Growing up in Christian schools and churches, I was always very confused on why European culture was praised but every other culture was shamed. As a mixed girl, this hit me hard. Why is my German culture perfectly okay in the eyes of God, but my Black (African American) and Native American cultures are not? So learning and practicing my Black and Lakota culture became a way to rebel against my school and Christian elders. This is just another way to do so. To keep it easy to follow and to understand I will only focus on how us Blacks were stripped of our culture through the use of Christianity.
“Black Man T-Shirts | Spreadshirt.” Black Man T-Shirts | Spreadshirt. Spread Shirt, n.d. Web. 02 May 2016.
First, let us go back to when the Blacks were slaves. Blacks were forbidden to sing, read, dance, gather, or even speak to each other. Slowly the languages were forgotten, the cultures were lost, and their identity was nothing but a myth. They became nothing more but property and tools. The Whites had taken everything from them, but this would soon change.
Lashid4u. “Defending BLACK Christians – PART 2 – Slavery Is God’s Will?” YouTube. YouTube, 08 Nov. 2012. Web. 02 May 2016.
Leviticus 25:44-46, states that man can own slaves and claim the slaves as property. The slaves can also be inherited by their owner’s children, but they can not be Israelites. Now a fellow Israelite to a White Christian back then would either mean another White Christian or any Christian in general. Exodus 21:1-11 goes into depth about the rules of owning and selling slaves, and the punishments if these rules are broken. Exodus also states that
slaves can only serve for seven years unless they decide to stay and then they will be forever owned.This passage is pretty close to the ways of handling an indentured servant. An indentured servant is “a person who signs and is bound by indentures to work for another for a specified time especially in return for payment of travel expenses and maintenance”(Webster). This rule is the biggest reason slave owners did not want to convert the Blacks. This only changed once Quaker missionaries got the church and leaders to declare that converting Blacks does not force slave owners to let their slaves free. So slave owners became comfortable with baptizing and teaching the word to their slaves.
“BibleGateway.” Leviticus25. Bible Gateway, n.d. Web. 02 May 2016. “BibleGateway.” Exodus 21 ESV. Bible Gateway, n.d. Web. 02 May 2016.
Blacks, however, did not accept Christ right away. The majority of Blacks were converted when Methodist and Baptist came to America. This was because the Blacks had some freedom in how they praised and these two denominations were not as strict. Even though they had more freedom in the Methodist and Baptist way of praise, they still were only taught parts of the gospel, mainly parts that denounced the Blacks’ ways, but never the parts that proved that the Whites were misusing the bible and breaking the laws of God.
Today the thought process is what we call “woke”. Blacks are entering their awakening period.Blacks are now wondering, “why am I following a religion that ties back to all across the Middle East and Africa but says our cultures and people there are savages and need to be saved”? The answer is, drumroll because we practice European Christianity.
Bushey, Richard. “Does The History of Slavery Prove That Black People Should Not Be Christians?”Therefore, God Exists. Word Press, 18 Aug. 2015. Web. 2 May 2016.
The religion is not really wrong or evil. What is wrong and evil is how it was pushed on us, the practice we follow is European, and the assimilation forced upon non-European people when converted. Unlike some Black Atheist and powerful vocal Black figures, I am not anti-Christianity. I am anti-European Christianity. Christianity that is trying to wipe out cultures and languages because they are not matching European ways and seen as uncivilized. I am against this use of Christianity. I do not want to be that type of Christian. I want to see Christianity accept cultures and merge with them. I want to see Christianity empower a people, beyond promises after death. That is my Christianity.
That is not the Christianity I see. I see how much Christianity has affected Black lives, and it has done a great deal of good but also bad. Blacks have cut their umbilical cord. What I mean is that blacks no longer accept nor connect to their ancestry nor do they care to know what culture they come from. They are brainwashed and promised that they are blessed to have been saved from their ancestor’s ways. Let me bring in that there is a growing movement where Black is beautiful and there is a strive to connect and accept our ancestorial ways and culture. Vocal leaders that are supporting, or have supported this movement, are Assata Shakur, Malcolm X, Kathleen Cleaver and many more. This movement is great but our Christian churches are not backing us up. They are saying we are lost and confused and heading towards a way that is ungodly.
We need to connect to our roots. We need to know who we are and where we come from. We need to be us. The European way is not us. The European Christian way is not our way. Black-Christians need to be Black-Christians and bring their ancestors and culture back into their lives. That will save us. That will bring us hope that is tangible. That will be our heaven on Earth as we await our heaven after death. African Christians have accomplished this. Mexican Christians have accomplished this. But for some reason us Black American Christians have not.We are the only Christians taught to deal with hell on earth and not attempt to make things better. We are told that waiting until death is our only salvation. Yet, Whites can strive for happiness on earth and in death. Westernization has always been to wipe out nonwestern cultures never to accept. Look at the tar and ivory trade in the congo. No religion or political belief should make you disown your ancestors or culture. It should build and entwine with your culture.
“I Love My Roots.” Artistic Tees. Artistic Tees, Jan. 2014. Web. 2 May 2016