America’s ‘angriest’ theologian faces lynching tree
A crowd gathers in Marion, Indiana, in 1930 to witness a lynching. This photograph inspired the poem and song “Strange Fruit.”
April 21st, 2012
10:00 PM ET

America’s ‘angriest’ theologian faces lynching tree

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) - When he was boy growing up in rural Arkansas, James Cone would often stand at his window at night, looking for a sign that his father was still alive.

Cone had reason to worry. He lived in a small, segregated town in the age of Jim Crow. And his father, Charlie Cone, was a marked man.

Charlie Cone wouldn’t answer to any white man who called him “boy.” He only worked for himself, he told his sons, because a black man couldn’t work for a white man and keep his manhood at the same time.

Once, when he was warned that a lynch mob was coming to run him out of his home, he grabbed a shotgun and waited, saying, “Let them come, because some of them will die with me.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

James Cone knew the risks his father took. So when his father didn’t come home at his usual time in the evenings, he’d stand sentry, looking for the lights from his father’s pickup truck.

“I had heard too much about white people killing black people,” Cone recalled. “When my father would finally make it home safely, I would run and jump into his arms, happy as I could be.”

Cone takes on a theological giant

Cone left his hometown of Bearden, Arkansas, and became one of the world’s most influential theologians. But the memories of his father and lynch mobs never left him. Those memories shaped his controversial theology, and they saturate his recent memoir, “The Cross and the Lynching Tree.”

Cone, who once called himself “the angriest theologian in America,” is still angry. His book is not just a memoir of growing up in the Jim Crow era; it’s a blistering takedown of white churches, and one of America’s greatest theologians, Reinhold Niebuhr - a colossal figure often cited by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today, Niebuhr’s importance is acknowledged by both liberal and conservative Christian leaders. President Obama once called him one of his favorite philosophers. Niebuhr, the author of classics such as “The Irony of American History,” died in 1971 after a lifetime of political activism.

Cone, however, said neither Niebuhr nor any other famous white pastor at the time spoke out against the most brutal manifestation of white racism in the 20th century America: lynching.

Between 1880 and 1940, Cone says, an estimated 5,000 black men and women were lynched. Their murders were often treated as festive affairs. Women and children cut off the ears of lynching victims as souvenirs. People mailed postcards of lynchings. One postcard of a charred lynching victim read, “This is the barbeque we had last night.”

But Niebuhr said nothing about lynching, little about segregation, and once turned down King’s request to sign a petition calling on the president to protect black children integrating Southern schools, Cone said.

Niebuhr’s decision not to speak out against lynching encouraged other white theologians and ministers to follow suit, Cone said, because Niebuhr was considered the nation’s greatest theologian.

“White theologians didn’t say anything about lynching,” Cone said from his office at Union Theological Seminary in New York, where he teaches a course on Niebuhr. “I tried to find a white theologian who addressed it in a sustained way. No one did it.”

Cone’s criticism of Niebuhr baffles at least one well-known Niebuhr scholar. Charles Lemert, author of “Why Niebuhr Matters,” said King often cited Niebuhr as an inspiration. He said he’d never heard that Niebuhr rejected a petition request from King. “It would be so remote from everything the man was.”

Lemert said Niebuhr had established a long record of speaking out against racism, beginning when he became a pastor in Detroit. Niebuhr may not have spoken out against lynching and other forms of racism later on because of another reason, Lemert said.

“He had a debilitating stroke in 1951,” Lemert said. “By the time the civil rights movement was full blown, he was retired and getting ill.”

Why Cone is angry

Cone has spent much of his career condemning the white church for saying little about slavery or racial justice. Yet his pugnacious reputation doesn’t jibe with his appearance. He is a slight man with a boyish face, cinnamon complexion and dimples. He has a high-pitched voice that drips with the Southern inflections of his native Arkansas.

Cone first gained attention in 1969 with the release of “Black Theology and Black Power,” a book he wrote after urban race riots and King’s assassination.

That book took theology out of academia and placed it on the still-smoldering streets. He became known as the father of “black liberation theology.” He said God was black (he meant it figuratively) because God was closest to those who were oppressed and despised - black people in America.

