Throughout this course, we have learned about the complexities of spirituality and specifically its effects on black Americans. The first podcast we listened to featured Patrisse Cullors, one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement. She stated that although the movement is not based in any one religion, she views her work as heavily spiritual. I thought this was very interesting given the articles we read this week. The fact that she views the black lives matter movement as very spiritual in nature despite not being associated with one religion caused me to reimagine the way I think about religion. I believe that she is indicating that the movement is not based off of an institutionalized religion, but is the result of a shared black experience in the United States. This shared black experience is the experience of oppression and the work is spiritual due to the fact that it involves fighting against the oppression. This sentiment was stated again by Cullors in the Edgar piece that we read this week. She stated that the work is spiritual due to the fact that she is fighting to save lives, which is a spiritual fight. I believe that black spirituality can be seen in the large muslim communities that are seen in cities such as Baltimore. The muslim community focuses on educating the public on black issues and are often seen advocating for change in their community. It is also interesting to see how the Black Church really has played a large role in the foundation of the BLM movement. In the Edgar article, black churches are given credit for creating a faith of resistance among the black community which is a foundation of the BLM movement.
In the Washington Post article that we read this week, it was interesting to see how the church played such a big role in the foundation of people’s moralities. Although many people of conservative churches agree with the phrase “black lives matter” there was a struggle to fully support the movement. This was due to their perception of the movement as a liberal movement. The large amount of support the movement receives from people of LGBTQ backgrounds is a major reason why conservative churches do not fully endorse the movement. In the other Washington Post article that we read, it was interesting to see how modern civil rights activists do not allow religion to be the foundation of the movement. This allows the movement to appeal to a larger group of people, people who might have otherwise been excluded in a civil rights movement in the past. This lack of religious foundation however, does not mean in any way that the church cannot be a part of the movement. However, as seen in the Edgar article, the church’s unwillingness to accept new ideas of god and support views that do not align with their own is a major cause for conflict. The Washington Post article also describes the movement as more unapologetic than movements of the past. This attitude in my opinion has created a very interesting seesaw sort of effect. While the movement gains more active support from a wider selection of people, it is also interesting to see how this turns away people who in principle, agree with the message of the movement. Although objectively, it might be wrong to have to appeal to people in power to gain freedom that should have been afforded regardless, the massive lack of support from more conservative groups may result in nothing of substance being done.