Free at Last?

Free at Last?

The Gospel in the African American Experience

The IVP Signature Collection

by Carl F. Ellis Jr.
Foreword by Amisho Baraka

Free at Last?
  • Length: 285 pages
  • Published: June 16, 2020
  •  Forthcoming
  • ISBN: 978-0-8308-4858-4
  • Item Code: 4858
  • Case Quantity: 36

The words of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech have become enshrined in US history. But after the end of King's generation of leadership, what happened to the African American struggle for freedom? Like the ancient Israelites, the African American community has survived a four-hundred-year collective trauma. What will it take for them to reach the promised land that King foresaw—to be truly free at last?

In this classic historical and cultural study, Carl Ellis offers an in-depth assessment of the state of African American freedom and dignity. Stressing how important it is for African Americans to reflect on their roots, he traces the growth of Black consciousness from the days of slavery to the 1990s, noting especially the contributions of King and Malcolm X. Ellis examines elements of Black culture and offers a distinct perspective on how God is active in culture more broadly. Free at Last? concludes with a call for new generations of "jazz theologians" and cultural prophets to revitalize the African American church and expand its cultural range. The book also includes a helpful glossary of people, events, and terms.

Ellis writes, "It is my prayer that the principles contained in this book will play a role in building bridges of understanding and facilitating reconciliation where there has been alienation." With a new preface by the author, this groundbreaking book is now available as part of the IVP Signature Collection.


Foreword by Amisho Baraka
Preface to the Signature Edition

1. Toward a Promised Land

Part I: A Primer
2. Picking Up the Pieces
3. “Oh, Freedom!”

Part II: “Reflecting Back”
4. Soul Dynamic
5. A Formative Phase
6. Two Streams
7. “De Lawd”
8. “A Shining Prince”
9. A Great Legacy

Part III: Roots and Fruits of Consciousness
10. A Little “White” Lie in the Name of Black Truth
11. “Busting Out”
12. “That Boy Sho’ Can Preach!”
13. Cultural Seeding

Part IV: Toward a New Agenda
14. New Vistas
15. The Fields Are Black unto Harvest

Glossary of People, Events and Terms

Carl F. Ellis Jr.

Carl F. Ellis Jr. (DPhil, Oxford Graduate School) is Provost's Professor of Theology and Culture at Reformed Theological Seminary. He is also academic dean of The Makazi Institute, which he cofounded to train the next generation of high-level cultural analysts, and he serves on numerous boards and as a consultant on cultural matters.

BY Carl F. Ellis Jr.

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