Alright, hombres, I apologize for the extended wait, this was a hard one to stitch together so, I hope you guys are still with me, but I’m sure I’ve lost you all. At any rate, we shall continue with what we’re talking about last, so…on to church house we go.
If you didn’t catch the last installment, we were just talking about a little hurtle my dear people have yet jump, crippling homophobia. And as I said, we can not discuss this any further without heading on down to the church house.
Family, you may be wondering why we are here at the church house this morning, so I’m gonna share with you something y’all may not know…black folks love Jesus…a lot. Praise. Seriously though, our deep connections with God and the church go all the way back to the mid 1700s. I’m sure, like me, and many others, when we think of chuchin’, we think of hand clapping, foot stomping, choir sangin’, praise time…and sisters and brothers, you wouldn’t be wrong at all.
Those songs of praise, turmoil, struggle, and triumph have shaped our entire culture for centuries. Though we have gained innumerable advances in the form of civil rights and learning to think collectively as a community through religion; I’m not sure enough of us know just where we found our faith.
I’d like to keep this is as light as possible but we gotta keep it real, if we are going to have a worthwhile discussion. So as I said, simply not enough of us know where the roots in this pillar of our community actually stem from.
In the early 1700s black folks were just discovering the goodness that was sweet Jesus, discovering that it made for an other worldly escape from the hell they were living each and every day. They would have secret prayer meetings: sing, dance, pray, and give thanks to God for merely having the opportunity to praise him. Allowing them to reassure one another that “we won’t always be here”.
Master Was Having None of It
Many, many slave owners, especially in the south, scoffed at the very idea that “black beasts” could even comprehend the gospel, let alone be saved by it. Frances Le Jau was one of the first clergy men to minister to the French inhabitants of the south, and also a huge advocate for black folks and American Indians being able to receive the gospel; recounted that “many masters can’t be persuaded that negros and Indians are anything more than beasts, and should be used as such”. So white folks did everything within their already absolute power, to keep black people out of the church.
Yes, More History
I’m sure you’re wondering why all of this is relevant. What I’m pointing out is that when our people first tried to get their praise on, they were caged and beaten for it. Most white folks, of the time, believed that when negros got together for their prayer meetings, that they were praying against them and plotting to revolt. The ole…”the negros are congregating” complex.
We’re gonna fast forward a bit, about 5 decades after the initial rise of Christianity in the black community, to 1779, masters began to take notice that the negros were actually happier and more productive after their secret prayer meetings. We’d be singing songs of duty and triumph, in hopes of better days to come…all while we worked. Slave owners realized that there may actually be a bright side to black folks adopting religion…more control. They realized that if they allowed black folks to look to a higher power, they could manipulate that belief in their favor. They gained crippling control over black folks, and figured out where to send negros when that control was questioned, the bible.
“However, you may purchase male and female slaves from among the nations around you. You may also purchase the children of temporary residents who live among you, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance.” (Leviticus 25:44-46).
Guys, they literally passed the buck to Jesus, and then dared us to be mad.
Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard that before.
I know that a lot of us have heard something like this before….because it’s true. But we didn’t move any further than brushing it off as hog wash. Guys, the trouble isn’t that this isn’t true, it’s simply that we’ve chosen not to question it. The facts are there for us in every web article, websearch, library archive, and Wikipedia page you could ever imagine. But we simply just haven’t looked. If you were to read just two of the articles about the origin of religion in the black community, you would gather very, very quickly that what should have been a life altering, mind expanding experience was manipulated to further control black minds.
So, we like you Matt, but you lost us.
Homies, it’s frighteningly easy to brush all of this off as blasphemous, angry ranting, but it won’t change what’s in our history books. The ones none of us read, ask Maya Angelou.
Brother and sisters, please be aware that is in no way an indictment of Christianity. I love Jesus. Never done me harm, one time…not once. But rather we are calling into question the motive of the individuals who introduced blind, devout faith to the negro mind.
WHAT. ARE. YOU. TALKING. ABOUT.
Think of it like this y’all, I’m sure we all remember getting dragged to press service and Sunday service when we were children, basically having the gospel spoon fed to us by our parents; well, that is literally the same thing that was done to black folks. We were beaten over the head with mind crippling passages, until they became second nature.
This Is a Full Circle Kind of Thing
When the popularity of the baptist church exploded, it was due to the change in the messages being taught in the gospel, this also triggered a change in the teaching methods given to the black church. When members of the all white male clergy would “mentor” young black men (who had been evaluated as gifted, young preachers) on the gospel they would manipulate their sermons to focus on the preaching of the wages of sin and chastising sinners, instead of the young men’s original messages of hope and the goodness of Jesus.
What do I mean by all of that?
What this means is that black folk began to be taught to use the Bible and Jesus to discriminate and ostracize one another. Teaching each other to turn our backs on and look down upon our own people because we believe that we’re better because of what pastor said. Literally using the same discriminatory practices as the individuals who enslaved us, to enslave the minds and lives of our own people.
Come on get this truth yo
Brothers and sisters, this is indeed ‘Merica, and you are more than free to believe whatever, whichever you’d like. However, we must be aware that the reason that the church is so sacred to us was to keep us in paradoxical, permanent state of unconsciousness.
OMG. You lost us. Done.
Guys, the crippling ways in which blind, devout faith has prevented the black mind from expanding is not what Jesus was talking about….at all. We are literally supposed to question, debate, discuss, argue, and research..like..everything. Everything.
While we’re excluding each other for being women of the night, professional chicks, players, gangsters, unwed mothers, missing a child support, payment, lesbians, gay, and transgendered; many other cultures and communities gathered, decades ago, that working together, for and with each other is far more important than bickering about what you think Jesus said or meant. When most haven’t even taken the time to read the book cover to cover, let alone research it….like it clearly says we’re supposed to. But, I digress.
My people, we have over come so very much. However, we won’t ever continue to grow if we don’t open our minds to the hearts of our neighbors. It’s okay that your bro’s girlfriend is named Clarence, it’s cool that your cousin Courtney shops in the men’s section at the Gap. Just give them the chance to be who they are, and greatness will surely follow. Love each other yo!
#weregonnamoveonnow #wecantstop #blacklivesmatter #allblacklivesmatter #wait #decadenceiscoming