[ Applause ] >> Cameron Patterson: Well, first I’d like to say good evening everyone I love speaking in the front of audiences this loud I haven’t had this opportunity since graduation night So, I like to thank you all for being here, and I’m just glad to see so many bright faces tonight, like Professor Knight said my name is Cameron Patterson and before I introduce one of the main most responsible for this entire event, I’d like to take advantage of this platform to encourage every Fresno State student and tenants to vote in the upcoming ASI student government election It is extremely vital to exercise our right to participate in the democratic process, as we elect a new wave of representatives We are fortunate enough to attend a university that allows us to establish a government for us by us I my self I’m running for the position of student senator I believe that leadership is not about the next selection It’s about the new generation We are living tomorrow’s history today And 20 years what impact would we have made? Let us stand together to renew the age old promise of equal opportunity, fair governing, and equal access to a great education Let us take a stand and say no more to turning our backs to uncalled for acts of domestic assault Let us work together to create new legislative policies that reflect our growing diversity here at Fresno State This is our election This is our time This is our year to show that we can work together and put our ingenuity to a common good Let’s make our voices heard, Fresno State, let’s make a difference, let’s be great Voting will commence Tuesday, March 24th at 9 a.m. and end on March 26 at noon Now that I’m off my cell box without further ado allow me to introduce a man most known for his unmatched excellence in the classroom, but his contributions outside the classrooms as well is what sets him apart for–from his colleagues in the same fields His been nominated by President Castro himself for the CSU Wang Family Excellence Award, which is highly regarded as one of the most prestigious awards a CSU professor can receive and that doesn’t deserve around of applause I don’t know what does [ Applause ] And this award means that he is among the top 13 Social Science Research Professor in the entire CSU system He received his Master’s of Arts Degree in Africana studies from Temple University with honors He later received his graduate certificate for Africana Studies as well as the university level teaching certificate from Claremont University This outstanding role model just never seems to get tired of school as he received his Doctors of Philosophy in Cultural Studies from Claremont Graduate University as well To sum up his educational background, he’s a nerd–complimenting his esteemed educational resume, he has a host of printed publications, most notably you must learn a primer of study–for the study of hip-hop He has won the provost award for the most promising new faculty I could go on for days listing the accomplishments But I would like to thank him personally For working tirelessly to establish grants and funding so that events like today are possible I would like to thank you for having the audacity to hope in a profession where you are accomplishing sometimes overshadows by stigmas that have plagued our society for far too long Finally, right before I introduce you, thank you for teaching your students that life is about grasping the understanding that the obstacles we encounter in life aren’t various to our success, but building blocks to a bright future It’s about making an impact as global citizens and maximizing our opportunities, it’s about understands that it all starts with us We are the inspiration we have been looking for, you can be great if you work hard, you persevere and you understand that the possibilities in life are limitless Without further ado I like to introduce you to my Professor Dr. T Hasan Johnson [ Applause ] >> Dr. T Hasan Johnson: OK can you hear–are we working? Good, we are

Welcome thank you for coming, all right you deserve a round of applause [ Applause ] Kind of the difficulty of doing events like this with no RSBP is you don’t know 5 people are coming or 500 and I’ve had both kinds of events in my seven years here So I do appreciate you coming For those that don’t know, this is the second year of the Black Popular Culture Lecture Series an online research archive And the purpose of it is to bring out folk who have unique experiences that are known globally Well, this is the second year where I can say globally And from that and having an interview that is transcribed and video and put on the website on Fresno State giving people an opportunity to use it for research purposes, right Last year was the first year we did it we brought out actor Delroy Lindo We had a fabulous conversation If you haven’t had a chance to see it, visit the Africana Studies website, you get a chance to take a look at it and tonight we’re following through on that endeavor with what I know would be a wonderful conversation with our esteem guest Now, before I introduce the person who’s going to introduce our esteem guest, I do want to take a moment to thank a number of people and hopefully embarrassed them in the process because they’ve been incredibly instrumental First and for most–and she disappears quickly There she is She’s in the back with a cream jacket hugging someone I want to thank Melissa Knight, professor in Africana and Women’s Studies You know, last time I think I couldn’t find her I most particularly would like to thank somebody who has been a fixture for not only excellence at Fresno State but she has also stood for what’s right, what’s just, and has done so consistently for a very long time I wold like for us before I actually go into what offices she runs to give an applause if we can get her to stand for Dr. France Oputa [ Applause ] She runs the Cultural Valley Heritage Institute and Women’s Resource Center and she is also presiding over Black Faculty and Staff Association and she was one of the first to offer support when I just mention what was going on As a matter of fact, actually, I think it might have been before I actually had a formal conversation She has been consistently supportive not only, you know, just me but anything she’s run across that stands for something right, stands for something just, and stands in the interest of the students So I really wanted to take this time to publically thank her for her work, her sacrifice, and her consistency Thank you [ Applause ] I also want to take a moment to thank another person of significance I want to make sure I cover everybody This person actually is a student and he is responsible for tonight in many ways because he has been a 46-year friend of our guest tonight And without him I don’t believe this evening would be happening He is an Africana Studies student, major He’s one of the best students I’ve ever had in my classes and has always–not only transformed the conversations that take place in the classes but the work ethics He embarrasses his classmates and then goes and meets with them outside the class and then they all come back to class ready on a whole another level So if we can just quickly acknowledge Mr Gary Willis [ Applause ] I though I was go embarrass him, but it didn’t work He has taken classes from all of my colleagues in Africana Studies and if we could very for a moment–if we can acknowledge, now this is a program the Black Popular Culture Lecture Series Program comes out of Africana Studies So if my colleagues in Africana can stand up please [ Applause ] Dr. Meta Schettler, Dr. De Anna Reese, Dr Malik Simba, Africana Studies here at Fresno State OK Number of other thank yous, I definitely want to thank ASI, Associated Students made this event possible I do want to say that we had donors last year who invested in wanting to see event happen again and they were instrumental in making this happen as well

So I’m not going to call them out by name But I do want to say thank you to those of you that did donate to make this event a consistent thing I want to also acknowledge the young men that were instrumental in the student component of this event, The Onyx Black Male Collective They actually were not only instrumental in making sure the student component happen, but many of them are working the room even tonight they help the event happen So if you haven’t heard of The Onyx Black Male Collective, download my app you may see the image for it, check them out These are young men that have gathered together here at Fresno State to focus on graduation because in our recent reports we found that black students are performing at a fairly low level, 38% is about the graduation rate, we have most listed and black males tend to fall at the very low ended spectrum So this young men have gathered together to transform their situation and motivate each other towards graduation OK, so please [ Applause ] OK And I would like to thank college of social sciences and very particularly President Castro who is the definition of cool under fire, he upon me introducing the idea this event last year to him, he didn’t even let me finish the sentence before he said “I’ll fund it, I want to be there.” And last year he sat in the first row and participated Unfortunately, he couldn’t be here with us tonight He had a conflicting event But he did get a chance to meet Reverend Wright earlier today and, you know, so I just wanted to extend that Now, I do also–I was going to offer this to a student, but once I had a chance to look through CV, I selfishly took the honor for myself I wanted to introduce the faculty person that I wanted to come up and actually introduce Reverend Wright, his name is Dr. Jerome E Jackson, PhD, of course, right, fully tenured in criminology and his a license ordained minister for the past 17 years, he’s been Senior Pastor Christian Community Baptists Church, received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at Southern University, Master’s in Public Administration from Texas Southern University, Master’s in Theological Studies from Faith Evangelical Seminary, Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University, Doctor of Philosophy and Theological Studies in Faith Evangelical Seminary This brother is not planned, right Professor Jackson has more than 30 years of teaching at the university level, has more than 20 years of gospel ministry leading including 17 years of senior pastorship and serve as the Executive Director of the Antioch Substance Abuse Program Incorporated Please let us give a round of applause to Dr. Jerome E. Jackson [ Applause ] [ Inaudible Discussion ] >> Dr. Jerome E. Jackson: Good evening again >> Good evening >> We do want every minute we can to hear from our guest tonight, I’ve been given five to six minutes to say what I need to say I won’t give you some change back It is my privilege and honor to introduce a man who in my opinion is one of the most outstanding religious leaders and educators of our day Dr. Jeremiah Wright is Pastor Emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, Illinois Dr. Wright is a graduate of Howard University Washington, DC where he earned a bachelors degree and master’s degree in English He also earned a second master’s degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School Dr. Wright holds a Doctor of Ministry Degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton Ohio He studied for six years Islam in West Africa He studied Arabic, Hebrew, German, Latin, and French He studied West African religions and East African religions He studied the religions of Nigeria and the religions of Zaire Professor Wright has received a Rockefeller Fellowship and several honorary doctorate degrees including degrees from Colgate University, Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of

Pennsylvania, ,United Theological Seminary, Chicago Theological Seminary, and Star King School of the Ministry–for the Ministry Dr. Wright has been a professor at Chicago Theological Seminary, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and other educational institutions Professor Wright has written and co-authored several books Dr. Wright was name one of Ebony Magazine’s top 15 preachers in this country Professor Wright has served on the board of trustees of Virginia Union University, Chicago Theological Seminary, and City College of Chicago He’s also served on the board of directors of Evangelical Health Systems, the Black Theological Project, and the Center for New Horizons and the Malcolm X School of Nursing, and on boards and committees of other religious and civic organizations Dr. Jeremiah Wright has been recognized as an outstanding individual whose life exemplifies the commitment and vision of service of George Washington cover Dr. Wright has been and continues to be a national leader in promoting theological education and the preparation of seminarians for the African-American church So again, my brothers and sisters, my friends and colleagues, I present to you with great pleasure, Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr [ Applause ] >> Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.: OK Couple of things before we get started First and foremost I wanted to say that the other thing I didn’t mentioned earlier was that I was–that this years the goal of this discussion and Q&A later in the evening is to among other things celebrate the richness and diversity of what I’ve called in my classes the Black Sacred Worship Tradition So in the audience tonight, we’ve had a number of significant representatives from multiple series of religious orientations Can the pastors and the audience please stand? [ Applause ] I apologize for the sake of time that I didn’t get a chance to go through each person because we will be here until tomorrow if we can Also we have representatives of Muslim community in particular I invited Imam Abdullah Sahib Muhammad [assumed spelling] Is Imam Muhammad here? There he is, thank you [ Applause ] And also in representation of–now Imam Muhammad represent the Muslim-American community We have one member that I invited from the nation of Islam representation–Darryl Mohammed [assumed spelling], Darryl you here? OK He probably would be walking in soon So I wanted this as much as possible and for those that maybe here in representation of other faiths, other traditions, I do want to welcome you I wanted this to be a celebration because there is a richness and a diversity to this black experience that speaks to faith in a lot of different ways and a lot of different context So hopefully in the course of the evening and the discussion we’ll get a chance to tease some of that out Now, I wanted to start tonight by showing a short clip that gives us a little background of not only our guest, but also the church that he built, helped build I don’t want to say–it was there before him but he–when you go from 87 to 8000 can you use the word built? I’m just saying, that’s fairly significant Now, these two lights here are going to have to stay on because they’re recording We haven’t had a chance to test this So I don’t know how it will play against the image on the screen But we’re going to watch a few minutes of this clip just to get a sense of the church community that our guest comes out of So if we can get the lights in the back, please [ Music ] >> [Background Music] In 1972, Jeremiah Wright became Pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago He inherited a struggling congregation of just 87 members

