A number of programmes are either underway or being planned for the Sam Sharpe Project They include:
- This website
- Text and Story Study–Groups
- An annual lecture series
- Historical and theological research
As it grows and develops, this website will outline the purpose and aims of the Sam Sharpe Project, as well as host various theological materials and resources, and guide users to relevant national and international news stories. In addition, articles by black and ethnic minority thinkers will be included, together with multicultural perspectives on topics such as: reading the Bible, Womanist/Feminist Theology and Post Colonial Biblical Criticism. It is hoped that over time the site will grow and include contributions from forum members and others, as well as in-house writers.
Text and Story Study–Groups
This Programme consists of study groups made up of adults and young people, in a selection of black majority, white majority, and multi-ethnic congregations.
The study material is based on the life stories of key Black Baptist leaders such as Sam Sharpe who experienced social marginalization whilst living in contexts such as; the Caribbean, West Africa, North America or the UK.
The Small group studies encourage reflection on these life stories as well as biblical texts and consider what relevance they have, to participants’ sense of history, identity and leadership potential for the transformation of society, today.
Text & Story:Prophets for Their Time and Ours by Gale Richards is part of the Text & Story element of the Sam Sharpe project and is a series of study notes to encourage adults and young people to reflect on the stories of 5 Baptist pioneers, on the scriptual texts that shaped them and their own stories today in order to find their place in society and develop their potential for leadership. This resource is available from Regent’s Park College for £5.
For further details, email the programme co-ordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Annual Sam Sharpe Lecture
An annual Sam Sharpe Lecture, hosted by various Associations and Colleges, will seek to investigate the legacy of Sam Sharpe by exploring subjects such as mission, race, class, neo- colonialism and other concerns. The lectures will also provide an opportunity for potential Black and Asian Baptist scholars to demonstrate their gifting by delivering a scholarly lecture. The first of the series of lectures will be delivered by the leading black British scholar Dr Robert Beckford on 18th October 2012 as part of Black History month. This inaugural lecture of the series will be hosted by the Jamaican High Commission in London.
Historical and Theological Research
A key part of the project will be to build on the historical and theological research already begun by Dr Delroy Reid Salmon under the auspices of the Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture where he is a Visiting Fellow. An initial conference was held in Oxford in April 2010 in partnership with BUGB, JBU and BMS World Mission. It is planned that a volume of essays from this first conference will be published. A second conference is being planned for Jamaica in October 2012. This further research will be both historical, for there remains further work to be undertaken in relation to the events of the Sam Sharpe rebellion, its antecedents, its origins and its consequences; and it will also be theological, reflecting on the use of scripture and the patterns of liberation we might find in these and other stories of Black and marginalised groups. This fits well with the celebration of religious freedom and liberty during the 400th anniversary of Thomas Helwys’s plea for universal religious liberty of 1612. Dr Reid Salmon will give a lecture in Oxford on these themes on 8 May 2012. It is hoped to secure some Research Council funding for a Research Fellowship to explore these issues at greater depth and to provide opportunity for emerging Black scholarship in this field. The work would be for an initial 18 month period from May 2012.