Thursday, July 30, 2009
UPDATE: Branded a Heretic: Reverend Ike reflects upon his popularization of the Prosperity Gospel in the African American community. He is, in my view, a figure who deserves greater attention for shaping the social values of the world in which we live today. He masterfully exploited radio, television, and even direct mail to reach a mass audience. His emphasis upon self-empowerment was praiseworthy, his unwillingness to place it within a collective context a grave defect. All in all, he will probably be remembered as someone who spiritually legitimized the aspirations of the African American middle class in the post-civil rights era. In this respect, he is probably equal to, and perhaps, even more significant than, the much more highly publicized Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam. Without question, he was one of the most charismatic figures that I have ever encountered through the media.