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Emancipatory Hope among African American Adolescents

ISBN/Prod. Code: 0-8298-1540-6     


“Racism will never end.”
“Drug dealing and gang banging will never stop.”
“I hope for God to come and take us away from all this because if things go on the way they are, there’s not much hope for humankind.”

These are some of the comments from twenty African American teenagers coming of age in Chicago at the close of the 20th century.

These comments raise challenging questions:
What expectations do African American youth hold concerning racial injustice?;
What expectations do black youth hold about other issues that are important to them, such as violence?;
How relevant is the black church to the issues that circumscribe the lives of urban black youth?;
How is the black church instrumental in confronting racial injustice that black youth experience?;
What signs of hope do black youth identify as being offered by the black church?;
Can the church fashion black adolescent spirituality rooted in Christian hope and action?

Parker seeks to answer these questions, critically examining African American adolescent spirituality and offering congregations a new theological framework for ministry with African American adolescents in the face of injustice and hopelessness. What results is the formation of a wholesome spirituality.

EVELYN L. PARKER is assistant professor of Christian education at the Perkins School of Theology of Southern Methodist University. She earned her Ph.D. from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She lives in Dallas, Texas. 

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