Cone said his passion for justice comes from growing up in the black church.

Cone blended the racial pride of the black power movement with an emphasis on social justice that had been a part of the black church since enslaved Africans first read the Bible. Jesus' primary message, he said, wasn't about getting people to heaven, but liberating people here and now from oppression - racial, economic and spiritual.

Cone said he was tired of white theologians writing about an otherworldly theology while cities burned and blacks were murdered by racists.

“I felt like I was the angriest black theologian in America,” he once wrote in his book “Risks of Faith.” “I had to speak out.”

Cone inspired some and angered others.

Critics say he developed a divisive, racist theology that describes God as black and whites as evil. They say he’s stuck in the '60s and never abandoned the bitterness of growing up in segregation.

Supporters say Cone exposed the hypocrisy of white churches and gave voice to helpless, poor and oppressed Christians in places as far away as China and Latin America.

The Rev. James Ellis III, an author who has been both critical and supportive of Cone, says before Cone, theology was interpreted through a white male perspective.

Cone has inspired not only blacks but also women and other racial minorities to enter seminaries and the pulpit, he says.

“Whether you agree with Cone or not, he’s definitely someone you need to deal with,” said Ellis, author of “OnThaGrindCuzin: The School Daze of Being ‘Incognegro’ in 1619.”

“He takes the gloves off and gets down to the nitty-gritty.”

Jonathan Walton, an assistant professor of African American Religious Studies at Harvard University, said listening to Cone is like “listening to a Hebrew prophet.”

For many people, Walton says, Cone “exposed that the God that they were worshiping was more consistent with the Pharaoh in Egypt than the Hebrew children.”

Cone said people still misunderstand his theology. He said he does not believe that whites are more sinful than others.

“God made us all as brothers and sisters,” he said. “I’m mad when people don’t treat others as brothers and sisters. I’m concerned about the suffering of all people, not just black people. If anybody is being treated unjustly, I’m with them.”

Singing about the ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’

Cone said his passion for justice comes from growing up in the black church. In his recent memoir, he describes how blacks relied on music and faith to deal with the cruelty of segregation.

On Saturday nights, he said, blacks in his hometown would go to juke joints with names like Sam’s Place to hear blues songs like “Hoochie Coochie Man.” On Sunday mornings, some of the same people would go to church to sing spirituals like “Lord, I Want to be a Christian in My Heart.”

Church comforted Cone, but it also made him ask questions.

“My thing was, if the white churches are Christian, how come they segregate us? And if God is God, why is He letting us suffer?”

The cross, he said, helped him find some answers. He said many white Christians “spiritualize” the cross, seeing it as a penalty Jesus had to pay for mankind’s sins.

But black Christians, starting with the slaves who took up the Bible, also viewed the cross as a way to cope with suffering.

Blacks looking at the images of lynching victims took heart from Jesus’ suffering on the cross and his resurrection, Cone said.

He writes:

“Black Christians believed that just knowing that Jesus went through an experience of suffering in a manner similar to theirs gave them faith that God was with them, even in suffering on lynching trees just as God was present with Jesus in suffering on the cross.”

Cone also talked about his personal suffering in his memoir.

He writes about his wife, Sandra, who died of cancer in 1983. He saw her on the night she died. He said they were joking and laughing as she chided him for not leaving her hospital room to get rest.

He finally did leave, but she died at 3 that morning. Thinking about the cross helped him grieve, he said.

“God talked me through that,” he said, his voice softening. “You look suffering right in you eye and say, ‘You may get me, but you’re not going to have the last word.’ ”

Cone also talks about his parents, Charlie and Lucy, who inspired him and his two brothers. Charlie was a woodcutter who encouraged his wife to return to school, where she eventually earned a college degree.

“I didn’t grow up with a lot of fear,” he said. “I just thought my mother and father would protect me.”

One of Cone’s fears today, though, is that the contemporary black church is losing its distinctive theology. He said there’s less talk about justice and more talk about prosperity.

“You go to almost any black church today, and you don’t hear spirituals anymore,” he said. “What you hear is this happy, ‘I’m prosperous’ kind of stuff. I’m not for that. You don’t come to church to be entertained. You come to wrestle with your spirit.”

