Human suffering is universal and particular. Most suffer, but no one else can own our individual sorrow. This is the paradox we live in and must seek to find ways of forming more just and healthy relationships and communities. Within this paradox, I will explore the particularity of Black suffering in the United States as it relates to the expendability of African American children in a culture of violence.
Emilie Townes is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African American Religion and Theology at Yale University Divinity School. Prior to her appointment at Yale, Professor Townes was the Carolyn Beaird Professor of Christian Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York. She served as president of the American Academy of Religion in 2008. Professor Townes is an ordained American Baptist clergywoman. Her teaching and general research interests focus on Christian ethics, womanist ethics, critical social theory, cultural theory and studies, as well as on postmodernism and social postmodernism. Her specific interests include health and health care; the cultural production of evil; analyzing the linkages among race, gender, class, and other forms of oppression; and developing a network between African American and Afro-Brazilian religious and secular leaders and community-based organizations. Among her publications are Womanist Justice, Womanist Hope (1993); In a Blaze of Glory: Womanist Spirituality as Social Witness (1995); Breaking the Fine Rain of Death: African American Health and a Womanist Ethic of Care (1998); and Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of Evil (2006).