>> I have a friend who every time you greet him, every time you ask him how you’re doing, he answers “Just trying to make it man, just trying to make it.” >> But by the mid-1980, when PBS’ Frontline shot this film about Wright, he’d grown the congregation to several thousands >> In our homes! Help us to be your church! In our private lives, help us to be your church! In our dealings one with another, help us to be your church Though our minds wander, our souls love only you Let the church say Amen Say Amen again >> Trinity Church is located in a largely black neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, a mixture of working class people and the poor >> Unfortunately, most churches now are “status quo.” And so that–you know, to the extent they’re not trying to feed the poor, they’re not trying to hook up jobs and people, they’re not concerned about the lowest, the least, the left out They’re not concerned about the youth, they’re concerned about “Let me come here on a Sunday, hear something that tells me I’m OK, and I’m going to back to where I’ve been going Don’t rock the boat.” >> How about the fact that we have pledged to take what we’ve got as black people and put it back into the black community? That’s what I want to ask you >> He challenged his growing congregation not to lose sight of the needs of their neighbors >> I want to be a vehicle designer >> That meant soup kitchens, day care, drug and legal counseling, and mentoring for young people >> I’ve watched TV and looked at lawyers in past years and I’ve basically like, you know, the feel of being a lawyer It’s like–is really exciting >> As a matter of fact, there are a couple lawyers here in the church that maybe we can just hook you up with >> Well, I’d like to be a doctor >> You can’t be whatcha ain’t seen And so many of our young boys haven’t seen nothing but the gangs and the pimps and the brothers on the corner They’ve never sat and talked to lawyers They’ve never sat and talked to a man, a black man, with 2, 3 degrees! They’ve never had a chance They’ve never had an option in terms of thinking I could do this? I can be this? They see a doctor when they’re sick They don’t get to sit and talk–me go to med school? They don’t talk to somebody who writes programs and analyzes systems and computers A black guy? I can do this? I can–never have their horizons lifted >> [Simultaneous] The commitment to the black community >> Three >> [Simultaneous] Commitment to the Black family >> Four >> He spoke out about racism from segregation in America’s cities to the racist apartheid regime of South Africa >> What the word says about racism comes through loud and clear! Botha is wrong! South Africa is wrong! Apartheid is wrong! Oppression is wrong! Anybody who feels white skin is superior to black skin is wrong! >> Around that time a young Barack Obama came to Chicago and went to work as a community organizer on the South Side As he describes in his book, Obama was a religious skeptic at first, and sought out Pastor Wright for his knowledge of the neighborhood But soon Obama began attending Sunday Services, and in 1988 was baptized there as a Christian [ Singing ] Twenty years later, Trinity has built a new building for its burgeoning congregation, now over 6000 members Its ministry has grown as well, including tutoring for kids, women’s health programs, and a HIV/AIDS ministry Trinity has long had strong ties with the African roots of its faith Parishoners are asked to respect what they call “the black value system,” to rededicate themselves to God, the black family and the black community Reinforcing the motto that they are quote “Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian.” You see the connection to Africa in the stained glass windows Wright installed in the new church They depict many of the biblical stories that took place there >> We wanted our stained-glass windows to tell the story of the centrality of Africans in the role of Christianity from its inception up until the present day We play some interesting games educationally with the kids to help kids understand–can you name the seven continents? As a kid, you learn that in school All right, on what continent did everything in the Bible from Genesis to Malachi take place? And they’ll give you an eighth continent, the Middle East No, no, no, you just named seven continents So, what continent do these things take place on in your Bible?

It’s that kind of biblical truth put in stain glass so kids can understand this is not something somebody made up This is not something from black power “Oooh.” This is actual biblical, historical fact that you have a central role in the Christian faith that is yours >> –our focus today is on 127 >> Several years ago Jeremiah Wright and the church began the search for his successor, and after 36 years as pastor, he will be retiring at the end of next month >> But in Genesis 2 it says God breathes into the nostrils of what God had formed from the dust God donated some divinity to some dirt and we became living souls That’s God breath you have in you, that’s God’s breath that you just breathed God is the giver of life Let me tell you what that means That means we have no right to take a life whether as a gang banger living the thug life, or as a President lying about leading a nation into war We have no right to take a life! Whether through the immorality of a slave trade, or the immorality of refusing HIV/AIDS money to countries or agencies who do not tow your political line! We have no right to take a life! Turn to your neighbors and say we have no right to take a life! [ Applause ] >> I’ve had a chance to spend some time within them today and going to tell you the secret joy of being a professor is you get meet with your heroes So I’ve–anyway, OK, to get started can you tell us where and when, when you born >> Born in Philadelphia-Pennsylvania, September 22nd, 1941 >> What was it like growing up in Philadelphia? >> It was interesting, because I grew up in [inaudible] Philadelphia My parents, mother and father met at Virginia Union University in HVCU in Richmond, Virginia They were both from the country not from Richmond My mother was from Surry County, Virginia, my father was from Caroline County, Virginia and they met at Virginia Union And of course, she graduate, undergraduate in 30–1938, he graduate at seminary at 38 They got married They graduated at May, got marriage in June He got called to church in Philly and they went to Philly But every Holiday, every December they’re back home which is back down south So, I was going up in two worlds, the worlds of Philadelphia and the world of Caroline Country and Surry County of Virginia When I say “county” please understand, we were talking with President Castro today at lunch, a lot of young people in this room have ever, don’t even know what a slop jar is My grandparents had slop jars in the house There was no indoor plumbing There was a well for getting water But you went to the out house and at night you couldn’t go to that house because there’s a snake who used the slop jar So, that’s my world between that and the Philadelphia In Philadelphia what was really interesting and different for me was when we move into a neighborhood, it was 50/50 black, white By the time I got to high school there was 60/40 maybe 70/30 black, white But my high school, I was just teasing one of the young brother in Onyx over there waving at me He’s from Philly, born and raised in Philly That at Central High School, when I got to Central High School in ’55 there were 2200 students, 2000 of whom were Jewish So, I had all the Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah They would send us 200 gentiles into the [inaudible] I’m going to spend the whole day because no classes, you couldn’t hold classes with 2000 of your students missing And I got to learn a lot about–up close and personal about Jewish culture but the Jewish religion, Jewish faith had some close Jewish friends So there was that reality a black church on Sunday, a white–become the white school Monday through Friday, a mix neighborhood in Philly But down in the south, it was all black And going south by the time we were kids was an experience and that my mother–our mother, my sister and I would make lunch in a shoe box Long before serine wrap and Reynold’s wrap there was wax paper of chicken cut and potato salad and lemonade in a thermos, why? Because once we got south of the Mason, Dixon mind, everything was segregated and my father refuse to lend us allowance to go into segregated facility

And he would tell us that she got to go to the bathroom, let me know before we get to DC Once you get to DC, you’re going to have to go outside in the woods, because he wouldn’t stop it at a place that was segregated They had segregated So, I grew up seeing segregated signs A lot of our kids never conceive of that unless they saw a movie or saw “Roots” or saw something about “Keep Your Eye on the Prize.” I grew up seeing segregated water fountains, segregated lunch counters, segregated classrooms, and when I got to college segregated beaches And I used to look at the line There was a line, a big metal line chain going out about 50 yards out into the water And I was trying to see the difference between the white water [laughter] and our water in the Chesapeake Bay segregated So, I knew segregation up close and personal and didn’t understand it In Philly, I raised this question with my dad I was talking with some of my students this afternoon we engaged each other about growing up while I was in school in Philly We had a Young Men’s Christian Association for the coloreds and the Young Men’s Christian Association for the whites >> OK >> And the Christian Association for the whites had the pool in it, swimming pool, and we were allowed to go there one day a week Tuesday we could go, the blacks could go to the white while they have the pool, and then they would empty the pool and drain the pool because, you know, anybody infecting whatever we have on us And I didn’t understand if this was a Christian Organization up north of why that kind of segregation And my father and one of his close friend, a white pastor, try to explain it to me in terms of habits brought up north to German town, one of the poor Philadelphia neighborhoods It was German town, that’s where I was born and raised So, it was interesting It was a lot of mixture and a lot of experiences One very powerful and I try to get and did not succeed while I was a pastor, and I’ll tell you about that in just a second For one that was instructional, the eye-opening for me, was one of my good buddies took me home for lunch while we were in the 8th grade We call it junior high school in Philly They call it middle school in other places in the country When we walked in his house for lunch his mother froze and says, “Get that swatcha [phonetic] out of here.” I didn’t know what a swatch was Stew started crying “What’s wrong man? Let’s go to your house, let’s go to your house.” I took to my house and we had lunch, went back to school in the afternoon At 3:00 o’clock, 3:15, we’ve got out of school, he came back to my house, and he stayed there We’re doing homework and laughing and talking At dinner time, my father said, “Don’t you have a house to go to for dinner? Won’t you going home?” And he started crying again My father said “What’s wrong?” And he told him what happened at lunch Now my father spoke German, in fact daddy had an old German script We have–It looks like an F, there was two Ss He spoke old german stuff and read it And when Stew told him what happened, he put Stew and me in his car, and we drove to Stew’s house When we got out and walk in the house, he started speaking to her in Yiddish, which blew her mind And said to her, “Be very careful, the names you call people,” because kids, just like the movie “South Pacific”, have to be taught to hate and they learn from their parents I’m still trying to figure out, “What’s swatcha? What–They knew some of the private conversation going on Of course, later on when I studied in Germany, I found what swatcha was But the positive thing I learned from the Jewish culture that I love and wanted to imitate in the Black Church you in here in Fresno, all of my Jewish friends in high school, Monday, Wednesday and Friday we’re given an early dismissal Why? Because they had to go to synagogue school Because in synagogue they learn their own history and their own heritage And I maintained the whole time I was president, the black church needed to do the same thing Why are we sitting around waiting for the public schools system to start teaching black history, we’re saying all do We need to have our own schools and our own churches, like the synagogues had for the Jewish [ Applause ] But that’s what it looks like It was a mixed bag, a lot of different experiences in Philly and in Virginia, both Caroline County and Surry County A private, personal pastoral [inaudible] of PK I hated Christmas when I was growing up as a kid I hated Christmas Why? Because with–First of all, we could not open our presents until after sunrise service

When we opened our presents, as soon as we open our present, we get in the car with that lunch packed up by mom and drive down to Virginia so that she could and he could spend Christmas with their parents All my toys are in Philly I’m down here in the country, oh, they go give you sweater and socks I used to hate Christmas I hated Christmas But it was very interesting I was sharing with the students and the guys from Onyx this afternoon the heavy emphasis on education in the house in which my sister and I grew up where we had to read and had to read and had to read and had to read and learn Everyday you had to learn of something new And while were [inaudible] I didn’t get the chance to tell you kids this afternoon you’re students [inaudible] At dinner time he has have dinner with everyday, now my mother finished–listen carefully–she finished undergraduate at 17 had her first master’s at 19 >> Get it >> Second master’s by 21, she ended up with a doctor from University of Pennsylvania, all right Daddy had a best of theology, best of arts, master of divinity and master of [inaudible] So here’s our dinner [phonetic] with All you parents here pick up on this Not–how was school today? If you say how was school today? The kids kind of easy out fine and no conversation Well first of all I know that at for some of you younger students at Fresno State I just used a fine word, conversation at a dinner table Not when you pass through the kitchen, get your plate and go to your room with your flat screen and do what–no, we all sat down to eat as a family each night and each night, they would do this They would start with my sister, she was 16 months older than I They would start with her and they will say, not how was school today? What did you do in English today? What did you do in history today? What did you do in algebra today? They go subject by subject, by subject, first her because she’s older than me And you wouldn’t be [inaudible] they knew–I mean these are educators, right One that I never forget–I shouldn’t not tell this, especially because you’re taping it for prosperity sake As I said I got all the Jewish holidays And some days I got tired of the seating in the auditorium all day So one of the things I mastered very early in life was how to write your signature I’ll write my daddy’s signature for early for early dismissal, go get my girlfriend rather than seating in the auditorium all day long In that day that I wrote my dad’s signature, went on West Philly High School, see my girl She went to Overbrook High School When I got–they acted like nothing had happen, nothing was wrong We sat down the regular routine at dinner time When they got to me, they started with history and they went to trigonometry, then daddy said in English, I say we’re doing Shakespeare Oh, I like Shakespeare, what are you do in prose, poetry, plays I said it plays He said which plays? “Midsummer Night’s Dream” He said, no, that was yesterday Today was the Tempest He was my substitute in my English class [ Laughter & Inaudible Remark ] But to have parents who not only had conversation but knew what you were studying and knew what you should be learning in those classes So you had liberal arts dad and a scientific mom with a degree, advance masters and doctorate Her first master’s in the University of Chicago in mathematic The second one UP in education and the terminal degree from UP They made sure you didn’t BS or try to BS about studying and they keep you on target, on task and it was interesting that’s >> Tell us about him? >> That’s me Let’s say I was born in ’51 so I was ’41, so I was 10 years old, preacher’s kid growing up of course in the church, a small church It was not a mega church Maybe we had to 200, 250 members and church was all day long, Sunday school at 9:30, 11 o’clock worship service, 3 o’clock afternoon service, 5 o’clock BYPU, 6:30–7 o’clock evening service You could not take off your shirt and tie on a Sunday, [inaudible] of the devil

