In the 1950s, Martin Luther King Jr. cited 11 a.m. on Sundays as the most segregated hour in "Christian America." Whether this interesting stat still remains true is questionable, but the historical controversies between race and Christianity are not. The years of inconsistent messages, within Christian faith, have many millennials redefining their individual beliefs. Despite this spiritual redefinition movement, traditional holidays like Easter are still huge family celebrations for most people who grew up in the Black church. As the younger generation explores new faith ideas the creative community works to popularize more diverse depictions of Jesus. 

According to Christian faith, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born in Bethlehem and crucified in Jerusalem. Both cities are found in the Middle East, but popular art often depicts Christ with stark European features causing controversy regarding what Christ really looked like. Considering colonialism and the fact that art reflects the artist, it makes sense that the most well known Christian-art pieces are white. Leonardo da Vinci's " Last Supper," Warner Sallman's "The Head of Christ" and the popular "Christ Pantocrator" are some Eurocentric examples of Christ-themed art we can all appreciate.

However, in celebration of unapologetic Blackness, here are some depictions of Jesus we can appreciate from other diverse artists.

2. "Black Jesus"

Art print 8" x 10"; by John Campbell. 

5. "Black Jesus"

Semi-gloss art poster, 31.2" x 46.9"; by John C. Spain (2017).

Image courtesy of John C. Spain

6. "Jesus With Dreads"

Pencil sketch;

Courtesy of Pexels Library

7. "Wales Window"

Stained glass; by John Petts (1964). A gift to the 16th Street Baptist Church after Birmingham, AL, church bombing.

Artwork by Rev. Canon Warner Traynham (1973).






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Axé.

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9. "A Coptic Orthodox Christian Icon"

From Coptic Museum in Alexandria, Egypt.


Whether bearded, shaven, bronze or pink, Christ's depiction in art reflects the artist's imagination. We can appreciate that expressive freedom and the beautiful creations it manifests.

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