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Black Religion pp 193-196 | Cite as

“Bluing” the Standard Narrative

  • William David Hart
Chapter
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Abstract

Each of the autobiographers became who they are because on some level they could not tolerate who they were. Their radical transformations occurred at the intersection of religious commitment, racial identification, and the allure of black freedom struggle; the polar demands of religion, race, and politics sometimes pulling them in antagonistic directions. Common markers of their passage to the persons they became included the world-shaking death of a parent, the troubling relationship between ancestry and rape, the meaning of Jewish ancestry under the conditions of white supremacy and in a society that defined Jews as white; the terror of the Ku Klux Klan; the relations between holiness, enlightenment, and diet, and opposition to Jim Crow—in summary, they are bound by their struggle through the dark passages of American life.

Keywords

Black People Jewish Identity Religious Commitment White Supremacy Racial Identification 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    D. Keown, A Dictionary of Buddhism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 81.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Cf. W. E. B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folks (New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2003), 135–6 on the frenzy of the Black Church.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See R. Otto, The Idea of the Holy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990) for an influ-ential analysis of the concept.Google Scholar
  4. 14.
    See G. Delueze and F. Guataari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 1983), 23.Google Scholar
  5. 15.
    M. L. King, Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings of Martin Luther King, Jr., ed. James Melvin Washington (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1986), 295.Google Scholar
  6. 16.
    D. Brazier, The New Buddhism (New York: Palgrave, 2002), 146–7. For a scholarly treat-ment of karma see W. D. O’Flaherty, ed., Karma and Rebirth in Classical Indian Traditions (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980).Google Scholar
  7. 17.
    Jan sometimes writes as if she were the only black Buddhist. In fact, there is a significant black Buddhist community, including a “cyber sangha” of which Jan is a member.Google Scholar
  8. 19.
    O. C. Cox, Caste, Class, and Race (New York: Doubleday and Company, 1948; repr. New York: Modern Reader Paperback Edition, 1970), 91.Google Scholar
  9. 20.
    As my colleague Charlie Orzech said to me in conversation, “no reputable scholar today accepts the Aryan thesis.” For a critique ofthe Aryan thesis, see B. Lincoln, Theorizing Myth: Narrative, Ideology, and Scholarship (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999).Google Scholar
  10. 28.
    E. West, Happiness Here & Now: The Eightfold Path of Jesus Revisited with Buddhist Insights (New York: Continuum, 2000), 19.Google Scholar
  11. 29.
    T. Gyatso (Dalai Lama XIV), The Good Heart: A Buddhist Perspective on the Teachings ofJesus (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1996), 105.Google Scholar
  12. 30.
    Malcolm X and A. Haley, Autobiography of Malcolm X (New York: Ballantine Books, 1992), 43.Google Scholar
  13. 31.
    Such experiences are often called “religious experiences.” I understand such experiences as John Dewey rather William James understands them, certainly not as Richard Rorty and Robert Brandom do.Google Scholar
  14. 32.
    E. Dickinson, The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson (Boston: Little Brown, 1960), 702.Google Scholar

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© William David Hart 2008

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  • William David Hart

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