Black Theology Forum

26 October, 2023

What was the Role of Black Christianity in the struggle for Existence, Autonomy, and for life in the Caribbean? The Inspirational Story of the First Black-led Christian Movement

Rev Dr Doreen Morrison will give a presentation based on her latest book, ‘George Lisle: A Faith That Couldn’t Be Denied, Jamaica 1783 -1865,’ which will be an introduction to the first Black-led Church in Jamaica, ‘The Ethiopian Baptist Society,’ (later known as the Independent Baptist Church). Interrogating specific events, over three generations, it will demonstrate how the movement negotiated a system of oppression and brutality, to not only introduce Christianity to a disenfranchised African majority, but led the fight for emancipation and freedom. Providing context for their struggles I will introduce you to their pioneering leader, George Lisle, a once enslaved African American, some of his cadre of leaders, their theological perspective, and the everyday women and men, who having received the message of salvation, for over three generations negotiated their faith in a climate of enslavement, persecution and oppression. This presentation will briefly look specifically at their three main struggles; the struggle for the right to exist as a movement, cultural and theological autonomy, and for life itself, which culminated in the infamous genocide carried out in Morant Bay, in 1865.

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