We had to stay choked up and shared some [inaudible], could not play ball, could not do anything Now, my grandparents moved in–that was when I was 10 When I was in the 7th grade, which when we were 12, 13, my grandparents–my parents move our grandparents into our home with us from down the country My grandmother had early stages also–today called Alzheimer’s dementia back then and grandpa could not be keg And so, they moved and they did not believe in senior citizen homes They did not believed in nursing homes They did not believe in senior assisted living quarter They move them in to our house with us and that meant moving an old–and my grandfather, her father who moved into our house with us, he was–I was sharing with President Castro today He was phenomenon and that he was 20 years old when he was right off to plantation with no education, whatsoever And at 20, he went and got–the promo from elementary school, finished high school, undergraduate at Virginia Union and finished seminary in 1902 I have the diploma hanging on my wall today at the seminary, all right But he’s old school, Southern Virginia Baptist That meant no doo-wops I was talking to the ASL people they want to know which doo-wops I was going to do from the stylistic They’ve been practicing all week on “You are Everything” But we couldn’t have doo-wops in the house We could not play cards in the house Grandpa didn’t play there As central, you’re going straight to hell So we had to sneak out of the house to play [inaudible] in Philly, because grandpa didn’t–so in my house there was no–there was–what normal teenage In fact, I’ve often talked to our teenagers, not only my youngest grandson but the teenagers at the church when I was a pastor My mother would rollover in her grave if she could hear what our teenagers heard today First–The first instance and then what happen to me with my dad and the second is with my mother When I was a paperboy, I was a paperboy, we used to deliver papers to people’s house I know that’s something strange too Getting my little bicycle and delivering papers to the houses I took my paperboy money and went and bought a 45, 45, young people are records [ Laughter ] They look like big CDs, with a big whole in middle of them I went and bought a 45, “Oh, here’s one for you Here’s one I got one.” “Cherry Pie” is the name of it She kept asking me was I going to sing It’s a very simple song [ Singing ] Yeah, I remember this [ Singing ] [ Laughter & Applause ] The second verse–The second verse was– [ Singing ] When my mother–When my mother heard give me some, she came into my room took my little 45 up off to turntable and pop, it broke in two This is a pastor’s house You don’t have that kind of song I knew what they’re talking about when you say “Give me some.” [ Laughter ] If she could hear Wizzy, if she could hear Nicki Minaj, oh, my God If you look at her–my mother would be rolling over in her grave Rick Ross, whoop, somebody lied [inaudible] Now, my parents died literally They died They never had a cable, never TV had–here’s another little flash for young people TVs used to go off at midnight, every night United States flag be waving That’s it At 6 o’clock where have “Doo!” They never had cable In fact, when I started pastoring, I gave my mother–I bought her a VCR so she could watch our services, right That was the most expensive clock I’ve ever purchased for my mom I’ll be talking on the phone she said, “Boy, you got to come fix this thing it’s flashing.” I said, “Did you unplug it?” “Yeah, I have to plug the vacuum cleaner.” She never used it But they never had–they had ABC, CBS, NBC So, I was the guest lecturer at the International Ministers Wives and Widows Association Conference That’s 2000 women every year About 400 husbands come along to play golf and enjoy themselves And my father was there with my mother She was an officer and then vice president, International Ministers Wives and Widows Association, I’m the lecturer

So dad said to me, we’re going to eat tonight–it was the third night of that I say, yes sir, what time? Thursday night I said 8 o’clock OK I’ll meet you in the lobby OK Quarter to 8, man, there’s a knock on my door I thought it was turn down This is Thursday night and those of you who are little older might picture this in your head was getting ready to happen I open my door for turn down It was my father Thursday night, quarter to 8, Def Comedy Jam was on I start looking for the remote [Laughter] I’m trying to find the remote to find out and kind of off quick, he had never seen that or heard anything like that >> Oh goodness >> And the guy who was coming on while I was scrambling to find the remote It started all sounding religious and my father smiled He walked– [ Laughter ] He walked over to the television and the man said I had to thank praise the Lord that I’m alive I thank, praise the Lord–you know, some people got to wait for thanksgiving to give thanks to God Some people got to wait to New Year’s eve, they go to testify and they did–it’s glad to be–listen I’m glad to be alive today because I know the whole bunch of you woke up this morning dead [inaudible] Now, my father staring at the television and I go click He said they allow this on [inaudible] Yes, the Federal Communications Commission allowed it I said yes sir, yes sir We get to them and he wouldn’t get up off You ought to see what [inaudible] had on his television screen I said it wasn’t me daddy That’s the name of the show You know, but that’s what–when no profanity, no card playing, no smoking, daddy when I say old school, no drinking, no smoking, no running women, daddy was one of those straight by the bible kind of preachers And that’s how he raised us >> I can share some with that but I messed around My father is a pastor as well and he came to visit me about four years ago and I turned on Kevin Hart I had not felt like a child in a long time until I was sitting in front of my father trying to rationalize that that was on But tell us does this Jeremiah Wright dream about being a pastor? >> No, I dreamed about being a professor of seminary I grew up in a home with [inaudible] my dad’s degrees and my grandfather’s both graduate of seminary Samuel DeWitt Proctor who was the pastor well in Rhode Island PhD from Boston, he was one of Dr. King’s teachers He grew up in Bank Street Baptist Church in Norfolk where my uncle, my mother’s brother was the pastor So, every time they came to Philly, he would come to our home He was also the president of Virginia Union, Sam Proctor when he died Before he died said he was–the only reason he had gray hair on his head was that he was the only human being alive who could say that he was a president of the college where both Jeremiah Wright went to school and just Jessie Jackson He left Virginia Union and went to North Carolina A&T But he used to come to our home So I knew the seminary community, her brother John Henderson [assumed spelling] did his Master of Divinity at Oberlin School of Theology And knowing the seminary community, I knew the various professions and ministry that they were Not just–you go to the ministry or you can be a preacher, no, I’m going to be a teacher in seminary That was when I was heading forth So that kid, yeah, I knew I wanted to be a teacher because when we had to read I was in my father study reading his books and became fascinated with the field of theological studies, biblical studies, ethics, history of religions, church history and I wanted to teach seminary So yeah, I knew I was headed for one of those disciplines of the 11 different full-time professors that they are in ministry and that discipline was to teach and as I ended up when I went to the University of Chicago in Divinity School, it was for discipline, the history of religions not to be a pastor, all right And as I mentioned to President Castor today, God has got jokes So I ended up doing–that’s what I swore, I never do, I swore I never be a pastor and I swore I never be a pastor because I saw how they treated my father with all his degrees >> Yes >> And I said not me, not the kid Do you not ever worry about me being a pastor, you know Forty three years later, yesterday would have been my 43rd anniversary as pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ >> Wow Wow [ Applause ] I just had to show this one because I just thought this was too cool and so this one

Tell us about–yeah >> Well, again going back– >> In the [inaudible]– >> Going back to– >> To [inaudible] >> Going back to my senior year, everybody thought I lost my mind, maybe I did In my senior year of college, everybody kept saying why are you going to seminary, where are you going to preach and you’re going–I kept saying no, that’s not what I want to do And no one will listen to me, no one Senior year in college, I was president of the senior class I was president of the college choir at Virginia Union University I was [inaudible] as president of the fraternity, the chapter there at Virginia Union and I quit school with good grades to go into the Marine Corps Now, my best friend at the time was stationed at Cherry Point in North Carolina He had been to Lebanon during the Lebanon crisis as a marine So I wanted to be a marine I came in just the best way to take this vacation that John Henderson, the pastor of Sam Proctor’s church said it was a divine interruption at–interrupting my career track when I went into the Marine Corps and they thought me how to be a killer What’s the name, I don’t know, Roosevelt used to define marines as underpaid, over sex teenage killers They taught you how to kill No, don’t ask questions, your job is to follow orders, all right And it was while I was in the marine corps–in fact as I explain to the President Castor, I applied for a school, cardiopulmonary technology, and most people don’t know, you should know as close as you are to the Air Force or to the Navy Base here that the Marine Corps is a part of the Navy, it only has a four-star general, a commandant who was under the admiral of the Navy So when I applied for the school as a Navy school taught at–National Naval Medical Center, I had to transfer from the Marine Corps into the Navy to get to school and the reason I had to transfer the school is 52 weeks long I had two years in the Marine Corps, 52 weeks makes three years and they said if you think we’re going to let you out with only one year to go and you got another thing coming So, I had to extend to make it six years of military service and transferred into the Navy and became a cardiopulmonary technician But this as marine was all–I mean like that you have one job–like the “American Sniper”, your job is to kill Don’t ask questions about who you’re killing just follow orders >> Some of you may have seen this image Can you tell us what we’re looking at here? >> Yeah, after when I transferred, were you there in [inaudible] when Thompson [assumed spelling] was there? When I transferred into the Navy, I went–I graduated from cardiopulmonary school and became one of the teachers at cardiopulmonary school Your student, Gary Willis, is one of our students And while I was at Bethesda, President Johnson came in for two different times for surgery Now, this was the minor effect If you see Dr. Fox [assumed spelling], you know, the other doctor [inaudible] holding his hand, showing that little image He is showing the president how big the scar is for the gallbladder surgery He had gallbladder surgery this time Now gallbladder is not a major surgery, however, where your normal heartbeat goes lab-dab, lab-dab, lab-dab if you have a leach of valve you hear lab-dab-sh, lab-dab-sh, lab-dab-sh His heart, Johnson’s heart did not sound like lab-dab, lab-dab or lab-dab-sh He sounded like a competition between Florida A&M and Grambling at half time He had a series of arrhythmias and all kinds of problems so we had to monitor his surgery–surgeries and we’re monitoring them being scrubbed in at 3 o’clock in the morning so that he could be out of surgery, fully awake and talking by 9 a.m. when the stock market open You don’t want the stock market opening with the president unconscious, he’s semi-comatose, you want him having a logical conversation with the president going to be there So, we had to be there from 3 o’clock until–and the OR suite, not in the hospital We could not leave the OR suite and we will go from the OR suite up to tower–in the tower 17th floor with the presidential suite, in his presidential suite and we have to put all–we have to keep monitoring him even postoperatively to check his heart rate and his blood pressure And that’s a picture where you see the African-American top left hand corner, that’s Chief Jones who

