About The Segregated Hour - What Prompted the Book?
During the spring of 2008, a friend and fellow Christian asked for my thoughts on the subject of Black Liberation Theology. For several months, we had been debating the political landscape and the popular rise of Barack Obama. As an Independent Voter, my views were often at odds with Conservative Republicans and our exchange proved this to be the case. What we did agree upon was our shared concern for sound doctrine when it came to any aspect of theology and Scripture. He discovered that I had recently purchased a book by James Cone on the subject of Black Liberation Theology and I agreed to share my moderate observations at his request. Those observations became known as The Segregated Hour.
What began as a book review turned into a library of research. My wife had to eventually concern over the lack of shelving space in our small apartment. Books ended up in closets and bins ended up in towers. Granted, this is inevitable for anyone aspiring to the status of respectable historian, but I was unfamiliar with any other white historians who were filling their offices with books about slavery, segregation, and black history. After reading just a few of the authors in my growing collection, I had to pause and face the simple fact that I might not be the right person to give an opinion of America's racial divide. So many things had been written that left me wondering if a white man from South Florida could do justice to a subject rarely discussed outside the African American community. All cowardice soon passed when I noticed three parallels of racial division at work, in politics, and in my church. These parallels are discussed at greater length in Chapter Ten of The Segregated Hour.
From start to finish, my greatest challenge in writing was to choose which information to exclude and which was essential to the layman reader. I made a concerted effort to focus on the century between America's Civil War in the 1860s and the introduction of Black Liberation Theology in the late 1960s. Readers who are familiar with the subject will note some obvious gaps and missing characters in the timeline (even some crucial books within the bibliography), but readers who are less familiar should achieve a basic understanding of the topic. The latter will either satisfy their racial curiosity or be inspired to study the matter out further. Those who are unsatisfied and eager to dig deeper will find this site helpful to that end.
As a Christian, I do not endorse the teaching of Black Liberation Theology, but rather, believe that it serves as a significant catalyst for discussing and dealing with segregation in the church. When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forced schools and public institutions to integrate, the face of segregation hid behind the walls of morning worship and weekly sermons until it was largely forgotten as an issue in American society. Today, many Americans are remembering that "the segregated hour" still exists. Some never forgot. Whichever category you put yourself, I hope you'll find this site to be helpful in your studies.
Jeremy David Lucas