Tag Archives: Martin Luther King

African American Orthodox Christians Faith, Culture, and Emerging Values

by Lydia Kemi Ingram  |  ελληνικά  |  ру́сский  |  српски

In 2016, I began a series of interviews with African American Orthodox Christians in four regions of the United States.  An integral component of a wider ethnographic research project (one combining participant observation and digital research) personal narratives offer a necessary depth of insight into an Orthodox community which still remains relatively unfamiliar to many.

While the number of African American Orthodox Christians appears to be growing, research on this particular group remains scant.  Focused either on historical figures like Fr. Raphael Morgan, the first African American Orthodox priest— or on narratives gleaned from a “community of elders,” the most prominent exemplary African American Orthodox Christians, existing research can sometimes convey a single-story narrative, one not entirely untrue—but incomplete.  There remains, therefore, much to be learned at the intersection of Orthodox Christianity and African American culture. Continue Reading…

Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Legacy of the Civil Rights Movement

by Albert J. Raboteau

iakovos_king

Martin Luther King, Jr., was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1929, the son of Alberta Williams King and Martin Luther King, Sr., pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church. King’s childhood was happy and secure, though all too early he was made aware of the hurts inflicted by racism. Like his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, he entered the ministry, and throughout the years of his leadership in the civil rights movement, he remained a preacher, regularly occupying the pulpit for Sunday worship, and drawing upon the black church tradition in which he was formed for both the style and content of the political speeches he delivered at demonstrations and appearances in the public square. Courses in philosophy, ethics, and theology at Morehouse College, Crozer Theological Seminary, and Boston University provided King with the opportunity to develop an intellectual framework for systematic analysis of the relationship between Christianity and society, but the existential base for his commitment to social justice was already established in the tradition of black religious protest exemplified by his father’s and grandfather’s embrace of social gospel activism. Strongly attracted to the intellectual life, King might have combined ministerial and academic careers by choosing job offers at schools in the North, but in 1954 he chose instead to accept the fateful call to pastor Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.    Continue Reading…

Archbishop Iakovos, Martin Luther King Jr., and The Challenge of Selma

by Andrew Estocin

The third Monday in the month of January is set aside by Americans to honor the memory of Martin Luther King Jr.  King’s witness in life and death continues to call society to see every person as created in the image and likeness of God and worthy of equal treatment under the law.

One of the most significant moments in American Orthodox history took place when Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America chose to march against racial segregation laws alongside King in Selma, Alabama. This event was made famous on the cover of Life Magazine and serves as a reminder that the Orthodox Christian Faith is not a museum of history but a way of living in the world that must be acted upon with care and courage.  The fact that the most distinguished bishop in American Orthodoxy chose to march with King is a reminder that the Church can learn much from America’s leading civil rights leader. Continue Reading…