Brian Foulks; What does it means to Black and a Christian…
(ThyBlackMan.com) For the past year, I have been wrestling with the thought- “What does it means to Black and a Christian.” That may appear as a no-brainer comment with a diluted intent to segregate but that is far from the truth. It unpacks a question that many young black males ultimately wrestle with as they are taught the stories of slavery. It embarks upon a tale of how the Christian missionaries used their pseudo, ethnocentric love for god (intentionally left lower case) as a smoke screen maneuver to hijack the indigenous Americans and the Africans. Christianity was used to anesthetize these people groups into being tricked by those proclaiming the Christian God.
With that in mind, it would appear that those of us that accept the thought of being born again as the Scriptures denote are still being “hoodwinked and bamboozled
.” The very thing that was used to enslave Africans is the very same tool that Africans (in America
) are using as a symbol of hope. If I was on the outside looking in I would call that lunacy. It takes on the same narrative as being a citizen, who pays taxes, which in turn pays the salary of police officers, who in turn disproportionately apply police brutality toward blacks at a higher rate. So in retrospect we are paying the police to beat us instead of protect us. Now that may be a bit harsh but the reality of the statement speaks volumes when place in a comparative narrative to Christianity.
How can one with such information sit idly by and not honestly critique Christianity as being a religion based upon bloodshed and trickery. Even as you peruse through the Reformation period, bloodshed and slaughter were prevalent. If one was thought to be a heretic it was not usual to see him burned at the stake. John Calvin was one of the primary figures during the Reformation who allowed Michael Servetus to be burned at the stake because he differed with his stance on doctrinal issues. You find that many of the characters of this period had personal beef with others over doctrinal issues as well. So it just appears that this Christianity is not the epitome of love that the Scripture has described but a mere representation of what they have interpreted throughout that time.
This envisioned Christianity is not the relational heavy community that Jesus walked out while he lived on earth. It would even appear that there was such an emphasis placed upon the scholarship aspect that the relational aspect was lost. Now this is not to cast dispersion upon the scholarship aspect but to place a critique on the essence of what was really portrayed during this time. Christianity was still not viewed as a viable conduit for hope or availability to the Africans. (blacks as we would later be called in America) This was primarily based upon the notion that blacks were not even human so God inherently did not have any rhyme or reason to assist them. So this would then leave it to the oppressors to assist them by given guidance that was disguised in chattel slavery. As slaves the African needed to be told what to do because he did not have the capacity to govern himself.
Keep in mind this is a mentality that was passed down through a Greco-Roman ethos.
Aristotle makes the plea, “The deliberative faculty of the soul is not present at all in the slave…” Cedric Robinson denotes, “Aristotle saw slavery as necessary for self- sufficiency of the polis (city), and in only rare instances were slaves expected to achieve a virtuous life.” This continued on into America where some of the first Christians sailed from England under the auspices of the Pope with slaves to what would be known as America. It stands as a point of contention that many so called progressives of the faith, pilgrims, during that time could sail with slaves and not speak out against the atrocity and injustice that had befallen the African. So from 1619 until about 1862 slaves were brought into the Americas, not as indentured servant but chattel slavery in the name of Christ.
Now this is no way a definitive account of what took place but it is just an overview of the horrific account of Christianity as it relates to the African. So it would stand to reason how a black man
could ever accept the very God that was used to enslave him. Could it be as Robinson calls it “the calculus of oppression
” that gives the African the stamina to engage struggle with a dogmatic furiousness. Or did the Reformation period have such a dramatic effect upon the interpretation of Scripture that it will forever blind one from the truth.
So with all of that said the one thing that stands is the spiritual awakening that God so graciously bestows upon his people. The key existentially lies within the pages of the Holy Scriptures. If the Bible is the key component to the salvation of man then Sola Scriptura has to be in full effect. But if one places supreme importance upon the relation aspect with God then the Bible becomes no different than another great book of essays from different authors. The latter tends to be more of an African perspective where relationship to the spirituality is paramount in comparison to a book being the sum total of your Christianity. What this has done has led me to start to research the ancient Kemetians in an effort to grasp the mindset of an African to combat the interpretation of a Greco- Roman, Western slate upon the bible. Maybe the Reformation Period was right, I will find out… All this done with the ultimate search for truth of what it means to be Black and Christian…
Staff Writer; Brian Foulks
More articles can be found over at Mr. Folks personal website; Brian Foulks.