Parable of the Sower

What Will Love Need Tomorrow? College

In the late 20th century, a push and pull existed within the black community, the likes of which had rarely been seen before. People were celebrating the successes of the civil rights movement and the end of Jim Crow, but oppression and racism still ran rampant throughout the country with no sign of subsiding any time soon. Faced with a present still discouragingly marred with oppression and suffering, many black luminaries of the time turned to the future through writing about prophesy. Prophesy’s function within black art and culture has been outlined perhaps best by Dr. Cornel West, an American theological philosopher and activist who also focuses on race and class. On the subject of prophesy, he writes “Prophetic modes of thought and action are dotted across the landscape of Afro-American history. these modes consist of protracted and principled struggles against forms of personal despair, intellectual dogmatism and socioeconomic oppression that foster communities of hope” (West 38). Using West’s definition, and keeping in mind the circumstances of the black community during the 1970’s, it becomes clearer why the black community turned to prophesy. The prophetic modes of thought West discusses are especially apparent in...

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