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Painting the GospelBlack Public Art and Religion in Chicago$
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Kymberly N. Pinder

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039928

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039928.001.0001

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Black Liberation Theology, Black Power, and the Black Arts Movement at Trinity United Church of Christ

Black Liberation Theology, Black Power, and the Black Arts Movement at Trinity United Church of Christ

Chapter:
(p.69) Chapter 3 Black Liberation Theology, Black Power, and the Black Arts Movement at Trinity United Church of Christ
Source:
Painting the Gospel
Author(s):

Kymberly N. Pinder

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252039928.003.0004

This chapter examines the Black Mural Movement in the context of religious imagery by focusing on the evolution of Joseph W. Evans Jr.'s art. In 1986 Evans illustrated the motto of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC), “Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian” with a painting of a Jesus with dark brown skin and tightly curled black hair, his arms outstretched around a smiling African American family. This image of a black Christ was Evans's vision of being black and Christian. In the 1970s Evans joined TUCC, where the pastor, Jeremiah Wright Jr., promoted Black Liberation Theology and recommended specific texts and sermons for the artist to study that transformed his conception of Christ. This chapter first considers black theology and pan-Africanism at TUCC before discussing the influence of the Black Arts Movement and the muralist William Walker on Chicago. It also assesses the impact, in terms of style and content, of the murals on Chicago's South Side on Evans's work and concludes with an overview of TUCC's stained glass program.

Keywords:   murals, Black Mural Movement, Joseph W. Evans Jr., Trinity United Church of Christ, black Christ, Jeremiah Wright Jr., Black Liberation Theology, Black Arts Movement, William Walker, stained glass

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