was our boss Willis’ boss, my boss, that’s the machine, I’m hooking him up here to that machine so we can monitor his heart rate We monitor him throughout surgery, but then postoperatively, we had to keep monitoring him until he was discharged because his heart was just that bad >> Now, for soldiers like yourself in this situation, how are black soldiers in this medical arena treated? What experiences did you have? >> Well, in–Well, in cardiopulmonary school and that’s the National Naval Medical Center >> OK >> It was the only school of all the military units The Air Force sent their personnel there to be taught how to be cardiopulmonary technicians The Army sent there personnel there And the Navy, Marines don’t have corpsman outside of the Navy Corpsman, so they would send their medical personnel there to learn cardiopulmonary technology The racism there was much more subtle In fact I had to tell Gary Willis, “Just because they don’t call you a Nigger don’t mean they don’t think you as one.” When you privy to some private conversations and overhearing things, you find out where people’s head really are So it was very–it was not as–it–and we put it this way, it was not as rabidly open as it was in the Marine Corps In the Marine Corps, one of the things I can’t–I can fix it up, I can just–I can’t tell you about that grin on my face First of all, those–anybody here who’s been in the Marine Corps, has loved ones who’s been in the Marine Corps, those pictures of graduation from Parris Island, I went to Parris Island, now out here you all got Hollywood Marines, you all go to San Diego But we went to the real Marine Corps boot camp, Parris Island And I saw these guys They were standing as far as from here to about the fifth row back with the brother of my hair color, my color, that’s how far you are from the photographer We stand in that attention, you go one by one And they put on this uniform It’s not a real uniform, it has what you call a Velcro in the back, one size fits all, one hat fits all And they–you adjust it, but it’s closed back here and what looks like a uniform is closed back there And every time he come out from under that hood, these guys are laughing, I said, “I ain’t laughing.” I’ve been, first of all, I was two classes behind at Parris Island We have the gym instructor, march those guys out into the swamp and killed them So at Parris Island, South Carolina, Yemassee, South Carolina, for 16 weeks, I have been called 43 Niggers, I counted them I dare you to say something Nigger So I’m watching these guys, well I said, “I ain’t smiling I’m a hard marine I graduated from Parris Island.” So I stood there thinking of all the different time they have called me Nigger So when they took my picture I was going to be a mean marine I’m just a sex machine [ Laughter ] >> You know what? I didn’t know interpreters with that deep into it This is a lesson for me, boy >> I had my mean lean marine look on my face Right I went over there They put the uniform on me I thought about the times they talked about my mama, the times they talked about my girlfriend And he comes out from under this hood, the photographer says, “Are you ready?” “Yeah.” I’m going to clean it up He said, “Punani.” And I did that, I’ve broken to a big brawn grin, he snapped There’s another word for punani that he used And my mother said, “Why are you grinning so broadly in this picture?” I said, “You really don’t want to know.” But the overt racism of Parris Island or the Marine Corps was much, much, much, much different in the Navy Now, where I was stationed in the Navy as a hospital–at a hospital, ’71, right after I got out from riots [phonetic], onto the USS Wilmington showed that the racism in the Navy was–USS Wilmington the Navy ship, was just as rampant and guys would get into it physically with weapons But it was much–it was much more subtle and much more low key But they–because please remember, what year is that on there? You do remember the civil rights movement is still going on So when we sit in the squad they–the Navy has to have one-third of its personnel aboard

ship or aboard a land facility like this at all the times So that meant you had to stay overnight, depending on what rank you were ascertain–lower ranks, E1, E2, E3, they have to stay almost every other night E4, E5, we stayed four nights, five nights And when you’re off duty together and they show in television scenes of King and water hoses, and Birmingham, and places, Montgomery, that guy from the Air Force and the guy from the Army would sit there laughing, they’re talking and say, “Look at damn Niggers.” Now, we’re off duty >> Yeah >> So what are you going to say? Are you going to start a fight and get court marshall? No So it was–the racism was there, yes, but it was not as pronounced as it was either at Parris Island or Camp Lejeune in North Carolina >> So how did you transition from military to this movement that’s happening? Right, the students you guys have recently I’m sure watched Selma, right? Do you get a sense of the climate of the times? Others of you in the audience may have been there How did you–How did that transition in your life take place? >> Well, before I went into the military, I had been in the sit-ins So I was a part of the civil rights movement in the sit-ins I had my painful awakening as to the Christians from what today is Virginia Commonwealth University It used to be called RPI, Richmond Polytechnic Institute We had Christian groups They did things together, from Virginia Union, our church school, and the other white schools in Richmond, Christian groups Now, to see the Christians in one setting like this, where we’re all loving the Lord Jesus Christ, and we’re reading scriptures together remember, and then to see them at the sit-ins calling me Nigger, the same students >> Wow >> And calling my classmates and dragging women by the ankles across the street and their dresses coming up, that taught me a lot about Christianity also So the transition was not–it was not–it was before I went into the service, I knew about what was going on, and I knew the mood of the South Peace, remember I grew up understanding segregation >> Yeah >> Segregated facility So when we took part in this desegregation of those facilities, I understood clearly what was going on during those hours and during those times And the black guys who was stationed both in Bethesda and at Camp Lejeune, they understood clearly what it is You’ve raised your hand to protect and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic, a country that dishonors you It does not see you as a human being They see you as less than human Historically, has commodified your body as something you can buy and sell So that was all a part of the ethos while I was stationed up to and when I got out of the service in ’67 it was still the same >> I’ve been asked about a hundred times in the last few weeks about the sound bite, and I’m sure in the course and the discussion, we’ll get to that, but the sound bite in regard to Reverend Wright But what–what I find interesting is how many people do you think know that he had that kind of history in the military? Right And if you connect that to the sound bite, most of you, I’m sure all of you know what sound bite I’m talking about, does it give another angle to that? That 30-second sound bite versus a history, particularly in the military that gives you that whole another angle Notice how much is left out of the conversation But this gentleman here, how do we go from military to that gentleman? >> I was still with Gary when it happened One of the things in terms of my own personal journey soldier is that the discrepancies between the profession of Christianity as articulated in the black and white church and the reality of that same Christianity with white racists and black charlatans and BSers made me leave the church I left the church And the only time I go to church is when I go home to Philadelphia, I ain’t stupid But I didn’t go to church I didn’t do church And 1966, the year before I got out, the summer before I got out, I was sitting on the steps of a church and I think, I don’t know, PBS I think caught some of this and there–and when they did a biopic on me, I was sitting on the steps of a church in Rockville, Maryland, station at Bethesda Me and my partners we’re sitting at on the steps

Solving the problems of the world, drinking a fifth tailor poured wine It was a Saturday afternoon, the church was closed All right? Now we’re sitting there me and my two partners drinking wine This is the year after Malcolm X has been killed So we’re talking [inaudible], we’re talking about what role did the nation have in this murder up in New York at the mosque, all right? We’re talking about the differences between the nation and Sunni Islam We’re talking about the differences between Christianity historically and Christianity as made manifest and the racism which justified slavery We–I mean we’re solving problems of the problems of the world, we’re talking about Vietnam, we’re talking about all these things and this old dude came up Now this is ’66 that mean I was 25 We were 24 going to be 25 that September This old dude came up and got into the conversation with us I say, oh leave a 63, I found out And while talking he tried to interject and be apologetic for Christianity and I’d cut him to shreds, you know And offer–one of my partner something to drink almost called his name And he said, “No, no thank you.” No thank you? That’s more for me And offered him and he didn’t want to drink You [inaudible] They knew because they were from around there And this old dude was the pastor of this church which we were sitting on [ Laughter ] Well, by this time we had this much wine [inaudible] Hey, it’s all like neck ball, it’s going down like full flat tire, you think I’m going to back out now? I’m free, black and 21 We got into it They left us there Those two guys left the old dude Rev. Dr. Houston Brooks as it turned out his son was Henry Brooks, professor of ethics at Colgate Rochester Divinity School I mean he wasn’t no dummy he wasn’t no sloth [phonetic] And we got into this long argument discussion and that three and a half four hour market of our talking he said, “I have a question I want to ask you.” Now I don’t want you to answer today And he got nothing with the wine, the wine been gone I want you to think about this, you know, I hear you angry with what white racist have done to Christianity, I hear you angry with what the Renaissance did with those false pictures of Italian artist and Italian models, what they did, I hear you angry with Constantine pulling Christianity out of Africa into Europe and making it a state religion, I hear you angry with black preachers pimping folk, I hear you angry about–I don’t hear you angry with the Lord Jesus And I got a feeling that you love the church very much and have been hurt by what the church has become So here’s my question Where do you think somebody who loves the church as much as you do can do the most good? On the outside throwing stones at it or in your case leveling ancient 8 inch howitzer shells at it On the inside working to make it become what you thank God having God’s mind Think about that Don’t answer me today, think about–here’s my card and give me a call when you come up with an answer So I went home thinking about that question I went home thinking about it And I got up Sunday morning–that was a Saturday afternoon I got up Sunday morning getting ready for church My wife say, “Where are you going?” I said “To church.” Now I think she said, “What’s the witch’s name?” [ Laughter ] That’s–it rhymed That’s what it sounded like And I said, “No, no, no, no.” Let me [inaudible] in a conversation when it get real on you I showed her this card and I said I met this old dude yesterday, he had a good rep But I want to see what his worship services were like Come on go in No, no, we don’t do church that’s your things So I went critical I went critical I went with pen and pad to criticize everything going in that service And he preached for Matthew 16 that day They came into the coast of Caesarea and Philippi and Jesus–we had talked about Caesarea and Philippi, the day before What are you doing with a country or a city, pardon me, in North Africa named Caesar Philip because the Romans colonize North Africa That we have talked about that the next–the day before he They came into the coast of Caesarea–yeah, I said, yeah, we talked about that yesterday Jesus said to his disciples who the man say that I am They said “I’m going to give you the good answers today.”

Elijah, Jeremiah, one of them prophets that’s what they say And he says, “OK.” And he flipped the script, who do you say that I am? And he stopped right there on that point And said that is the ultimate question in terms of a personal relationship in Christianity, not who did your mama said Jesus says, not who did your pastor say Jesus is Not who did he Elijah Muhammad say Jesus is Not who did Muhammad say Jesus is Who do you say he is a person? And I think convicting me and I went–I hangout after church to talk to him and ended being ordained by him and assistant pastor He took me from drinking wine on the steps of the church to serving wine in communion inside the church >> So that’s how you end up [ Applause ] Tell us what is Black Liberation Theology and where does this come in, in your experience >> Well, as I was explaining two or three times today starting at breakfast this morning with the ministers from Fresno And I didn’t say this and I should have All theology is contextual Because that’s number one, you got to remember that Because a lot of folks who are outside of the black church tradition trying to make it sound like something is wrong with black theology Your theology is contextual and it’s done from the context of your Sitz im Leben, your place in life German theology, and by the way Dietrich Bonhoeffer got his theology from Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem He was a member there It took that back and went up against Hitler kind of put to death but he saw what Abyssinian was doing for the least, the poor, homeless And he took that theology is contextual Now, black theology and black liberation theology with the name black liberation theology became a systematic academic discipline in 1968 when Cone came out with his books “Black Power and Black Theology”, “Theology of Black Liberation” “God of the Oppressed” His early books, he’s written 14 now And you must pick up a copy of “The Cross and the Lynching Tree”, one of his last books But that’s when it became an academic discipline with that name Black liberation theology I was explaining to the students this afternoon, again the name–the names attached to it because it is similar from the ground up contextually not from academic chairs down from South America with liberation theology The South American Latino liberation theologians writing in that same period from the ground up contextually What do the people on the ground believed? What they’re experiencing? Not formal doctrines of the church but what are they are saying How do they see God at work in a place? I did not mention [inaudible] place, the same thing operative in the Cairo’s document which was produced in Soweto during the apartheid regime, theology from the folk underneath the heel of Africana races Dutch reformed church theology responding to that theology Well, separate and distinct from not against, not contra, not diametrically opposed to, that academic discipline believed theology from the bottoms up, from the grassroots up has to do with Africans understanding of God Black Wanting them and creating them to be free long before Cone wrote anything And as I try to show today in couple of places, the conversations going on today on campus When the first African said or sang before I’d be a slave I’d be buried in my grave and go home to my God and be free That’s black liberation theology I’m no, no, no I’m not buying into your definition of me I’m not going to let you define me I’m not going to be a slave I’m not going to be property I’m not going to be a piece I’m not going to be commodify I’m free All God’s children got shoes And when I get to him I’m going to put on my shoes and walk all over God I can’t walk over any cliffs down here because I’m black but I’m going to walk all the way because everybody is talking about heaven Mr. Whiteman ain’t going there That’s black liberation theology and it has been existence since Europeans tried to dehumanize, demonize, commodify black bodies In the [inaudible] called the European slave trade he said I wish you all stop saying in your discipline transatlantic slave trade You’re blaming the Atlantic on slavery, the ocean didn’t had nothing to do with the European

