The Holy Holy Black: The Ironies of an African American Secular (Oxford University Press, forthcoming) ©
The Holy Holy Black concludes a two-book study that weaves together American religious history with African American literary traditions. It aims to reveal how a set of ideas and practices associated with Protestant Christianity helped produce and set the parameters for the idea of African American culture. Moving chronologically from the early 19th century to the present, The Holy Holy Black narrates an episodic history organized around concrete cases (i.e. slave narratives, race literature, academic associations, and popular blogs) from African American intellectual, literary and religious life. Each of these episodes illustrate how Afro-Protestantism shaped the horizons of scholarly debates, public dialogues and popular imaginings concerning black identity and social life to this day. Together, these cases illumine how black American culture was initially conceived as, and remains animated by, a particular Protestant logic that is often assumed or understood to be a "secular" racial expression.
The Sexual Politics of Black Churches (edited volume; under review) ©
An interdisciplinary volume that brings to together leading scholars who also represent a range of empirical, interpretive and constructive commitments, The Sexual Politics of Black Churches intervenes in academic debates in a manner that also addresses public deliberations over the cultural politics of gender and sexuality in contemporary American life. With black sexual politics as its central subject, this collection of essays examines black churches and the communities they serve as a lens into the broader cultural and political terrain of the United States. It is written for students and scholars of religion in America, but will also be of interest to readers concerned with the future of Christian churches, black and white. In addition to the Academy, it has in mind an audience of readers who are on the front lines of debates about race, religion and sexuality in American public life. In many ways a performance of the very dialogue that it seeks to deepen, The Sexual Politics of Black Churches begins with a public conversation and ends with the more intimate genre of interview. This narrative arc speaks to the way in which debates around religion and sexuality take place at the nexus of public and private. Where the former (i.e. public conversation) helps to clarify the questions and the key issues, the latter (i.e. interview) offers a glimpse of one local effort to re-imagine the terms of the conversation. In between, readers will find compelling new work from scholars that span the humanities, social sciences, religious studies and theology.
The Air I Breathe: The Business of Contemporary Christian Music (monograph; in development) ©
The Air I Breathe will chart the simultaneous growth of (and relationships between) evangelical Christian and black culture industries in the United States from the end of the 1960s through the turn of the twenty first century. Following the composition, performance, recording, production, and distribution of Christian music, it will situate the music in relationship to a broader set of ideas and practices in order to capture how social and institutional relations and material conditions facilitate new cultural performances and forms of association.