Cone may still be angry, but he’s also mellowed. He’s tempered some of the voltage from the language he used in his earlier books. And he’s accepted criticism from some black women theologians who said he didn’t include the perspective of black women in his works.

Yet thoughts of his childhood and his parents never seem far off. In his books and lectures, he returns once again to them, especially when people compliment him for his boldness. In one essay, Cone wrote:

“At most, what I say and do are just dim reflections of what my parents taught and lived.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Bible • Black issues • Books • Christianity • Church • Crime • Culture wars • Persecution • Prejudice • Race

soundoff (2,563 Responses)
  1. &^%$#@!

    This comment will be taken down.

    April 22, 2012 at 5:36 am |
    • Dave's Not Here

      Fugly strippaz! Yeah!

      April 22, 2012 at 5:43 am |
  2. Dawn

    Obama is just another rich man getting richer, the lynching happened all over the country, segregation happened everywhere, slavery ran just as rampant in the North as in the South and you know what, the education sucks just as bad for people of all nationalities. Whites kills whites, blacks kill black, hispanics kill each other and in the end is it because of nature or nurture. We have 16 yr olds with Mercedes and Herme watches, but yet a man who has worked for 50 years at minimum wage is still driving a 1978 pick up truck and living from paycheck to paycheck. Everyone grow up, quit blaming everyone else and make the change where it needs to be done...right at each of our own front doors.

    April 22, 2012 at 5:35 am |
    • Variaballistic

      Instead of over-generalizing, why don't you put the actual blame where it actually belongs?
      Each person does things, good or bad.

      Depending on the individual situation, holding someone accountable for the bad things they do depends on the evidence of what they do.
      I'm for going after the biggest criminals. The biggest. Anyone at all who is doing bad things at the macro level.
      I'm not looking to lynch them, just stopping their bad actions would be fine.

      I just want the worst stuff STOPPED. Don't come to me until you've dealt with the worst the world has to offer. There's no way you can make me believe that anything I might do could ever be as bad as those people. Never.

      April 22, 2012 at 5:49 am |
    • skpfrmdc

      Research the difference between blame and reflection. an article can't make anyone feel guilty, that comes from the person themselves nor are these facts indesputible. Since you are unable to see why they must be reiterated from time to time is to reduce the number of people who feel "blamed" and increase those who would "reflect" on how to change things for the better. If you feel like "my ancestor never owned a slave so ..." darken up and go outside. See what happens in your so called "tolerant" neighborhood. I'll bet you 'll see things differently after that.

      April 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  3. Whatever

    Last Month a black Hollywood celebrity organized a lynch mob and a white American family had to flee their home in fear.
    Well CNN? Federal and state laws were broken, yet still no arrest.

    April 22, 2012 at 5:34 am |
    • Dave's Not Here

      To say nothing of the Black Panthers – yet they continue to show up at every rally without being detained.

      April 22, 2012 at 5:42 am |
    • Name*s kel

      Why in Gods Name do you racist LIE so much and actually belive the BLADENT LIE you spew, and deny whats before you? Are you really that blind and sick?

      April 22, 2012 at 5:51 am |
    • Orwell seen it before

      You said the same post earlier. You should investigate the facts, outside fox and tea party central.

      Call the DA or FBI, see if it is an active investigation. What is the position of the NAACP? Got news or just ditto head rants?

      April 22, 2012 at 6:00 am |
    • Whatever

      Lee Tweeted 250,000 followers, about 30 showed up at their house, but they had already fled -death threats arrived in the mail on Skittles wrappers -they are still not back.
      This is confirmed. LEE HIMSELF ACKNOWLEDGED THIS.
      How Low IS your IQ? -Everything is a racist lie? Everything?

      April 22, 2012 at 6:35 am |
    • skpfrmdc

      Oh yeah? which laws were broken? who shot who? talk is talk and no amount of talk could make me leave my home. Whatever happened to stand your ground?

      April 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Mighty

      The klans are every where filtering their hate. They are not wearing their white hoodies any more there are in jacket and ties, in government and businesses operations.

      April 22, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  4. PanzerJager

    Slaves its the American way!