slave trade But ever since, ever since Africans reacted negatively to that dehumanization of white Christianity is how old Black liberation theology is and has been And Jim and I talked, we’re good friends Somebody ask me was he a student of mine Jim and I just are same age He may be two years older maybe 75, 74 We don’t disagree we just–his is an academic discipline taught in the seminaries, all right What I’m talking about is the religion of the folk >> Yeah >> The same ones who produced the corpus of our oral literature we know as the spirituals and the folk service What is the folk theology? What do the people believe in? >> Well, in that respect it would seem that the rubber hit the surface as you were working in Chicago applying this, dealing with a community, that whole transition of studying it and then dealing with your church, you becoming a pastor in Chicago Can you talk about that kind of engagement from the concept to the application at Trinity? >> Yeah The first thing I need to say about Trinity publically, especially since it’s going for prosperity, I’ve said it across the years talking to younger pastors Our church–well, for many people because somebody asked me today, “Where is the United Church of Christ out here?” Out church, the United Church of Christ is made up of four different denominations, a congregational church of New England which had a long sterling history in terms of its involvement with Africans The congregational church of New England paid for the defense of the Mende people aboard the Amistad Paid John Quincy Adams, all the way up to the Supreme Court The congregational church had active conductors on the Underground Railroad and many of its church buildings were used as stations on the Underground Railroad The congregational church have passed–what do you call those things? At the annual meeting or biannual meetings resolutions against antislavery resolutions going back to the 1600s, all right Immediately following the civil war, the congregational church sends hundreds literally thousands of missionaries into the South to set up schools for the Freedmen, they were called back then, all right Our denomination, the congregational church set up 500 schools in the South Eight of which still exist today You know them by the names of Fisk University, Tougaloo, Talladega, LeMoyne-Owen, Houston-Tillotson, Clark-Atlanta, it used to be Atlanta University when Dubois taught there, it was a congregational church, and Howard University The general–for the Freedmen’s army, General Oliver O. Howard is named–that’s what Howard University in the congregational–in the sanctuary of first congregational church is where the seminary started at Howard University OK The congregational church and the Christian church both are autonomous We’re autonomous The Christian church is in the South The congregational church was in New England Those two merged in 1931 and became the Congregational-Christian church The other two denominations in our denominations were the Evangelical and reformed, virtually no Blacks in those denominations They were German and Dutch Some of them are older than the country They came across the Atlantic as a congregation The Evangelical church had a strong tract record in terms of not starting any Black congregations but in terms of health care and settlement houses during the great migration They merged in 1934 so now you got congregation of Christian, Evangelical and Reformed In ’57, they merged to become United Church of Christ, ’57 Back ’57, integration really assimilation was big in all of the predominantly white denominations who hoped for an integrated community And in ’59 they began talking to the assistant pastor of the Congregational Church of Park Manor because blacks were moving south into the far south corridor of Chicago And when they started moving south, listen carefully, the denomination said, “We need a church for the home owners moving into this community.” Now Jesus can talk all that who so, well, he want but we don’t want who so [inaudible]

with We want home owning Negros who knew how to worship properly because the church was right next to the project We don’t want people in the–they didn’t try to start no church there That project’s been there since World War II, we don’t want them We want home owning Negros who knew how to worship properly and not only that they can speak the King’s English properly but they’ll be shouting and falling down and waving their hands and howling [inaudible] We have New English Worship That’s how the church was started And the founding pastor, we got letters where he wrote to the denominations saying, “We’re still having trouble attracting our kind of people.” When they built their first sanctuary, they would not put on the signs [inaudible] ’61, 1961 is when Trinity was founded That’s four years after the United Church of Christ, right They wouldn’t put United Church of Christ on the sign because they didn’t want black folk in the black community think this was a church of God and Christ or Church of Christ So they put Trinity United Church (Congregational) to show you what kind of worship we have We have congregational worship >> OK >> So ’61 to ’65, we had this nice little Negro church on the far south side of Chicago called Trinity United Church The charter reads Trinity United Church of Christ but we wouldn’t say that out loud because we don’t want the wrong kind of people coming in to worship Our pastor left us in ’66, our founding pastor Our second pastor walked into a buzzsaw He walked into the same thing that Lyndon Baines Johnson walked into and Ralph David Abernathy walked into After Kennedy’s, “It’s not what you can do for your county as [inaudible] Anybody want to hear Lyndon Baines Johnson [inaudible] What’s wrong with–now, Johnson was the much more seasoned politician but he would in Kennedy, he didn’t have the Camelot aura Our second pastor, same thing, he would our founding pastor Dr. King behind, “Oh I have a dream.” Ralph David Abernathy had a PhD before King finished college They didn’t want–well, [inaudible] become They didn’t want him Why? He wasn’t King that’s why And our second pastor wasn’t our founding pastor He came in ’67 Guess what happened in ’68 We had a photojournalist–news journalist who used to say, “It’s enough to make a Negro turned black.” In 1968, Negros turned black by then [Inaudible], say it loud >> Yes >> Carlos and Tommie at the Olympics And the neighborhood turned black People would [inaudible] natural out here, Andrew Davis, Fred Hampton Please remember ’69, they murdered Fred Hampton and Clark Murdered, the police murdered blacks We got super black, black, black And there’s at this nice little Negro church in the community that had turned black on them and the church started dying We went from 400 members down to 87 Why? ’68, how don’t know if you’re old enough to remember this, but ’68 was also the year that Gospel music hit the black college campuses Prior to ’68, there was no gospel music allowed on a black college campus because the missionaries had told us that’s not sacred music We sang European anthems and Negroes spirituals We sang no black gospel, Richard Smallwood, Howard University gospel choir all those choirs in ’68 and they would not allow gospel music at Trinity That’s beneath us Gospel music that’s for those Pentecostal, you sanctify people And the church got down to 87 members Here’s what’s important The church decided to change before they call anybody to be their pastor The church looked at–are we going to be a black church in a black community because at that point, they had nothing related to the community at all No programs related We sit next to the project >> Yeah >> Nothing for the project, nothing for reading tutorial, lowest reading scores in the city It was just us My mother used to call theology–dear Lord, bless me and my wife, my brother, John and his wife, us for no more Amen [ Laughter ] And the church said, “Are we going to continue to be a white church in black face?” because that’s what we are We had–We got out white people doctor You had 60 minutes worth of worships You got 68 minutes of communion on Sunday You got–we’ll give you eight more minutes Are we going to continue doing this, are we going to be a black church? And they decided to be a black church before they called me In fact, the slogan, my predecessor coined that slogan, “we are unashamingly black and

unapologetically Christian.” Now, can you lead us in this direction? They ask everybody who candidated for the church, can you lead us in this new direction? I said me? Be like throwing a rabbit in the bright pants Come on let’s take [inaudible] So that they had decided to change So that you quiet because now we have ’72 We have ’72, 1972, blacks were leaving the church We have conservative reactionary, recalcitrant, conservative Uncle Tom’s in the city of Chicago who preach sermons against the natural, all that African men shirt you’re all wearing, Dashikis and young people were leaving the church, some joining the nation, some joining black Hebrew, Israelite– >> Yes >> –which is headquartered in Chicago Others joining that big Christian church that you all knew is Operation Bread Basket, operation [inaudible] because they had worship all Saturday >> Mm-hmm >> And the members who called me to be their pastor, I said, we need–we’re losing all our young people, why, nobody want to be a part of that In fact, when you teach a new member of the class, he’ll say, nobody–Have you ever howled to you, don’t tell us because you’ll be on tape but at your age, have you ever–just picked up the phone and invited one of your friends to go to a funeral with you? That’s what our church services would look like Come on, I want you to go to the funeral So they wanted a change in worship They wanted a change in mission And they had to change mentality, why? Because a lot of churches that are upper income, upper income And let say upper middle class Karl Marx and not have you in mind when he came over [inaudible] They have an attitude of doing a mission work with the poor people over here We’ll have a [inaudible] case then a close [inaudible] We got a mission for you How about a ministry with the people in the project? How about if they make the people in the project our members? >> Yes >> But the conversation changes >> Yes >> You can’t be talking about them people, when them people are sitting at the table with you That kind of change the mentality, is what happened in the early ’70s, they were ready for that kind of change and they said, can you lead us in that direction and that’s what brought about a shift in evolution and I’ve said that across the years because a lot of young pastors, man, they go in these churches thinking they’re going to change If they’re not ready to change, you’re talking about the buzz-off [phonetic] You’re wasting your time in there then they will quickly get rid of you So, they had made a decision to change and that decision was to be a black church in the black community with programs and ministries that address the reality of the blacks in that community Welcome to the reality, let’s sit down to find out Not only the reading scores, child care back in ’72, ’73, ’74; $50 a week You got poor fixed income They can’t afford that So Title 20 programming addresses that because you’re sliding scales, some parents pay no money Others had to pay depending on the size of the family and income Programs like the programs from mentoring You heard the segment to Bill Moyers, one of our members George Pension [assumed spelling] said black boys can’t be what they can’t see If a black boy has never seen a black judge or a black lawyer except going to court, how could he aspire to become a new [inaudible] how can you aspire to be what you’ve never seen? I didn’t even know it was possible I can actually write programs, having those kind of ministries that address the needs of the community as what the church said it wanted to do and that’s what we did, beginning in ’72 when they’ve changed and made a decision to change before calling me to service as pastor >> Wow What are you–I know I’m skipping but what are you seeing today after having had that experience in the 1970s How would you juxtapose that with what you’ve seen today? >> What I’m seeing today in churches many, many African-American churches around the country is number one where I grew up in the church and you grew up in the church and people in their 40s, 50s let’s say 50s and above grew up in the church, the young people today particularly the millennials did not grow up in the church So, where you have a breakfast this morning, I’d lift it [inaudible] go sound like a foreign language to many person because of the multicultural reality of Fresno state, [inaudible] and Dr Watts [assumed spelling] There’s a genre of music called meter singing Common meter-long, meter-short reader It’s a part of the African-American tradition religion tradition has been a part since the

