Cone describes blackness at a very young age. Everything happened when he attended African Methodist Episcopal Church. His presence in the ministry was an eye opener he realized that white people preached Christianity in a horrible way, making black people feel worthless. In the heads of the black people the aspect of Christianity for the slaves was like a promise to heaven. Black people were made to believe that all their suffering in Earth would repay in heaven with their soul.
Also they were constantly working which would barely leave them anytime for themselves. Thurman and Cone ignored all of the history of Western Christianity. They truly believed it had been corrupted. Simply because how badly black people were being treated and how black people were always a second choice for everything. Of course God was not going to want people to be mistreated this way so cruel and so ugly to a human being. We are all children of God.
Mainly referring to African decent, blackness describes any victim of white persecution as well as the feeling of oppression. “Cone notes two aspects of blackness: the physiological and ontological.”
Cone felt this “blackness” and it led him towards the Black Theology because Christianity as it was presented during his time at the African American Episcopal Church (AME) felt backwards to him concerning his roots. He realized at the age of ten, while attending AME Church within a white dominated community, that his social existence was not being fed by scripture.
Further explained by James Cone in an interview, he stated, “Any religion that is in the hands of those in power will be violent; for those who are the victims, religion can be used as a resistance to the violence afflicted on them”. For these reasons, blackness is compensated and cared for within the Black Theology, fighting for their resistance to violence and oppression. My understanding of Jesus in juxtaposition to Thurman’s historical contextualization of Jesus and Cone’s theology was that blacks are God’s chosen people because Jesus was also black. For this reason blacks are able to connect more deeply with Jesus and his teachings. He became more relatable. The black church paved a way for a Christianity that addressed blackness through a savior made for them within Black Theology.