    April 22, 2012 at 5:31 am |
    • Name*s kel

      So is DEATH to all Nazis! By me hopefully!

      April 22, 2012 at 5:34 am |
  5. Rev. Getsheen Charles, Chairman and Lead Civil Rights Advocate

    One great philosopher once said, "I feel therefore I am." Come on America, we've got to be more sensitive. You cannot just forget torture for so long. You cannot give continuous brutality a green card with a blind eye. You cannot embrace Injustice...especially if it is still going on in U.S. To those who say that Black people need to move on–you would not tell my Jewish brothers to practice "Alzheimer's" and Forget the Holocaust. Why are you suggesting Blacks do so. Isn't it also true that most nations around the Globe received some monetary compensation for their past sufferings? Blacks received No Checks. They have a legitimate reason to be Outraged. I have heard some of my white brothers say that Blacks need to go back to Africa–I would love to go back to Africa with 50 million dollars cash as reparation settlement. Exodus from America would be a pleasure as long her sins are paid up. If you are white in America, please Rethink the Atrocities that Blacks experienced. Horrible. Unthinkable. Unimaginable. My Jewish brothers suffered terribly and the whole world receive them with Great Compassion. How come some of us are trying to downplay the terroe that Blacks experienced 400 years ago–during Civil Rights Movement 60's-and 2012 has not shown much progress as far as justice is concerned. Here is a shocker to all of of us Black and White–If your daughter brings a fiance to your home of the opposite race and you nod your head about her choice–YOU ARE A RACIST. No exception. Black or White. You see, this Mess is ongoing!

    April 22, 2012 at 5:31 am |
    • DrewNumberTwo

      I am not responsible for other people's actions, no matter their skin color. You did not suffer what another person suffered, no matter your skin color.

      April 22, 2012 at 5:54 am |
    • Variaballistic

      If I had a daughter bring home someone for me to meet, I would just hope the guy or gal isn't a jerk or anything bad like that.
      I've met many different people. Each one an individual. Never have I met or seen anyone who was part of a hive-mind as you seem to think exists out there.

      But I think I understand how you feel. Why 50 million, though? Why not more or less? I'm actually supporting your idea. Just imagine the good you guys could do as you take over some small country by bribing the current rulers to go on permanent vacation.
      But why go to Africa? Why not stay here with us? A lot of people are not racist. Use the money to fight for equality. Buy whatever you need to bring up your standard of living and to ensure your equal rights.
      Wouldn't that be a proper use for reparation-type money? To remove the damage as much as possible?

      But we can't dictate how people spend their money, can we? We can't even bribe the millionaire congressmen on our behalf.

      You've really got to get rid of this "all white people" jazz. It shows you haven't quite figured out who's doing what and how they did it in the old days.
      And it is only certain people who actually did things. We aren't part of a hive-mind. We are all individuals.

      April 22, 2012 at 6:01 am |
    • T Stevenson

      You are a person of acute understanding and wisdom. At least you get it. Why don't others get it?

      April 22, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • mike e

      Only 1.4% of White Americans owned slaves. How do you hold 98% of a race responsible for the actions of others? And from whom would this $50 million per come from?

      Your comments are similar to stating that all blacks commit crimes. Not true. Nor is it true that all whites had slaves.

      Also,for your information. If American blacks were there own country, they would have the 10th largest GDP in the world. American blacks also enjoy anywhere from 20 to 40 times the average annual income of most citizens of African nations.

      April 22, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • John

      0.0 percent of living white Americans ever owned slaves.

      April 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Really?

      you are a moron, and are by no means what your name says you are, black people are not the only ones to be oppressed and killed at will, American Indians were too, also the jews, and whole other races. Black are the only ones who will never stop complaining about it. And if you think you will ever see any money, least of all 50 million, then you are out of your mind

      April 22, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Really?

      Oh, and guess who sold the africans into slavery at first? other africans, and in africa there are still slaves, and black slavemasters

      April 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Scott

      So its all about the money huh?