1800s When the 1800s and blacks couldn’t read, it was against the law to teach in Africa how to read So they took the words of hymnodist, many of whom were European and put them to African tunes And the call and response to the African way of singing, they would call out the line and the congregates would answer the line So that where we grew up knowing [inaudible], you can go and I know in the library, well maybe not at Fresno State library but MoAD in San Francisco, the Museum of African Diaspora, you can go to the library in that museum and see a meter hymn book Meter hymn books have no notations They just have the verses that it says CM common metre, LM, long metre, SM, short metre and the one leading the song knows how to line it out so that the congregation can answer the–you try lining out today where young people, they look at you and they wonder what is that, what that do? >> Anybody have time for that? They don’t know what you’re talking about So that that has changed that young people weren’t raised in the church Yesterday, I was preaching in Washington, DC and the organist doing communion service thought of playing those old hymns of the church that hymn, her mother sing, her father sing around the house softly and tenderly is Jesus is calling, calling for you and for me And the one who started, the one that I’m hearing sounds in their mother This kid’s mother they heard Nicki Minaj They heard wheezy so then when you start talking about the differences in generation, they did–were not raised in the church I’m not going to get real because you get nervous every time I get real >> Oh >> But– >> No >> They have a whole different vocabulary >> Take it there >> They have a whole different vocabulary and what I find different is that the church today has to relate to them where they are, you know, you can’t correct if you can’t connect If you haven’t connected with them, don’t even try to correct them They have not been taught code-switching They haven’t been taught for instance, you felt like a child in front of your daddy watching Kevin Hart All of us might–we loved what your prayer >> Yeah >> But you didn’t do that in front of your mom and dad These kids have not been taught You don’t do that and they don’t understand boundaries They don’t understand They don’t think they’re transgressing any boundaries Riggins–somebody mentioned Riggins is here but there was a Riggins Earl who teaches ethics at the Interdenominational Theological Center at Atlanta A classic illustration Riggins Earl gave us when I quoted him Martin Marty, my church history professor says yeah “You better stop quoting people because every time you quote people, you get in trouble.” But Riggins Earl, I quoted him at the black church confronting the 21st century conference held in Vanderbilt Trinity School, 1999, 2000, we’re going into the 21st century And I quoted Riggins Earl as an example of what the church needed to be aware of about this current generation And we all quote at him to serve this present age All right What is this present age like? I quoted Riggins Earl was saying how the young people in this current age do not know the difference between appropriate language and inappropriate language And to illustrate his point, he is a professor of ethics at ITC Interdenominational Theological Center For his ministry of his church, he volunteers to teach a GD–GED course, three times a year in twelve weeks, three courses, 36 weeks of the year He goes into the project and teaches GED trying to get all his kids release a high school diploma And he said after six, five to six weeks, you get to know the kids each class You know the names, and all that And he said, he was writing up on a chalkboard, getting ready for class to start one evening He said I’m a seminary professor I’m not GQ Clean, I got it all and then he said I had one I think a purple shirt, I had on blue corduroy trousers and some green socks And when I lift my hand to write on the chalkboard, you could see my green socks Bobby and Johnny came and sat down right behind me on the front row where they always sit and Bobby said to Johnny “maybe that motherfucker’s in green socks.” And he turned around, he said “Hold on young man There’s a young lady sitting right behind you Apologize to her We do not use language like that in front of a young lady.” He said, “I didn’t use no language.” He said, “You cursed in front of that young woman Apologize to her.” He said “Prof, I didn’t curse.” He said, “Don’t make me put you out of class man, apologize to her.” He turned to us and he said, “Will you tell this motherfucker I didn’t curse?”

[ Laughter ] Because that ain’t cursing to do Or you start having, talking about bringing them into church, you know, he’d better get ready Because also people get ready because the change are coming That today’s young people are very different from the young people we knew I don’t see nothing wrong with that And when they’ll be shaking your hand after church, they don’t say “Dr. Johnson, that was a powerful word today.” No [inaudible] They say something else I’ve heard them say it So, the difference is we’re losing a lot of millennials who think the church is full of stuff They think the church is full of crap But again, preachers of LA, preachers of Detroit, ain’t by talking about getting rich, bling-bling And they didn’t want them Many millennials want nothing to do with the church I argue with my–our baby daughter and our granddaughter same–they’re the same age all the time, because they–where they’re at is what’s the point? >> And did the young generation nearly reflect the loss that’s happening in some of the cleargy you’re identifying Is that a– >> Yeah >> Is that a reciprocal relationship or is it just the young people that is a problem? >> So, what’s the second part of your question? >> So is it reciprocal? I mean, you’re seeing a loss of value So what’s in the discriminate–clergy you’re talking about and the young people at the same time, if there’s a synergistic relationship whereas [inaudible] or the other >> I have a different response to that And I’ll explain what I mean momentarily with the young people Their theology, contextual, they get from hip-hop I mean, corporate hip-hop I’m talking about most definitely you’ve seen [inaudible] KRS-One Who you’re bringing next week, Kumodi [phonetic]? They get their theology from Salt and Pepper They get their theology from hip-hop where we got it from Sunday school, BYPU and something like that They’re getting the theology from a very different place And went to church, they’re saying is not speaking to their reality at all And when they’re speaking, it does not put it as I–I was stating earlier today, in any form that they can recognize or connect with The preacher thing, I don’t see this synergistic because I–my–being my age, what I have seen in seven decades, the church today when it comes to those shock and [inaudible] preachers, is the same today as it was when I was a kid The difference is the media, OK? So, one no television and one day, one no television when I was growing up, there were no black churches on television But the media puts the attention In fact, the media always tries to name for us who are [inaudible] some hero should be >> Right, right >> So when they lift up TVs [inaudible], they lift up [inaudible] dollar They lift a bill once to– >> Yes >> They’re ignoring first of all, every church of every race And this country has an average of 10 [inaudible] 200 Not megachurches But the media didn’t pay them any attention and all those faithful women of the gospel who are pastoring 52 weeks a year, all those faithful men of the gospel who are pastoring 52 weeks of the year who are burying, who go into jail and getting mama’s kid out They don’t talk about them There is no media spotlight over them because there’s not glory Is that then, if he bleeds at least– >> Right >> –it’s not important to them So, we don’t see them but I saw him growing up I saw how they ignored, you know, you get somebody making a fool of themselves by saying something crazy That would put them on the spotlight But the church that I saw growing up and the church that I see today are the same in terms of you have some very serious pastors who are very serious about what they’re doing And they take their calling serious, they take the ministry serious And you got some other folk who see how the quick bling-bling, how to get some money Make it rain, make it rain >> Talking about Talking about media and you talked about the change from then to now What have you noticed especially in terms of what you’ve experienced with media? How can I put this? What do you think about the role of media in the church? And I’m also taking into account what–how media can be used, right? Because you can also talk about broadcasting, a sermon across the world over the internet and things to that nature Media in and of itself, how do you see the relationship between church and media and what can be done? And how do you see the problems that come about, having experienced what you experienced? >> I’m talking about what can be done rather than promised That no one talk about the promises I don’t want to speak in tongues Every time I speak in tongues, you get mad, upset, nervous about your job in 10 years

something like that >> No The– >> The, well, just a quick word about the problems and the egregious nature of faux pas news Oh excuse me, it’s F-A-U-X news, F-O-X then Fox, that’s right [ Laughter & Applause ] Anybody trying to get rid of O’Reilly for his lies, all right? But who take Fox News and what they did to my family, not me What they did to my family, it’s just egregious That’s why I don’t want to talk about them because if I mess with you, you have a nine-year old son If I mess with your son, you ain’t going to be too happy to talk to me about not knowing you Well I mess with family to Fox The newscasters and the misreporting and the–see what most people didn’t know was President Castro was shocked and the dean of the school of social sciences was shocked I was not at Trinity Church when the media started this mess I was retired I have been gone and they came The Fox News and MSNBC, CBS, and ABC came to the church and each of them spent $4000 buying 20 years worth of tapes to see what Obama had been listening to over 20 years And then they took one sermon from 2001 on Sunday after 9-11-01 and once in 2005 and took, snatches of it–out of context to try to scare voters away from the black They didn’t want a black man in the White House That’s just egregious They didn’t play the whole sermon They don’t want to play the whole sermon Because if they play the whole sermon, the whole argument is lost That kind of vicious attack where you loop it over and over and over again Right now, you got jackasses out here in Fresno Jackasses I’m calling you jackasses Whoever was in the call to school talking about “Why are you having him here?” You know no nothing about me You know no nothing about me All you know is what the media say, that’s all you know [ Applause ] Now, if you’re going to take that issue with my name-calling, just remember Jesus called the Pharisee’s sons of asps He say “you brutal vipers.” He say, “your mama was an asp.” I’m quoting Jesus So, we try to get off the negative side The positive side, I think that social media, especially is very important and can be used by the church just as it was used in Ferguson Social media and young people are showing us what’s really going on and not what the media is saying are going on >> Yes >> And social media is unlimited in terms of its positive effects and can be used by the church I was sharing–when was that last night? When was that last night Sunday Sunday I was in Washington DC and I was sharing with the pastor there in Washington something I’d never seen before I was at the church and who was that asking me about the Bay Area I was in Harold Mayberry’s church in the Bay Area First half of the [inaudible] They have a number that–a Tweet number that they put up on the screen like the screen and it say, 11:15 in their service, they tell you to dial whoever you want to have a prayer And everybody gets their cellphones out and they have prayer while you on the cellphone, Tweeted all over the world, you’re seeing messages coming in from troops in Afghanistan and troops in Iraq >> Wow >> Thankful for the prayer That’s– >> Wow >> And I was like, “man, I’ve never seen this before.” And so the evangelist come to the altar and bow and pray and go back to his seat Who you want prayer for? Where are they? Call them right now Call them right now and for five minutes in the service, the song–playing and prayerful that whomever you want on the prayerline at that hour, instances like that make the sky the limit in the terms of the positive things and positive effects that can be used by the church in terms of social media >> Let’s give Reverend Wright a round of applause please [ Applause ] >> One of the difficulties with getting a chance to sit on the stage with the hero of yours is when you have to manage the evening I will still–had 100 other questions and there was a lot more that I wanted to hear but for the sake of time, we’re going to transition at this point and allow for some Q&A

So if you’re interested in asking a question, please come up here where Professor Night [assumed spelling] is We’re only–let’s see We’re going to do about–we only have about 20 minutes or so to do So please be concise in your questions and I do hope you have a question more so than a lecture of your own OK So you all know how we do All right We have–OK >> Good evening, Dr. Wright I really enjoyed this session I hope that I can be with you afterwards and we can extend this conversation But I really believe I learned a lot My question is to the slogan of the church, where it says, “Unashamedly Black and unapologetically Christian.” Considering how Christianity has been used to dehumanize people in reference to the Natives, Aztecs, Asians so many different people I understand that you know, Jesus didn’t cause those actions but he–in a sense it was allowed You know, he saw it and–you know, went on with it >> He saw it? >> Doesn’t there have to be–I’m sorry, go ahead >> Who saw it? You said Jesus– >> Jesus Jesus, yes >> Jesus saw it and allowed it to go on? >> Well, I said–I’m saying he didn’t cause these things to happen, he didn’t–you know, say, “Do this.” But there has to be a level of–because he is omnipotent as many Christians would argue There has to be a level of allowance that he–he saw what was going on and he allowed it So keeping that in mind when we’re witnessing as Christians, don’t we have to have a sense of sorrow or a sense of apology about our history as Christians? The one we’re witnessing to those groups that in the past times were subject to the doctrine? >> Thank you for your question There’s a difference between Christianity and Christendom >> Mm-hmm >> And Christendom is what’s caused when it became a religion of the State as what caused what you’re talking about, not Christianity Christianity have nothing to do with precepts It has to do with a person Did Jesus allow Katrina? Did Jesus allow Hiroshima? Nagasaki? Those are human actions and nature S to put that on Jesus is to move into discussions that have nothing to do with what Christianity is Go back to Mark–Matthew 16, who do you say he is? Not who do the client say he is Not who do the Lynch party say he is but who do you say that he is Now, in terms of what Christianity did is the same and again where I would have–where I would–well, disagree without being disagreeable and I’ll be mad at you I don’t hate, just a statement I don’t see our job as being as witnessing to the Aztecs or witnessing to the Greek or the Seminal, that is not what Jesus intended either When you say witness, what do you mean? I want to change what you believe or do I want you to be fully human as God created you? And what we do, well we witness We try to make somebody Christian? >> Yes, sir >> And that’s wrong >> OK >> Because I’m saying to you there’s something wrong with your–I want to witness –your mom left? I want to witness to him I want him to live his faith to the fullest while I live my faith to the fullest I don’t want him to convert because that’s one step–our witnessing is one step away from ISIS and ISIL >> Yes >> The crusades and the Jihadists If you don’t believe like I believe, I’m going to kill you And that has nothing to do with what Jesus taught, and what Jesus did with his life >> Thank you >> Thank you [ Clapping ] >> Reverend Wright, thank you for being here Your presentation is beautiful but I had a question I wanted you to address about the pre-Christian, pre-Islamic, pre-Western concept of religion and spirituality I’d like to have you say something about how a thousand–5000 year old history as an African people and some of the concepts from our system of spirituality It’s–I know you got lots of background in it as I heard you talk >> Well– >> Can you show us some thing that we don’t know about our rich 5000 year old history as African people before Christianity and slavery and all that mess Thank you >> L.H Whelchel, W-H-E-L-C-H-E-L In his book “The History and Heritage of African American Churches: A Way Out of No Way”, he’s the same guy that said, “Stop calling the transatlantic.” Has a powerful book in that volume and that he shows how Christianity started in Kemet

