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Press Release

Professor available to address the latest “hot topic” in the race for the next U.S. presidency

The role of African American churches in the U.S.


Posted: March 27, 2008



Denver – One of the most recent issues presented to the public in the run for the next U.S. presidency has been the role of the African American church in America.

Derrick Hudson, assistant professor of African and African American Studies at Metropolitan State College of Denver, is available to provide perspective on why the words of the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., pastor of Sen. Barack Obama’s church, were controversial to some, but not to others. Specifically, he can address the history of “black social gospel.”

According to Hudson, the role of the African American church today stems from its role during slavery in the U.S.

“The pulpit was one of the only spaces and places for African Americans to gather,” says Hudson, who currently teaches Survey of African History and African Politics and Government. “As Toni Morrison reminds us in Beloved, Sunday morning was the only place where African Americans could be beautiful. That legacy helps to explain the ’crowns’ that many of our elder African American women wear on Sundays and the more formal nature of dress of black churches. In an existence of ’dumb anguish’ and sharecropping this was often the only time to be beautiful.”

Hudson, who holds a Ph.D. in international relations, can provide a global view of “black social gospel” and politics, as he has studied in Italy, Africa and the U.S. He conducted his dissertation fieldwork in South Africa, focusing on transitional justice issues, such as the role of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. Prior to his academic career, Hudson served as a captain in the United States Air Force, with tours in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the former West Germany and Great Britain.

Hudson’s expertise includes: race relations, African Americans and U.S. politics, religious “literacy,” theological issues, urban studies and poverty, and globalization.

Contact Angelia McGowan at 303-556-5133 or angeliam@mscd.edu to coordinate an interview with Dr. Hudson.

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