      April 23, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Anthony

      You made a very good point. Give us what is due to us.that is a argument they don't won't to hear.This country will never move forward until racism and hatred is eradicated.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • glenda

      @Variaballistic...hello, let me be honest for myself...I cant speak for anyone but me, I never have blamed "all white people", let me tell you something, if I lived back when slavery was alive and well and I was a white person, I would have jumped on the bandwagon, because we all humans seek self preservation, better sometimes to stand with than agains, especially when the "against" could control your life with the flick of a bic lighter to light the cross.
      But fortunately I dont live back then, I live in the hear and now, I am just trying to make better sense of the world and those who inhabit it.

      May 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  6. Abe Lincoln

    That's how they handled black on white crime back then.

    April 22, 2012 at 5:29 am |
    • Name*s kel

      A 9mm will handle you nicely, Racist Crack–!

      April 22, 2012 at 5:42 am |
    • Rudy

      Nothing better to do , so you write stupid comments online , exposing to the world your own personal stupidity and bigoted beliefs. Good thing through life's travels and interaction most americans see all of you insecure ,no self esteem loud mouths for what you are .No , time will not roll back , but I see all of you being left behind while the rest of US ventures forth towards a world not based on a twisted or watered down version of how we got to this point .Imagine how its going to feel for your children to have admit who you really are . Grow up , the only one you can fool or harm at this point is yourself .

      April 22, 2012 at 6:05 am |
  7. Allen

    Neither my ancestors or I every had slaves. Screw you and the race-baiting horse you rode in on Cone. How about you convinice your "brothers" to stop (per FIB statistics) committing over HALF the violent crime in the U.S. and 60% of murders of police. Get that done and we can talk.

    April 22, 2012 at 5:14 am |
    • Allen

      I would also like to point out that the only thing like a lynching happening right now is the million the panthers have on George Zimmerman's head. Wish they'd put a million on me, I'd turn myself in just so my kids could get a college education that "diversity" programs make it harder for them to get.

      April 22, 2012 at 5:18 am |
    • nik

      But your ancestors either had slaves or were slaves you choose since you obviously don't know your ancestory. Try educating your kids then they'll make something and be a slave driver and not be a slave like you poor man. And Zimmerman needed to see a judge and plea self defense to a jury of peers its that 60% crap that this guy is mad at. Go slave on son

      April 22, 2012 at 5:26 am |
    • Name*s kel

      Typical statment from a lieing crack–! Go back to europe thief! Lier!

      April 22, 2012 at 5:30 am |
    • Eric

      Spelling. It's not just for white people.

      April 22, 2012 at 5:49 am |
    • Rudy

      Please ,before you post hate read . Your facts are so untrue . Don't twist the facts to justify your bigotry . Because all you have done is expose the depth of your stupidity .

      April 22, 2012 at 6:12 am |
    • skpfrmdc

      Score one for the white people ! now resaerch how you benifited from slavery, if you're so fond of statistics, even though your ancestors never owned a person. Sins of the father.

      April 22, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Really?

      Slavery was around a long, long time before blacks, and still exists today. If the black people are so against slavery, then end the slavery that is still going on.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  8. adeyemi


    April 22, 2012 at 5:09 am |
  9. slip34

    These events depicted in the article is what caused the "gangsta" culture in the black community. Many of the people lynched were trying to assimilate into white culture but were met with discrimination, isolation, and death. Thus culture took a different approach which was to be dangerous. You wont try to lynch someone if you fear them. I wondered if this has ever been studied?

    April 22, 2012 at 5:08 am |
    • nio17

      So when you hang a white person is hanging. When you hang a black person its lynching? Lynching is a southern term. Why is it that 5 or so southern state are responsible for the moral and racial compas of the other 45 states??? The south is a bit different than the rest of the country

      April 22, 2012 at 5:14 am |
    • Rudy

      No study needed . I suggest you study your own mind and writings , for therein lies the problem .

      April 22, 2012 at 6:16 am |
    • Realist

      Do you REALLY think 30 well-armed rednecks are scared of one idiot walking around with a "hard" look on his face while holding his pants up?


