The phrase “black theology” appeared in the national conversation during the 2008 presidential race, when a video clip of President Barack Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, began to circulate. The video showed Wright delivering a sermon to his congregation at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, at one point shouting “God damn America.” What resulted was a barrage of attacks on the would-be president and his pastor.
“For those who were beginning to open themselves up to the idea of a President Obama, this strange black theology and this barely understood black church was most unwelcome in the new post-racial America some believed had suddenly emerged,” said the Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta.