[Critique of Black Belief (book) by Dr. Henry Mitchell]

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Discussion of Black Belief (At Society for the Study of Black Religion)

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Martin Luther King Fellows In Black Religious Studies, Inc. Collection

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Rev. Dr. Albert C. Williams gives a critique of “Black Belief : Folk Beliefs of Blacks in America and West Africa” by Dr. Henry Mitchell at the Society for the Study of Black Religion meeting. In his criticism, Williams accuses Mitchell’s work of being excessive in theological and apologetic posturing. He also speaks of jazz and blues mentioned within Mitchell’s book. Dr. Henry Mitchell also responds to Williams critique and answers questions from the audience.

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00:00:07 Audio begins with unidentified man talking about being called to task for misquoting and having dialogue with Henry Mitchell.

00:03:06 Introduces Rev. Dr. Albert C. Williams.

00:03:32 Talks about nature of the format of discussion.

00:05:29 Talks about the purpose of Dr. Henry Mitchell’s book being stated on page 139 and Blacks adopting African traditions to Christianity and the root continuum being African not European.

00:08:08 Criticizes Mitchell’s book for being too excessive in its theological and apologetic posturing and heavy commitment toward theology.

00:15:23 Talks about the posture of interpreting a phenomenon from within rather than from the outside relating to Black jazz and blues and the mother of these traditions being Black religion.

00:25:31 Talks about the problem of informing the reader of what is meant by Black religion and the high visibility of low religion.

00:38:48 Rev. Dr. Albert C. Williams ends his critique of Henry Mitchell’s book.

00:39:00 Dr. Henry Mitchell responds to critique.

00:43:33 Talks about Black religion and his concern for vast majority of Blacks and answers questions.

00:44:45 Talks about structure and organization of the Black church and the dichotomy between practicing churchman and practicing academics.

00:47:12 Talks about how jazz tends to be highly acceptable among the most militant and intellectual critics of the Black church.

00:52:30 Talks about Black jazz and how it has an integrity of its own in the mind of its listeners.

01:02:37 Audio ends.


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