      April 22, 2012 at 10:33 am |
    • skpfrmdc

      That is the most ridiculous thing I've heard here in a while (and that's sayin' somethin'). These are the kind of statements only a "white" person can make. Thuggery has existed for millenia. When Blacks (who have no desire to assimilate (you should have heard my Granny on the subject if INTERGRATION) The current crop of undisirables (plenty of back hat wearin' baggy pants w / etnic girlfriends white boys in my town ( D.C.) are the direct result of NO HOPE in the inner city neighborhoods. The disrespect for education (keepin' it real !) the controversial wardrobe, the utter lack of manners and civility is a backlash of percieved white morals and behavioral expectations. Dopey theories like tis one above only further confuse people as to how to help. You sound as if you've never had an honest conversation with someone of color.

      April 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  10. adeyemi


    April 22, 2012 at 5:08 am |
  11. rainbow

    (look it up)...so glad I don't need to hate!

    April 22, 2012 at 4:58 am |
  12. citizenn

    Fact is, lynch mobs were not always white, the victims were not always black and these incidents happened in all parts of the country. The history of race relations has been so romanticized as to bear no resemblance to the truth.

    April 22, 2012 at 4:50 am |
  13. mary

    Slavery started when black africans traded their own slaves to the whites who came to their shores ...Later blacks brought other black to be sold as slaves to slavers.
    Every race has a history of slavery..
    The misery people of all color have caused each other is easy to research..
    Its sad.. Its really sad what happened.. but it is also very sad what happened to my people when they were welcoming to the white people who parked their boats on their shores~!..
    Its time we stopped reliving past grief.. Stopped crying over the past..
    It never ends if people wont let it end.
    Many races have over come horrific things that were done to them.. Moved on..
    Why won't black people do that..?

    April 22, 2012 at 4:39 am |
    • nik

      Actually slavery started when the way back when before civilizations started and we were meandering tribes of Africa. Its just black slaves were a huge part of Americas growing up past. All slavery is wrong remember most people in the world came from slave ancestry only few were privileged and had control of everything many needed. Its still here today but instead of whips, chains and cells we have discussion papers, no fair pay, and pink slips. Bring the 1% down and stop modern slavery rise up the 99% and bring up a world full of art science and knowledge.

      April 22, 2012 at 5:03 am |


      April 22, 2012 at 5:10 am |
    • mary

      I'm native american.. Do you honestly think slavery trumps what my people went through?
      Here is a thought for you... Those that didn't do it owe NOTHING to those it wasn't done to...
      If not , then we could carry hate on forever..~!
      It time people looked forward and let the hate die..
      So NO I am not black.. But this land is smeared with the blood and the tears of my people ..Maybe even the land you are sitting on.. should I hate you>>>?
      Move forward..

      April 22, 2012 at 5:28 am |
    • nik

      Yep the land a stand on is full of bad Indian spirits but these natives died at the hands of there native slave masters not because of the horred things European conquerors did then settling waring Americans did in the westward expansion
      but I get it you are sad because no one talks about the transgressions done to your people.

      April 22, 2012 at 5:50 am |
    • Rudy

      You can not be a learned man by reading one or two books to try and assimilate your own facts . Judging by your posts , silence is your best option .

      April 22, 2012 at 6:22 am |
    • skpfrmdc

      Don't want to hear about it huh? "My ancestors never owned anyone" eh? We should just move on, really? We are not talking about old world slavery. African Slavery was very different from Western "civilized" slavery. Indulge me. Research how you've benifited from "AMERICAN" slavery. Go to Ask.com and type in that specific question and draw your own conclusions. "Apologies accepted Capt. Needa"

      April 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  14. Brad76

    What an irresponsible tension stirring article. And look at all these black racists coming out of the woodworks, just incredible.
    Friendly reminder, we live in 2012, not 1930. We don't do these types of things any longer, if black people want apologies dig up those white racists out of their graves if it makes them feel better. People who performed lynchings are DEAD, that was a long time ago. LONG TIME AGO. OK?

    April 22, 2012 at 4:38 am |
    • Mary

      Hey generation 1960 we are not you.............. Im so tired of hearing it... it s like hating the English for what they did to my people during potato famine that would be foolish for one the generations are not even close to being the same, two id rather move on with my life, three I don't see no Irish need not apply and the last time i fought with a protestant waaaaas um NEVER

      April 22, 2012 at 4:48 am |
    • nik

      Its because blacks aren't looked at as even peers you may think so in suberbia were your neighborhood black man has done well for himself making his own living over coming odd of underfunded schools and basic discrimination because he's black don't make a retarded comment that is why there is still animosity because people like you got no respect or clue just wanting to hide in your closet of race

      April 22, 2012 at 5:10 am |
    • Brad76

      Nik- Get the heck out of here with your racist nonsense. Jerk.

