Afro-Christian, Afro-Blue: Land-Based Autonomy and the Making of Blues Identities at the Turn of the 20th Century

Burnett, Rufus

At the heart of the black American Struggle for life has always been the question of the land. Land, at the most basic level, situates all human relationships with flora and fauna. My focus on Afro-Christian and Afro-Blue identities is situated by the idea that life, at its most basic level, suggests relationship to the earth. 

I argue three points; 1. Land should be understood as a substantive component in how we understand black identities, 2. Certain Christian binaries, particularly the Spirit/Flesh binary, does violence to blues identities that point toward deep relationships with the land, 3. The Blues as a cultural production points toward a landed cosmology that has corrective implications for how we image life theologically. In short, each of these points express a type of Blues— A Blues for the Land, Spirit/Flesh Blues and the Blues of Blues People.


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Black Theology Papers Project

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August 17, 2022