Next Article in Journal
The Multiverse and Divine Creation
Previous Article in Journal
Spirituality and Dignity of Thai Adolescents Living with HIV
Previous Article in Special Issue
#BlackBabiesMatter: Analyzing Black Religious Media in Conservative and Progressive Evangelical Communities
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Religions 2017, 8(12), 256; doi:10.3390/rel8120256

“Let’s Imagine Something Different”: Spiritual Principles in Contemporary African American Justice Movements and Their Implications for the Built Environment

Department of Religion, Baylor University,Waco, TX 76798, USA
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 8 November 2017 / Accepted: 13 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Race and Religion: New Approaches to African American Religions)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [13450 KB, uploaded 28 November 2017]   |  

Abstract

The Black Lives Matter movement has become one of the most visible, controversial, and impactful campaigns to address racialized violence and discrimination in the 21st century. Activists within the movement join traditional forms of social protest and policy development with rituals and spiritual practices, drawing upon spiritual resources as a source of transformation and empowerment. The transformative aims of Black Lives Matter and other contemporary African American justice movements address critical areas for reform, like criminal justice, education, and public health, but their vision for reform is broad and extensive, envisioning the creation of a more just world. As such, the physical context for African American life—the buildings and public spaces known as the built environment—is a crucial aspect of social transformation. This essay examines the spirituality of Black Lives Matter and other contemporary African American justice movements and considers how it inspires the ongoing transformation of buildings and public spaces. By analyzing the spiritual practices and themes in the Black Lives Matter movement as described by its founders, this paper identifies three principles and relates them to similar concepts in African American religious thought, womanist ethics, and ecowomanism. Applying these three spiritual principles—liberation, inspiration, and healing—to the design of architecture and public spaces can enrich and affirm African American life. Appealing to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture as an example, this paper articulates the possibilities of architectural projects to symbolically and practically support liberative goals in African American religious systems and political movements. View Full-Text
Keywords: African American religion; African American spirituality; Black Lives Matter; architecture; built environment; womanist ethics; ecowomanism; liberation theology; social justice; National Museum of African American History and Culture African American religion; African American spirituality; Black Lives Matter; architecture; built environment; womanist ethics; ecowomanism; liberation theology; social justice; National Museum of African American History and Culture
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Edwards, E.M. “Let’s Imagine Something Different”: Spiritual Principles in Contemporary African American Justice Movements and Their Implications for the Built Environment. Religions 2017, 8, 256.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
Back to Top