Black World: The Religious Heritage of the African World (RHAW)
Any writing of the history of the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta Georgia would be incomplete without telling the story of Reverend Dr. Ndugu T’Ofori-Atta, formerly George Thomas, and his contributions to African American studies at the institution, with his endearments to Africa.
Before the Religious Heritage of the African World (RHAW) the center was described as the religious Heritage of the Black World (RHBW).
Even before that Professor T’Ofori-Atta worked in partnership with the soft-spoken Professor Vincent Harding of blessed memory.
Ultimately, I desire your understanding in recognizing that the ITC community, as any human community, is one which is made up of claimants to, believers in, and, interpreters of scriptural narratives. For the most part this community of scripturalizers looks to Africa for historic-socio-cultural and spiritual navigation and negotiations, while it remains deeply rooted into, and often entangled by American spiritual politics. Indeed, see this community as you would the type from which Oluadah Equano, the enslaved African, had to extricate himself, having first mastered the very art of speaking the tongue of the enslavers.
The T’Ofori-Atta Institute for the Study of the Religious Heritage of the African World (TRHAW) was renamed after the former Religious Heritage of the African World (RHAW). Dr. Peters’ arrival to the ITC signaled a new beginning. As newly elected President and leader of an Historically Black Institution (HBCU), and more importantly, having “”walked closely” with and being witness to the spiritual connections of T’Ofori-Atta with, and his research and academic interests in matters Africa, justice, African American, black life, ecumenism, and transdenominationality among Christian organizations, Dr. Peters was convinced that demonstration of love for black culture, or respect for African American spirituality need practical demonstrations. Hence, his desire to rescurcitate the works of the Great Man, T’Ofori-Atta, gave birth to an Institute named after the founder. It was inside this “”newly formed”” entity on the ITC campus in Atlanta Georgia USA, that I would later arrive to function as Research Fellow in Global Leadership.