      April 22, 2012 at 6:14 am |
    • skpfrmdc

      Explain that to the five in OK. or James Byrd or the Guy in AL. Yeah. You still do the same thing. Wether you're hanging from a tree or denied the job, or you lock your car door when I pass or cross the street or make a judgment on appearence. Maybe not you but say your friend 'cept maybe for that you guys are still buddies, Right? Yours is very simplistic view taken by those who do want to face and deal with these current events as what they are. It has not gone away. People are teaching thier CHILDREN without even realizing what they are doing to the kids (that's where those litte monsters in AL. got thier start) The day we accept that we are ALL HUMANS not hyphenated Americans that will be TRUE progress.

      April 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Sal Papageorgio

      CNN stirred up tensions with Trayvon.... which now Zimmerman evidence is showing it was a justified killing... they need to do something to keep the race war stirred up

      April 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • w5observer10

      Not quite!
      The action of George Z, is still being replicated.
      This Stand Your Ground Law, encourages the 'lynching' of black youngsters who happen to be stalked by any armed territorial ignoramus. (GZ, guessed that TM did not have a legitimate purpose there and would not wait for police.

      April 23, 2012 at 5:08 am |
  15. arapikos

    Wonder how those folks in the picture lived or is living their lives today? Gotta be really sickly!

    April 22, 2012 at 4:36 am |
    • Name*s kel

      Brad your statment reflects the fact that whites like you are the reason to keep bringing up this issue. A racist will try to change history to make themselfs look innocent, deny what happen, and say "ohh thats the past everythings ok now,you can put your guard down". Black people are SICK AND TIRED of having WHITES tell Black people to move on in the face of ongoing racial annomosity against blacks today, ie: Tulsa OK, Birminham AL, Houston TX, Sanford FL, Attacks against the Black President of the United States. Stay the Hell out of Blacks business whites, We have nothing to prove to you! Stop lieing to yourselfs and others about this issue! Black People STOP CARING WHAT WHITES THINK!

      April 22, 2012 at 5:18 am |
    • J

      Wow you really want people to hate CNN. This is the last straw I'm done with you and your negative views this was not what America needs right now. People don't feed into this no matter what.

      April 22, 2012 at 5:36 am |
    • Brad76

      Let's get something straight kel, my ancestors had nothing to do with slavery, ok? Putting all white people in the same boat makes me want to punch a kitten. People like you are the most hateful ignorant race baiting pieces of garbage I have ever seen. Get out of my sight.

      April 22, 2012 at 6:07 am |
    • Al sharpton

      Whta up w nameskel and his spelling? Is he retarded?

      April 22, 2012 at 10:17 am |
    • Realist

      So Name's Kel, how exactly is hate and anger toward white people going to help YOU lead a better life?

      You are the architect of yolur own misery. STOP rejecting the free education we provide to you. STOP rejecting the rules of law and order by which all humans are expected to abide. START embracing the opportunities society is handing to you (affirmative action, free education, public assistance, etc.). Pull yourself up and start acting like a man. That's your path to absolution. Any other path only leads to your destruction.

      April 22, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • skpfrmdc

      doin' well probably. Two less Niqqers to compete with.

      April 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  16. David in Tampa

    I Have not heard an American minister, preacher, businessman, whatever ya wanna call them, tell the truth for the last 30 years. My favorite example is the blasphemy of "Prosperity Ministry." The second favorite is the very idea that masses of Americans do not have to die as they will be raptured. HOLY POODOO. I gotta say that I have NEVER heard a black minister talk like the Evans do.

