wanted to get across was the rich history of the African American community in our society, so I wanted to have a number of slides that presented some of those heroes and heroines, like Harriet Tubman and Ida Wells.”

To know how important these two ladies were in our society, here is a brief biography take on both of them. Harriet Tubman, as we all know and learned from Elementary School, was a slave who escaped and became a leading abolitionist before the Civil War. Born in 1820, she successfully escaped at the age of 29. Even though she was free, she still risked her life to help free hundreds and hundreds of slaves by using the Underground Railroad.

However, Ida Wells is an equally influential figure that may be unfamiliar to some. Wells was an African American Journalist who led the anti-lynching crusade in the United States in the 1890s. She would also lead groups that would strive to bring justice to African Americans.

When asked what he thinks about the event and what E&H does during black history month, Dr. Dawsey answered, “I think it’s a good thing that the college is putting more emphasis on diversity and more emphasis on recapturing black history and I think that’s a really good thing, I think it will help the college in a number of ways.”

– Will Seidel

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