And that from Kemet, you get Judaism which grew out of Kemet A lot of Christians freak out when they find out that Moses’ 10 commandments are found in the book of [inaudible] and the Coffin texts But it came out of there Well, the bible said they lived in Egypt for 400 years, what do you think? And out of that comes Christianity And the first four centuries of Christianity were all African writers, all African theologians, Athanasius, Tertullian, Augustine, all of them were African Constantine took Christianity out of Africa into Europe and made it a State religion The Nicene Creed–The Council of Nicaea was not called by the bishops of the church It was called by the State And they made it a State religion that [inaudible] argues From that point on, it had nothing–when you take it away from its foundation which is African religion, so when you take it away from its founder who was the African, it ain’t had nothing to do with Christianity ever since It had nothing to do with Jesus It had something to do with the State and the State is what signs asientos that permit the enslaving of the Mayan people and the Olmec civilization and the Taino and the Tunica and the Greek and the Seminole and everybody else The state religion, it had nothing to do with Jesus But yeah, what Moyers quickly talked about, stained glass windows in our church We want our kids for generations to come to see the stained glass It starts in Kemet and that’s the first stained glass window that they see That’s where it starts And then it comes all the way around to the 20th century >> So happy to have the [inaudible] program [ Applause ] And you hear tonight, I do hope that the tape of this will be played in both African studies, US history and religion classes It’s very educational One of the things I happen to be–have been raised on Paul Robeson I don’t know how many people in this room– >> Do you even know him? >> –actually know who Paul Robeson was >> Do you know who he is? >> And I was wondering if you might share a few words about who Paul Robeson was, a man way ahead of his time >> He was one of the great heroes of African-American history He was put on the blacklist by the McCarthy era He was–His passport was revoked He was considered a communist He was–My God, a renaissance man He was an athlete He was a straight A student He was a Rhode scholar >> [inaudible] All American from Rutgers, international singing and actor >> And we’re busy watching The Scandal anyway You know, he was one of our tremendous heroes and he’s not taught in most schools because there’s almost no teaching about him or even mention of his name Hs wife–I was trying to remember the book >> It’s Mellinda Mellinda? Or Eslanda? >> There’s a book out–Shawn Bergen has been advertising about his–the real Esmeranda–is it Esmeranda? >> Esmeral– >> There’s a book out about his wife and she–in the book, she tell us parts of his life and story that have gotten lost in the history because of the media debunking him and trashing him and making him a persona non grata But you have to–Paul Robeson needs to be taught and studied and learned by this country, persons of every race >> Thank you >> Thank you >> Thank you for coming to Fresno State My question has to relate to Professor–I mean to President Obama President Obama was in your church for almost 20 years and technically by the rule of the media, well I’m wondering if you might explain a little bit why is it that the same people who are accusing, are spending 20 years in your church, they are the same people who believe he’s a Muslim So how do you reconcile that too? >> A combination of ignorance and arrogance >> Straight [inaudible] >> Anything to debunk him if there’s anything you hate worse than an African-centered Christian man is a Muslim So make him a Muslim and that’ll scare people away from him Just like you saw American Sniper Classic line in that movie, you didn’t see it but most Americans saw it

When their planes went into the towers, “Look at what they’re doing to us, let’s go fight in Iraq.” Iraq had nothing to do with them planes, nothing to do with 9/11/01 But the Muslim, the tower [inaudible] and military people will tell you, they call them sand Niggers So there’s that smudging argument on [inaudible] weekend getting because he left the church, well, he can’t leave me in the Muslim He was a Muslim, his daddy is from Kenya He’s a Muslim His sister is a Muslim over there in Southeast Asia So you say Muslim and what’s interesting, once you put that label on him, ask the average Christian, “OK What do Muslims believe? What is the difference between Sunni, Shia, and Sufi?” And you will go get a blank stare, “All we know they’re Muslim, we don’t like them.” A terrorist Excuse me? Did they bomb, the Unabomber that was here, was he a Muslim? Was Columbine High School something carried out by Muslims? They’re terrorists, they are terrorists OK Are you from Africa? How many persons were killed in 9/11/01 by the terrorists? Do you remember? Both–Both in World Trade Center and the Pentagon >> Three thousand >> Three thousand How many civilians, noncombatants, that we killed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Hundred and seventy-five thousand But they’re the terrorists Now, I’m going to ask another question in different settings Weren’t we fighting Hitler in World War II? You do remember Hitler and the Jews, ovens and six million Why didn’t we bomb Hitler? Because he was yellow People of color are expendable So once you [inaudible] somebody with a label like that, what if he not a black nationalist Christian, anti-American self-hating, then he’s a Muslim And we know the Muslims don’t like us That’s why the same people make that cognitive dissonance kind of pronouncement on the president >> Good evening >> Good evening >> Thanks for coming I hope you come back >> Thank you, man >> Enjoyed you tremendously I’ve had the opportunity at [inaudible] to hear, but both of the [inaudible], my teacher, Roswell Jackson, forced us to repeatedly listen to Mordecai Wyatt Johnson and running through all of the–those ministers was a common theme in some of what they were speaking about and what he was trying to get through to us, which was–which I don’t hear much being discussed today in general in our community and in the church as well, which is a–and this isn’t related to the younger generation I’m talking about the older generation, which is being ashamed of not being engaged and not taking part in the community >> They–Because today we don’t see ourselves as a part of the community, as a part of what so called integration or desegregation brought about was us moving away from the community into enclaves and Xrbia or condos where we have nothing to do with the community Calvin Butts, Abyssinian in the heart of Harlem is one thing, but we don’t–our church is out in the suburbs, mega churches We have nothing to do with the inner city because we moved up and out In fact, I think there’s a TV program that says we are moving on up They moved away from that element So don’t–that a lot of churches don’t talk about because there is no investment or involvement or concern about those who live in [inaudible] poverty In fact, you can go back to King, go back to King from Morehouse, Mordecai Wyatt Johnson What was he starting when he died? The Resurrection City and the Poor People’s Campaign, right, that got killed So no–Now, you’re not talking about the poor, you’re talking about how to get rich, bling,

bling [ Inaudible Remark ] >> Thank you very much for coming to Fresno I was at your retirement party in Chicago >> OK >> And my friend Shelvin Hoath [assumed spelling] says to give you her greeting by the way >> Yeah and Sheldon Hoath >> My question is about something you may have covered before I was able to arrive I heard your tape of a talk about the black response to the gay community and in there you mention Mary Borhees [assumed spelling] I’ve been trying to kind of follow up on some of the things that you talked about and find some of those references I wonder if you could tell us a little bit more about that work and also the theological basis for some of the things you were mentioning in your discussion >> I don’t remember– >> OK This was a–let’s see This was a talk that you gave about you started out with–by talking about having a lunch or breakfast, I can’t remember, having a meal in a public restaurant with another minister and how uncomfortable he became when the subject was broached–how there was sort of an E.F Hutton moment when the two of you were– >> Got into–he turned over the water, he turned over the tea on the table, he got very animatedly agitated in what I was saying and I don’t remember–I was trying to remember the name Mary– >> Mary Vorhees, you talk about my son Eric– >> Oh, Borhek >> I couldn’t catch it on the tape >> Yeah B-O-R-H-E-K One of the–And you want me to say some more about that? >> Yes, if you would >> The 1975 is the year that I had all of the mental furniture in my head rearranged in our denominational’s national biannual meeting, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota Dr. Charles Cobb who was Ben Chavis’s boss, sent a note around asking for all black delegates at the General Synod to come to his room at lunch when we broke for lunch Now, the General Synod, 700 delegates about 30 black So, we all made our way to Charles Cobb’s room I was the last one to get there And when I got there, he started signifying, “Oh Dr. Wright is here, we can begin Now, let’s give Dr. Wright a hand Let’s give him a–” So I tipped across all the person, some seated on the bed, some seated on the pedenza, some seated in the furniture, sofa chair, went to the far corner of the room and leaned up against the wall and Charley closed the door, the only door out of the room and said, “I invited you all here today because I want you to hear from the president of the gay caucus.” I want to walk back across all those people and get out of the room because I was homophobic and didn’t know I was homophobic It was just how I was raised And so, I put on a poker face to look at this guy And the guy blew my mind He blew my mind so badly that I couldn’t talk about it for four years And four years later, I preached about it, I just didn’t talk about it and that’s good news for homosexuals And after preaching that sermon, it opened up the doors in our church and in our congregation for not only gay and lesbian, bisexual, transgender person to come talk to me about their parents and family members who’ve been wrestling with what do we do about this? And one of the books that we found was very helpful for families, for parents like Mary herself Mary was a woman who found out when her son was 22, 23 that he was gay And when she went to talk to her pastor about it, they put him out of church Both of you are going to hell, him and you And so she began her own search for what does the bible really say about homosexuals I was talking this afternoon about what the difference between what the bible says and what translations say The word homosexual is nowhere in the bible In English, the translators took the word pederasty and pedophile and made that homosexual They’re not the same thing And after she did her own investigation, she read the John Hopkins study She read what the association of psychologist–American Psychological Association is saying She now is an HIV activist person She joined another church and that book was very helpful as is Peter Gomes, G-O-M-E-S

His book called “The Good Book” which is about the bible He has a chapter on homosexuality that helps people to work through their understandings The most helpful thing that I have found in terms of literature was eight and a half by eleven two-sheet printing on both sides put out by the denomination several years ago 2001 is when my dad died so it would be 2001, “Good News” “Good News” was a publication of the board for homeland ministries of the United Church of Christ They printed “Good News” once a quarter And in this quarter edition, a father like Mary Borhek, a father found out his son was gay and conducted a year-long bible study of what does the bible really say about gays and lesbians Same gender loving consensual relationship What does the bible say? And at the end of a year’s time he said, “The most eye opening lesson for him was how intellectuals like people here at Fresno, people with advanced degrees never come to grips with the homophobia.” Homo means what? Same Phobia is what? >> Fear >> Fear What is fear? An emotion And until you deconstruct the emotional blockage as a person has when they come to the table and talk about sexuality, heterosexuality or homosexuality, I can give you the entire World Book Encyclopedia, I can give you the World Book Britannica, Encyclopedia Britannica I can give you the whole internet, but you can’t hear a word I’m saying until we deconstruct whatever it is that’s causing the blockage emotionally And what causes that blockage? And that guy in the restaurant had been in the joint–had been raped in the joint That’s not a homosexual relationship–that’s rape But he couldn’t hear–he didn’t want to hear anything at all about people born same gender loving, genetically wired, he didn’t want to hear–Because all he had blocking him was what happened to him in prison Same thing with someone who–one of our members whose husband was on the DL and didn’t tell her She’s got AIDS She don’t want to hear nothing about Peter Gomes, Mary Borhek Nothing what the association of psychology is saying All she knows is that man gave her AIDS And until you can deconstruct that emotional blockage there can be no conversation between the individuals that makes any sense It’s just going to be generated into an argument, name calling and hard–and hurt feelings But that–When I was trying to talk to him, he had written that sermon Good News for Homosexuals And he wanted to challenge me on it God is–There are some people who were born, they’re going straight to hell, the way they’re born That helped? Mary Borhek B-O-R-H-E-K My son Eric is the name of the book >> Now I want to say very quickly before we continue We have–We’ve actually gone over Rev. Wright has been good enough to stay but he is–he started today very early this morning so I would ask the last few people to have questions be very concise so that we can actually let him go on his way >> Rev. Wright, I thought you presented a lot interesting stories, analogies and ideas The idea you presented about when you went to school with the Jews leaving to go to school and you went over it very quickly you say, “That’s what the black should do.” I totally–I think it’s your strongest idea presented all evening And in every discussion I’ve ever listened to on the radio dealing with blacks, never once, you’re the first one ever to say that I think it’s your most important idea Maybe you could talk somewhat about that idea How hard do you think that would be to accomplish? How do you think your colleagues, friends, pastors, ministers and ideal people believe in ideals would help you in that idea? >> Well tried for 36 years as a pastor and I had success in our church limited in an urban setting What’s possible in an urban setting is not as possible–well let me say this–reverse that What happens in a small town setting, in a black church is much easier than an urban setting, with after school programs of kids coming straight from school, in Chicago you got to cross gang turf territories on public transportation to get to the after school program and that’s what made it not as successful in our church as it could have been, have

