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With a broad brush that surveys the whole of the New Testament, Blount contends

that liberation themes are the central concerns of each New Testament writer



Books by Brian K. Blount


Cultural Interpretations  /  Then The Whisper Put On Flesh  / Go Preach! Mark’s Kingdom Message


Can I Get A Witness / True to Our Native Land


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Then the Whisper Put on Flesh

New Testament Ethics an African American Context

By Brian K. Blount



In this illuminating study, Brian Blount helps readers--especially those who have not lived in oppressed circumstances--to understand the new testament from the perspective of an oppressed people. Through careful analysis he demonstrates how interpreting New Testament writings from the point of view of African American slaves reveals the underlying message of liberation in the biblical texts. Then the Then the Whisper Put on Fleshinvigorates the study of New Testament ethics and initiates new openings for conversation across cultural lines.—Abingdon Press, Publisher


Brian Blount approaches the New Testament from the perspective of enslaved African peoples in America. He argues that these African slaves imported no new  information to the biblical text but discovered within it answers to their most pressing questions concerning the nature of evil and their quest for freedom. With a broad brush that surveys the whole of the New Testament, Blount contends that liberation themes are the central concerns of each New Testament writer. Then the Whisper Put on Flesh is a basic primer in New Testament ethics that will have enduring power.Peter J. Paris, Elmer G. Homrighausen Professor of Christian Social Ethics, Princeton Theological Seminary


Imagine an American slave reading the New Testament in collaboration with a respected member of the guild of New Testament scholarship. This book gives voice both to the hermeneutics of the slave and to the exegetical skills of the guild. The result of the conversation is an intriguing and challenging retrieval of new testament ethics. Euro-Americans could learn much, both about the African American heritage and about scripture, by attending to this conversation. Brian Blount should be thanked, and his book should be widely read.Allen D. Verhey, Professor of Religion, Hope College





1. Liberation as Lens


2. Reconfigured Ethics


3. The Synoptic Gospels: Kingdom Ethics


4. John: The Christology of Active Resistance


5. Paul: Theology Enabling Liberating Ethics--Sometimes


6. Revelation: The Witness of Active Resistance


7. New Testament Ethics Through an African American Lens; Some Concluding  Thoughts









Source: Then the Whisper Put on Flesh

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Professor Blount's most recent publications include a volume edited along with Leonora Tubbs Tisdale, Making Room At The Table:  An Invitation To Multicultural Worship (WJK, 2000), Then The Whisper Put On Flesh:  New Testament Ethics In An African American Context (Abingdon, 2001) and Struggling With Scripture, with Walter Brueggemann and William Placher (WJK, 2002).  He has also completed an article entitled, "Teaching Across Borders: Experimental Biblical Pedagogy."  It is awaiting publication in the journal SEMEIA.  He has been working jointly with Dr. Gary W. Charles, pastor of the Old Presbyterian Meeting House in Alexandria, VA, on Preaching Mark In Two Voices (Westminster John Knox, 2003). Professor Blount will do the John Albert Hall Lectures for the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria in Vancouver, Canada in the Fall of 2003.  Sometime during this period he anticipates the publication of the Discipleship Study Bible by Westminister John Knox Press.  He is an editor along with Professors W. Sibley Towner, Bruce Birch, and Gail R. O'Day.  He has also written the introduction and notes for Mark and Matthew.  Currently, he is preparing a commentary on the Book of Revelation (WJK).  

Brian K. Blount, associate professor of New Testament, earned his M.Div. from Princeton in 1981, when he received the Edler Garnet Hawkins Award for Scholastic Excellence. An ordained Presbyterian minister, Dr. Blount served for six years as pastor of Carver Presbyterian Church in Newport News, Virginia, before returning to academia in 1988 as a Woodruff Fellow at Emory University. Within the field of New Testament studies, he specializes in the Kingdom of God language in the Gospel of Mark, New Testament ethics, the relationship of the New Testament to the Black church, and Revelation.

His recent publications include Cultural Interpretations: Reorienting New Testament Criticism  and Go Preach! Mark’s Kingdom Message and the Black Church Today. Forthcoming are a book on New Testament ethics for Abingdon Press and a commentary on Revelation for Westminster John Knox Press. Brian K. Blount 110 Stockton Street  497-7836 

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The Last Holiday: A Memoir

By Gil Scott Heron

Shortly after we republished The Vulture and The Nigger Factory, Gil started to tell me about The Last Holiday, an account he was writing of a multi-city tour that he ended up doing with Stevie Wonder in late 1980 and early 1981. Originally Bob Marley was meant to be playing the tour that Stevie Wonder had conceived as a way of trying to force legislation to make Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday. At the time, Marley was dying of cancer, so Gil was asked to do the first six dates. He ended up doing all 41. And Dr King's birthday ended up becoming a national holiday ("The Last Holiday because America can't afford to have another national holiday"), but Gil always felt that Stevie never got the recognition he deserved and that his story needed to be told. The first chapters of this book were given to me in New York when Gil was living in the Chelsea Hotel. Among the pages was a chapter called Deadline that recounts the night they played Oakland, California, 8 December; it was also the night that John Lennon was murdered. Gil uses Lennon's violent end as a brilliant parallel to Dr King's assassination and as a biting commentary on the constraints that sometimes lead to newspapers getting things wrong. —Jamie Byng, Guardian / Gil_reads_"Deadline" (audio)

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies. As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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