The words of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech have become enshrined in US history. But after the end of King's generation of leadership, what happened to the African American struggle for freedom? Like the ancient Israelites, the African American community has survived a four-hundred-year collective trauma. What will it take for them to reach the promised land that King foresaw—to be truly free at last? In this classic historical and cultural study, Carl Ellis offers an in-depth assessment of the state of African American freedom and dignity. Stressing how important it is for African Americans to reflect on their roots, he traces the growth of Black consciousness from the days of slavery to the 1990s, noting especially the contributions of King and Malcolm X. Ellis examines elements of Black culture and offers a distinct perspective on how God is active in culture more broadly. Free at Last? concludes with a call for new generations of "jazz theologians" and cultural prophets to revitalize the African American church and expand its cultural range. The book also includes a helpful glossary of people, events, and terms. Ellis writes, "It is my prayer that the principles contained in this book will play a role in building bridges of understanding and facilitating reconciliation where there has been alienation." With a new preface by the author, this groundbreaking book is now available as part of the IVP Signature Collection.
Foreword by Amisho Baraka Preface to the Signature Edition Acknowledgments 1. Toward a Promised Land Part I: A Primer 2. Picking Up the Pieces 3. “Oh, Freedom!” Part II: “Reflecting Back” 4. Soul Dynamic 5. A Formative Phase 6. Two Streams 7. “De Lawd” 8. “A Shining Prince” 9. A Great Legacy Part III: Roots and Fruits of Consciousness 10. A Little “White” Lie in the Name of Black Truth 11. “Busting Out” 12. “That Boy Sho’ Can Preach!” 13. Cultural Seeding Part IV: Toward a New Agenda 14. New Vistas 15. The Fields Are Black unto Harvest Glossary of People, Events and Terms Notes