When Silence Is a Sin

Too many black leaders ignore Africa's biggest crisis

The Rev. Eugene F. Rivers III, pastor of Boston's Azusa Christian Community church, is my kind of preacher: a former gang member with a Harvard education who has devoted himself to keeping ghetto kids out of trouble. He also believes it's his Christian duty to verbally slap the black establishment upside the head when it's falling down on its job. In 1992, for example, he infuriated black intellectuals by accusing them of endlessly debating "Gramsci, Foucault, Derrida, Jameson, Bourdieu, Lukacs, Habermas, and Marx" instead of trying to find solutions to inner-city crime and drug abuse. Three years later, he excoriated them...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!