Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Rap On Color of the Cross

By: Angela Lee Price

I had a wonderful interview last Saturday on WLOU with Jean Claude LaMarre, director and star of Color of the Cross, the first American movie to depict Jesus as a black Messiah. I plan to make a portion of the transcript available to you soon. Continue to contact theatres and ask that Color be shown. Jean Claude explained how the 30 markets currently showing 'Color' were selected, however, showings in additional markets depend on public response.

These brief points from the interview:
  1. If your church is interested in getting on the list to screen Color of the Cross, go to and submit your name and contact information, church, church size, and date you would like your congregation to see it. Jean Claude is talking with many churches across the nation, particularly in areas where the movie is not showing, to arrange in-church screenings prior to the DVD distribution date in January.
  2. Jean Claude explained he did not want to let black or white people "off the hook" concerning the twist in the movie that Jesus' death was racially motivated. He said the movie is not about a black man doing a traditionally white role as it with Santa Claus. His assertion is that Jesus was black. If he was black, then there would have been reference to his skin color in the first century.
  3. Jean Claude has two additional movies with Black Jesuses in the works. One is about the resurrection.
  4. Finally, Jean Claude attends West Angeles Church of God in Christ. Jean Claude said that although his pastor, Bishop Charles Blake liked the movie personally, he didn't feel it was the direction in which he wanted to take the church.
After listening back to the interview, I realized there were other questions I could have asked regarding national mega church support overall, both from social justice preachers and prosperity preachers. Interestingly, Bishop Charles Blake is mentioned on page 32 (below) of the July/August edition of The Crisis, the NAACP's national publication, as a prosperity preacher influenced by Kenneth Hagin's Word of Faith Movement,

"Long, along with Bishop T.D. Jakes of Dallas; Rev. Creflo Dollar of College Park, Ga.; Rev. Fred Price of Los Angeles; the Rev. Leroy Thompson of Darrow, La.; and, to some degree, Bishop Charles Blake of Los Angeles, are among the best known Black mega-church pastors influenced by the Hagins, either through their Bible Institute or television ministry, according to Mamiya."
Lawrence Mamiya is a professor of religion and Africana studies at Vassar. I will have more on the excellent article in The Crisis entitled, Where Do We Go From Here? The sub-caption reads, "The popularity of mega-churches, many preaching a prosperity gospel, has created a schism among religious leaders over the direction of the Black church."
Remember, it is not Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, nor New Age that saves. Jesus saves!


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