The cross and the lynching tree are the two most emotionally charged symbols in the history of the African American community. In this powerful new work, theologian James H. Cone explores these symbols and their interconnection in the history and souls of black folk.
In a work that spans social history, theology, and cultural studies, Professor Cone explores the message of the spirituals and the power of the blues; the passion and death of Emmet Till and the engaged vision of Martin Luther King, Jr. He invokes the spirits of Billie Holiday and Langston Hughes, Fannie Lou Hamer and Ida B. Wells, and the witness of black artists, writers, preachers, and fighters for justice. And he remembers the victims, especially the 5,000 who perished during the lynching period. Through their witness he contemplates the greatest challenge of any Christian theology -- to explain how life can be made meaningful in the face of death and injustice.
James H. Cone, Charles A. Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary, is widely regarded as one of the most influential theologians in America. His books include A Black Theology of Liberation, The Spirituals & the Blues, God of the Oppressed, and Martin & Malcolm & America: A Dream or a Nightmare.