    April 22, 2012 at 4:36 am |
  17. Mary

    why should this generation apologize? The problem with these old people is they can't let it go. They're stuck in the anger. My generation doesn't care about color none of us were around that time. Leave this generation alone stop trying to make us racist. We 70s kids and up.. have innocence that the 60s never had..... Im sorry that you 60s people lived through such times but we didn't so when you go on and on about race this and that we look at you funny like sour old folks who cant get on with there lives. Seriously that generation is still alive with it they bring there hate on to us young people its not far to our generation to have to hear about your pains our generation is not racist we live and mingle side by side and you know what you old folks hate it your jealous because we love each other and you didn't in your ERA... " You go to almost any black church today, and you don’t hear spirituals anymore,” he said. “What you hear is this happy, ‘I’m prosperous’ kind of stuff. I’m not for that. You don’t come to church to be entertained. You come to wrestle with your spirit.

    April 22, 2012 at 4:36 am |
    • Brad76

      I agree, well said.

      April 22, 2012 at 4:39 am |
    • David in Tampa

      Hahahhahahaha Oh My goodness Mary!! That is the funniest diatribe that I have read this year. This generation is full of love is it ????? OK, it's your story so stick to it!!

      April 22, 2012 at 4:40 am |
    • mary

      Why should people that didn't do it, apologize to those it wasn't done to?
      This is 2012.. not 1950..

      April 22, 2012 at 4:46 am |
    • David in Tampa

      Ya'll missed the Indiana part of the picture didn't ya.

      Indiana.... Some dare call the state the heartland.............. I see it as the home of the devil.

      April 22, 2012 at 4:51 am |
    • Mary

      David in Tampa well its not 1930 now is it. sure isn't the 60s because i see lots of loving intermarriage relationships my family being one of them. They are stuck back in 1960 and want us to go along with it and I say NO! I will not play into there race game neither should anyone else we need to speak up and say no more.... that we are all moving on with our lives..

      April 22, 2012 at 5:01 am |


      April 22, 2012 at 5:11 am |
    • nik

      Hey Mary if your born in the seventies your still part of the problem the eighties were bad nineties just as bad and the 0s same stuff yep there's still twenty something cops pulling black boys over for being black same as Mexicans for being Hispanic same as longhaired dudes as druggie hippies slap yourself and drink some coffee then read some news outside of the entertainment page

      April 22, 2012 at 5:18 am |
    • Mary

      Hey nik drink some coffee and realize that is happening to everyone. watch OWS at all ??? hello

      April 22, 2012 at 5:38 am |
    • Mike In TX

      I wish i lived wherever you grew up but unfortunately some whites are quite happy with the idea that they are somehow superior and actually do dirty and dishonest things to people who don't look like them. As evidenced by some of the posters here, the stain of racism is being wiped away, but only at the edges.

      April 22, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  18. Robert

    They still would do it if there were no prosecution as it was the case back then! This is one of the reason why withe ppl from the south hate Obama. Their slave became the MASTER! What a punishment! 🙂

    April 22, 2012 at 4:33 am |
    • CheckYourGeographyBook

      Uh, Robert, dude: The photo shows a lynching in Indiana. You think those only occurred in the South? Blacks were mistreated all over this country.

      April 22, 2012 at 4:46 am |
    • blaise

      Obama is half white. It's why he can speak in complete sentences.

      April 22, 2012 at 4:51 am |
  19. Big Mike

    Dear CNN I'm deeply disappoint as a black man that you would run a story like this . if you really want to help black people first build up the education system, well as run storys about all the good things black people got to offer ... Also cnn some of my best friends are green NOW WHAT!!

    April 22, 2012 at 4:32 am |
    • Variaballistic

      Vulcans, with their green copper-based haemoglobin, have pale green skin according to Trekkies.
      Is that what you meant?

      April 22, 2012 at 4:37 am |
    • nik

      Hey mike its a good articale because some us like to educate the bible belt section of America that love to talk on these issues Im green too. One day maybe people will stop being owned and not own no one, besides in sports/games, and we as humans can do some crazy awesome stuff with what are slaved ancestors left for us to use

      April 22, 2012 at 5:38 am |



    April 22, 2012 at 4:22 am |
    • Whatever

      SOme of us avoid Fox just for this reason. We thought CNN was above such tactics. I am ready to leave this 'news' source too.

      April 22, 2012 at 5:45 am |
    • T Stevenson

      True Dat.

      April 22, 2012 at 9:26 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.