Essay on White and African-American Relations

1724 Words 7 Pages
1. In your own words, summarize the author’s thesis in a paragraph.

The 1960’s in the United States of America was a time of great change and turmoil. The nation experienced numerous, landmark legal decisions that looked to mend and repair the racial divide that the country had experienced since the first landing of settlers in the New World. Tension and racial animosity around the United States was extremely high during the 1960’s and one area where it reached a climax was Detroit, Michigan. In the summer of 1967, this climax entailed racial riots, destruction, and violence throughout the city. It all started on July 23rd, 1967, when a seemingly usual vice-squad operation on an after-hours drinking club in a predominantly black
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180).

While the statue is considered a positive symbol for the future, many intellectuals have commented on the lack of progress on race relations in the city and also the United States (pg. 180-181). One of these intellectuals is M. Shawn Copeland who in her essay, “The (Black) Jesus of Detroit,” explains her thesis of how the Detroit race riots and specifically the painting of the Christ statue at the Sacred Heart Seminary should be interpreted literally instead of figuratively. She writes of how just because the statue was painted black does not make it black. The statue is genuinely and literally black not because of its exterior color, but in the truth that Jesus Christ was black because he took and continues to take on the suffering and agony of African-Americans. He is their hope and cause of freedom and is black because God is one with, for, and on the side of the exploited black people of America. Therefore, when we consider if Christ returned today he would surely reject the “American Christ” that has been created, followed and worshipped by much of white society in the United States.

2. What key differences or similarities does the author in this reading identify between white and African-American culture/s (or experience/s) in the U.S.?

The differences and similarities between white and African-American cultures and the experiences that each race has gone through are the primary causes and

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