Through the stories of Bishop Henry McNeil Turner, Howard Thurman, Albert B. Cleage Jr., Rev. Dr. William Barber, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Rev. Traci Blackmon of Ferguson, MO and others, the independent feature documentary film, God of the Oppressed will explore the history and relevance of Black Liberation Theology. These stories, and characters coupled with invigorating gospel music as a major contributor to the narrative, will celebrate and affirm the role Black Liberation theology plays in framing a perspective of God grounded within the context of an oppressed people.
The characters, stories and music featured in God of the Oppressed will connect to the scholarship of James Cone, who exhorted God is a God of the oppressed in his books Black Liberation and Black Power (1969), The Spirituals and the Blues: An Interpretation (1992), God of the Oppressed (1975) The Cross and the Lynching Tree (2013) and others. Cone argued for a theology constructed from the experiences of Black people who understand God's role in liberating those crying for the pain to end. Cone's work challenges theologians to abandon the white system defining the meaning of God. His work challenged Black men and women to listen to voices of black people to construct a theology framed from their experiences. Prof. Cone will serve a chief academic advisor.
The film considers the work of leaders calling for change prior to Cone's academic work. Bishop Henry McNeal Turner told his congregants God is Black. Nat Turner was convinced that he "was ordained for some great purpose in the hands of the almighty" challenged slaves to fight for freedom. While some constructed a religion that called for submission to the religion of white people, many heard God speak in a way that demanded resistance.
The black power movement also found a place within the religion of Black people. God of the Oppressed will examine the Black Manifesto and the actions of the National Committee of Negro Churchmen (NCNC). The group of 51 black clergy purchased a full-page ad in the New York Times to offer a "Black Power Statement" that proposed an aggressive approach to combat racism with the Bible as their inspiration.
Fused with South African gospel music, church services and sermons Black Liberation Theology will also be explored in an international context through the story of Allan Aubrey Boesak, a South African Dutch Reformed Church cleric, politician and anti-apartheid activist. Boesak, a liberation theologian, has work that has led theologians and activists to draw parallels with Prof. Cone.
God of the Oppressed will begin pre-production immediately, however BPMW is seeking additional investors/partners. Media inquiries and interested investors should call Dante at 919-475-9879 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Job applicants can apply here.
The film will be produced and directed by Emmy award winning independent filmmaker Dante James. Rev. Carl W. Kenney, will also serve as a producer.