Good Example Of Religion And The Black Experience Essay

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Conservatism, Ideology, Race, Politics, America, Religion, Empowerment, Sociology

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2021/01/04

Black conservative ideology differs from prevailing black liberal ideology in several ways, and by examining each it becomes evident that political ideologies become prominent among blacks according the historical and political climate which they live in. No matter which ideology is in place, both hearken back to the desire for blacks to lead productive, self-directed, meaningful lives (Bracey 188). Black people have a long, rich history of black conservatism, but with the decline of conservatism during several periods of history African Americans begin to believe that liberal ideology is the only option for racial empowerment. During certain time periods such as the 1960s, blacks sympathized with liberal ideology because of the promise of political and civil rights in the Civil Rights movement. Both black conservatism and liberalism grew out of the church, suggesting the centrality of the church in black politics and “the power of the African American religious tradition to spur social change” (Obama 207). Thus, black ideology is premised on morals. Both liberals and conservatives aim to repair the family and quality of parenting to guide children to an ethical lifestyle. Although both liberalism and conservatism aimed to gain racial empowerment and progress, stark contrasts remain in the means to do so.
Although generally thought of as a “fringe and inauthentic voice” of the Black community, black conservatism has remained a prevalent political ideology and a viable choice for racial empowerment for blacks since the Civil Rights Era (Bracey 4). It is a social and political movement aimed to empower blacks in societies that operate on a system steeped in racial subjugation. It is difficult to concretely define the movement of black conservatism as it depends on the cultural and political climate of the historical moment being examined (Bracey xix). When black conservatism seems to fail, black liberal ideology provides an alternative ideology for racial empowerment. Ultimately, the need of black conservatives to gain the respect of their white peers greatly shapes black conservative and liberal identity ideology. By examining the lived black experience, it is apparent that the African American experience is not shaped by party lines. Rather, it is characterized by a constant need to prove race as simply a social construction fabricated by the existing white power to keep the racial hierarchy in order.
The principle arguments of black conservative ideology demonstrate that black conservatives view race as simply a social construction created by whites to justify white supremacy. Bracey’s path-breaking monograph Savior or Sellouts demonstrates that conservatism is a viable option for political and racial empowerment. He zeroes in on the core values at the heart and soul of black conservatism. An important argument is the importance/centrality of the church, which the black community views as the most central and unifying social institution. Bracey emphasizes the moral and ethical foundations upon which conservatism ideology was constructed on by Jupiter Hammond and Richard Allen, two seminal religious figures in the trajectory of black spiritual epistemologies. Success is founded on proper behavior and respectability, and the importance of the family is underscored by the necessity of parents to their children ethical standards that they should live by. Also, Bracey emphasizes the importance of industriousness/hard work as blacks, according to postwar discourses, must become the manufacturers of their own destiny. Through education and hard work, African Americans could pull themselves up in a capitalistic society where social mobility is its defining feature and make something of themselves. Thus, they respect capitalistic virtues as well as other Western institutions by embracing self-fashioning discourses (Bracey xxi). Because they believe in the notion of individuals working hard to prove themselves, black conservatists rejected government intervention in the lives of blacks so that black people direct their own lives.
Finally, black conservatism is marked by a sense of optimism that race relations will improve if blacks stay patriotic and focus on working their way up to economic and political success (Bracey 189). In adopting these values and ways of life, black conservatives yearn to prove that they are equally as capable as whites and would ultimately achieve racial empowerment leading to more equal and just society. Today, the black conservatives believe at the decline of values such as hard work and self-reliance have resulted in the high crime rates, an increasing number of single mothers, and poor academic performances of black youth. To fix the issues facing the African community, a need to return to the moral framework of traditional conservatism along with its core tenets remains key. Thus, understanding arguments on black conservatism as a means to empowerment rely on the idea that race is a biological fiction that has concrete consequences on the quality of life of real people (Washington, as cited by Bracey).
The black churched has long a history of advocacy and leadership in civil rights movements as well as for the physical and spiritual well-being. Moreover, the Church also plays a formative role in amplifying the spiritual health and wellness. The religious experience for African Americans thus was a complex one that proffered them both problems and possibilities as an avenue for social change in the United States.

Works Cited

Bracey, Christopher Alan. Saviors or Sellouts: The Promise and Peril of Black Conservatism, from Booker T. Washington to Condoleezza Rice. Boston: Beacon, 2008. Print.
Kelley, Robin D. G. To Make Our World Anew: A History of African Americans. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000. Print.
Obama, Barack. The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream. New York: Crown, 2006. Print.

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Good Example Of Religion And The Black Experience Essay. Free Essay Examples - Published Jan 04, 2021. Accessed June 30, 2022.

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