we been in a smaller town Other pastors, I never could get any interest with other pastors in 36 years One maybe in Texas, one maybe in Oakland but no roof of black churches said, “OK our churches are going to be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from three to five for an after school program If your kids live in this neighborhood, they can come.” I could not get–I could not generate any interest because it wasn’t about the Lord in heaven and grace and gifts of the spirit But I saw it work, I saw my classmates learning their own story and that’s what we need to be doing But I didn’t have any much success I didn’t have nationwide success like I would have like Or even citywide in Chicago because the Shelvin Halls Church on the West side, you’re talking about Chiraq that’s what they call them You know that’s a combination of Chicago and Iraq with bullets flying Nobody letting the kids go to no school–after school program in that neighborhood So we had those kinds of problems in a city like Chicago But I agree with you, I thought it was a perfect idea because, I mean, it’s what my parents made us do, learn, go learn Stop talking about what they’re not teaching in school go in the library and learn it yourself, go read And I saw it working with Andy Steiner and [inaudible], my Jewish buddies but we wouldn’t do it Not even in Philadelphia where I was growing up did I see it happen on a wide–city-wide or nationwide basis But I–we–totally, I think that’s something that the church of today, the millennial church especially, should be doing even using hip-hop to teach >> Yes >> By the way In case anybody didn’t know of and some people have left Did you all know the only black Oscar winner? >> CJ, Common >> Common is a member of Trinity United Church of Christ [ Applause ] >> Born and raised in our church >> Walter Brooks: Dr. Wright, thank you My name is Walter Brooks [assumed spelling] That’s a Brooks name I’m a preacher’s kid raised same like you have Same common experiences, fraternities, college, military experiences and all that kind of stuff I had a question though about this Christian thing This word Jesus and you know I was raised Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, pray, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus Don’t you think that we are crucifying the man? Because– >> Get back >> –we don’t use his Hebrew name [inaudible] >> But we don’t speak Hebrew there’s no J in the Hebrew My name is not Jeremiah >> You took semantics in college >> Yeah but my name is not Jeremiah We speaking English and that’s the anglicanization of the word My name–there’s no such thing as Jeremiah or Job or Joshua >> You see no reason to go back to the original languages that– >> Well if you’re going to speak–If you’re going to Aramaic, yes If you’re going to speak Hebrew, yes But if you’re speaking English, you use English Do you say Florida? >> Say it again >> Florida That’s the state at the bottom of the United States >> Do I speak? >> Do you say Florida? >> No, no, no >> What do you say? >> Florida >> Florida Is that what you’re saying Florida? [ Laughter ] >> The Spanish gave it a name for flower Florida >> I– >> But we don’t say Florida we say Florida >> There’s another aspect to this And that is that, the man was–and I think you would agree that he was an African He was an African [inaudible] Moses came out of Africa Every pitch that you see at this person you call Jesus is a European– >> Not every >> Almost? I bet some–I came out of Amy Church [assumed spelling], I’ve seen Amy Churches >> That’s different >> You’re from Philadelphia so you know the Amy has– >> That’s a monumental >> –you know all that stuff But this has been an issue with that we need to– >> We don’t speak the languages anymore >> But I’m talking about more than that I’m talking about characterization– >> Well the characterization starting in the ’60s Starting with our plaque, the black messiah, the picture, the [inaudible] has been trying to correct what the Renaissance did >> We have to correct history– >> That’s true too but the point is Can you say that in Akan what you just said? >> This may lived in– >> I don’t want to make–speak in Akan, speak in Sui [assumed spelling], speak in African language, speak in– >> I speak the language called [inaudible] >> But nobody here speaks that That’s my point This is a country where English is spoken

Different dialects of English [ Inaudible Remark ] >> The kids after school learn Hebrew We as an African people need to have some connection to Africa and language is a part of that And I’m just saying in context of Christianity in the 345 child student council– I have to [inaudible] >> Because we only have a minute, please >> I’ll stop with this I’ll stop with this Everything Jewish, everything Hebrew was to be exercised from the church and in that was the word use of Greek language versus the Hebrew language That’s all I just want to get your point of it >> Well, the Greek language, 200 years before that council became the Bible in Greek [foreign language] in translation That’s what the Ethiopian, the African, the [inaudible] was reading in Greek So, that language, I understand what you’re saying but all I’m saying is [foreign language] >> There you go >> I understand what his name is but we don’t–we speak English >> That’s English with you >> All right That– >> What’s my name? >> Jeremiah >> No [ Laughter ] [ Inaudible Remark ] OK Into the mic Close to the mic >> At one point in time, did the church ever fulfill the need of its members? So, when you were growing up in the church, did– >> Closer to the mic [inaudible] >> When you were growing up in the church, did it fulfill your needs? Because today, now, I don’t go– >> Yes >> –church because– >> Smaller churches do Smaller churches, in my experience do Megachurches can’t That’s not what they’re designed to do The smaller churches yes do Yes >> OK Thank you >> I’ll be brief Thanks for coming to Fresno again, Dr. Wright You mentioned the black theology and I was wondering in light of Ralph Warnock’s [assumed spelling] new work “The Divided Mind of the Black Church” where he talks about– >> We channel James Cone but we–no, he said, we read James Cone and quote James Cone but we channel Billy Graham >> Right, right So, my–is that so That’s my question The question is why, from your perspective, has black liberation theology not made its way into the black church? >> Several reasons Several reasons Number one, it depends on geographical location and pastoral leadership Number one, 90% of African-American churches do not have seminary-trained pastors And as I said, James Cone’s black theology was for the academy, it’s for the seminary And most pastors in African-American dominations are not seminary trained Did you know that? >> Yeah >> All right That’s part of the problem right there, number one Number two, what Dale Andrews among others in the field of practical theology have argued correctly–accurately argued is that nobody ever made–make sense to the person in the pew because the pastor without seminary education didn’t know how to do that So, he just put [inaudible] it And kept up with the fans of the white Jesus and Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” He didn’t try to make black theology make sense for the average worker The person in the church and practical theology also dealt with how do you take deep theological issues like the difference between equality as oppose to equity and make them make sense for ordinary church folk If you don’t, you’ll lose them You can tell them about equity, equity, equity I’ve got some equity in my [inaudible], you know? Anthony Reddie, one of the many practical theologians, he’s Afro-British shows how to do that at the local church level for folks even though we’re near seminary And one example is musical chairs forget that that one takes too long, I’ll do it privately at dinner I haven’t eaten dinner anyway The one he says equal footing where all in an even playing field, right? Take me 50 years ago I would have been 23, 5’10”, 200 pounds and put me at the starting block in a 100 yard heat with another 5’10” African-American, male, 23 years old as equal footing, it’s a equal playing field, isn’t it? We both got equal chance of winning this race, don’t we? You can tell me that this brother here named [inaudible] [ Laughter ] In order for there to be equity in this race, give me a 50 yard head start and then fire the gun And how that relates to you is in your black community, you don’t have computers in your

school like they have in the white school You don’t even have books So you’re not on the equal playing field, we all have a chance to succeed No, no, those black kids need equity They need the same things that are in the white community, by zip codes, in black communities It’s that kind of practical application that church folk then begins See, that’s what Colin [assumed spelling] is talking about That’s what the other survivors was talking about But if you don’t break it down for them in language they can understand, it never–yeah, you end up channeling Billy Graham So that’s why >> Imanihas Muhammad: Thanks, Dr. Wright My pleasure to attend this event and obviously appreciate all your wonderful contribution and remarks, et cetera I am Imanihas Muhammad [assumed spelling] My quick question to you is in light of our contemporary issues like lives matter and all the progress we’ve made hence civil right, civil rights So now, what’s your view on this concept of iconoclasm or taking a doctrine of pictures and other means of, I would say, language that is in concepts and images have on continuing making progress as again one step forward and two step back and i.e. getting to this issue as a root problem existing here with us, politics is always going to be there, economics, but until we can deal with the psychological perspective of let’s say Caucasians, in particular not all Caucasians, but those who would say a [inaudible] races et cetera have an idea that they’re superior be perpetuated by their view what we’re talking from [inaudible] and then also the view of images portraying God as divine being them and we obviously not a part of that fabric of the divine being Just your comment on that >> I understand I understand both the Muslim teaching about images of the divine and I understand ABPsi’s position, Association of Black Psychologists, 45, 50 years ago talked about the damage that it does to black kids to put a white Jesus on the fan or in your church when they sing, “Wash me whiter than snow”, they mean literally, make me look like this image, which I can never be like, therefore, I can never measure up, I’ll never be fully saved or fully human because I can’t be like this white image And I understand both ABPsi’s position and the Muslim position I studied–He knows, but two years with [inaudible] So I’ve intimately connected with–in fact my master’s paper was on the [inaudible], 19th century Sufi movement that swept into West African and how it was accepted by the–or rejected by the Bambara, Fulbe and took a lot of people in West Africa Going back to the fact that we are an audio visual culture in the west, we can’t change that Well, I mean, I shouldn’t say it like that The difficulty of changing the reality of the audio visual culture that are kids grow up from the time they rather watch something than read it, that the images need–that they’re going to watch need to be changed so they have a more wholesome healthy understanding of what it means to be an African, living in diaspora But you have to–but you can’t–that’s even in the bible when in terms of making images, you can’t–how can a human make an image of something that’s nonhuman, that you’ve never seen and you can’t see God So I mean, that’s a scriptural teaching, that’s a quranic teaching, that’s psychological teaching, but since they’re going to see, they’re going to be watching rather than having then watch Nicki Minaj, “Oh my God, look at her butt.” Let show them something positive to look at is the response Theoretically, I understand exactly what you’re talking about in terms of– >> I got you >> –how their minds, how our minds are controlled by the images >> Thank you, sir, beautiful answers >> OK [ Inaudible Remark ] >> He’s from Philly

>> Well, next time you come I’ll have a [inaudible] >> All right, there you go >> I would like to ask, well, you didn’t make a comment about how that you–well, you have paid attention to the issue with Ferguson and now the social media aspect of combatting that with–combatting the police brutality and everything and using social media to bring knowledge to everything that’s coming on, well, what’s going on in our country Would you say that that has been an effective form of combatting racism as well and the systemic aspect of racism since you have been–since you have lived through the civil rights era, would you say that what we’re doing today is an effective way of combatting that? >> Is an effective way of bringing attention to the problem and a first step towards addressing how we rearrange social structure, to eradicate that what Jim Wallis calls America’s original sin It’s a step I don’t see it as end all be all because you’re all going to have all the die-ins you want until we change the policies, things will go right on like they’ve been going on, but I think it’s a very important first step, yes >> Please give a round of applause for Reverend Jeremiah Wright [ Applause ] Now, unfortunately Reverend Wright has to go right away, so he won’t be able to stay for questions and whatnot, but we would like to thank you for coming and just so you can kind of see the young man on the corner here are all members of the ONYX Black Male Collective So they would be acknowledged and thank you So everybody have a good night Thank you for coming out Keep checking the Black Popular Culture website, connect to the Africana Studies, you’ll see the video soon >> Please exit at the back of the room Thank you [ Applause ] [ Silence ]