M Jensen/University of St. Thomas

Research and Opinion: Marguerite Spencer

Marguerite Spencer of the Theology Department in the College of Arts and Sciences recently had her article, "The Lynching of George Floyd: Black Theology, Protest, and Racial Justice," published in Volume 47, Issue 3 of the Mitchell Hamline Law Review.

From the article: I invite you to join me in transposing Cone’s Black theology into a register that engages the systemic and institutional racism behind George Floyd’s lynching and its aftermath. In Part I, I explore the development of James Cone’s Black theology as he brings King and Malcolm X together to mediate his own anger over the racialized ordering of our society. In Part II, I link Cone’s interpretation of the lynching of the Black Christ to police brutality and the death of George Floyd. In Part III, I relate Cone’s development from rage to resurrection to the ongoing movement sustained by Black Lives Matter but defaced by violence. Finally, in Part IV, I interrogate the rule of law in our post-Floyd nation. Drawing upon the international law of human rights and a strategy called “targeted universalism,” I propose that we can move toward a reconciliatory eradication of systemic racism and a hope-filled “resurrection” of our democracy.