The African American Struggle for Identity: The Struggle for Somebodiness (PB) (2022)


African Americans struggle with identity because of 400 plus years of slavery, Jim Crow, the dark specter of ghettoes, and the New Jim Crow, i.e., prison. In a 1967 speech, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., referred to this as the struggle for somebodiness and located that identity in Jesus. This struggle for identity is exacerbated by the fact that African Americans have moved away from the institution, i.e., the Black Church, and Black Pentecostalism, i.e., the motor behaviors that slaves brought with them from Africa, practiced in the Invisible Church in the brush arbors and practiced in the first Black Churches. Bishop Johnson argues that African-American identity, i.e., somebodiness, flows from the motor behaviors that Africans brought with them from Africa, behaviors like the ring dance, call and response, Negro Spirituals, etc. Bishop F. Josephus (Joey) Johnson, II, has led one of Akron, Ohio's largest and most influential churches, The House of the Lord, for 48 years. Bishop Johnson has read 50 to 100 books a year for about 20 years. Even though Bishop Johnson's reading is primarily around theology, his reading is wide ranging enough that he considers himself as an organic intellectual, as defined by Antonio Gramsci. Traditional intellectuals are situated in the academy and are interested more in reason than sectarian interests, whereas organic intellectuals speak for the interest of a specific class. Bishop Johnson sees himself as an organic intellectual for Christians in general, people of color more specifically, but especially for African American Saints. He was The Chief Relational Trustee of the City of Akron Racial Equity and Social Justice Taskforce. The Taskforce, organized by the mayor, was tasked to deliver equity recommendations to the city of Akron in December of 2021. He has authored 10 other books, including his most requested book and sermon series, "God is Greater than Family Mess!"

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Bishop F. Josephus (Joey) Johnson II
ISBN 10:
Xulon Press
Publication Date:
September 11, 2022