MY NAME IS CLAUDIA...

...and I am Against the Wall because true Christianity requires that I “learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, [and] plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:17, NKJV). As an African American woman born in the early 90s, I grew up during a time when society claimed to be colorblind all while racial profiling and police brutality were at an all time high, and resistance was a common cultural expression in both politics and music. In essence, both my Christianity and my socio-political conditioning constrain me to become knowledgeable about the plight of my oppressed brothers and sisters, rebuke those in power that create and seek to maintain our unjust condition, while actively working to create a society where we—the oppressed—experience equity and equality, access and opportunity.

 Claudia Marion Allen is a second-year PhD student in the Department of English at the University of Maryland specializing in 19th and 20th century African American Literature. Her research investigates race, theology, and social politics in African American women’s literature. Claudia earned her Master of Arts Degree from Georgetown University in May 2015, and her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Andrews University in May 2013.

Claudia Marion Allen is a second-year PhD student in the Department of English at the University of Maryland specializing in 19th and 20th century African American Literature. Her research investigates race, theology, and social politics in African American women’s literature. Claudia earned her Master of Arts Degree from Georgetown University in May 2015, and her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Andrews University in May 2013.

But my Christianity calls me to go even further than righting the wrongs of injustice. My Christianity calls me to champion true reconciliation between the oppressor and the oppressed.

Since the Gospel of Jesus Christ is about reconciling humanity back to God the Father, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, I too must participate in the work of reconciliation. It is not enough for me to rebuke the behavior of the oppressor and meet the needs of the oppressed. I must also inspire the heart of the oppressor towards repair and the heart of the oppressed towards forgiveness. I am Against the Wall because I believe that true Christianity demands that the oppressor and the oppressed be reconciled and restored back into relationship as a human family knit together by the blood of Jesus.