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Kennington Avenue

Friday, April 11th, 2014

TO BE BLACK IN AMERICA IS TO LIVE BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE

I wrote in another place today that to be born Black in America is to find yourself faced with three different crises. The first is a crisis of ontology- being born into a world where the very color of your skin makes you suspect and from that standpoint we start off with a weight that no other human being carries which puts us at a disadvantage. Secondly, there is this existential crisis where we live daily with the impact of racism upon our lives and trying desperately not to surrender to this evil that seeks to invalidate our very humanity. Finally, there is a theological crisis where one enters into a deep struggle with God. There is just one question and that is why would God who created us and who created us in His image allow His children of a darker hue to suffer the kind of pain and humiliation that we have suffered for so much of our history? Where is the love in this?

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About the author

Ken Wheeler is a retired pastor. He most recently served at Cross Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in Milwaukee, where he is now the director of the Bread of Healing Empowerment Ministry. For 18 years he was as an assistant to the bishop of the Greater Milwaukee Synod of the ELCA.