Religious leaders have been at the forefront of the fight for racial justice in Madison and around the country—and have been for over a century—but we don’t often consider the relationship between faith stories and political struggle. For today’s episode, guest host Nan Enstad explores this history with Randal Jelks, author of Faith and the Struggle in the Lives of Four African Americans.
They discuss what Jelks calls the “moral mixtape” of Black Americans in history, the “practical ecumenism” that comes out of social justice work, and how this all relates to religion in contemporary political life and expression.
Randal Maurice Jelks is Professor of American Studies and African and African American Studies at the University of Kansas and co-editor of the journal American Studies. He is the author of Faith and the Struggle in the Lives of Four African Americans: Ethel Waters, Mary Lou Williams, Eldridge Cleaver, and Muhammad Ali (Bloomsbury, 2019).