Warning: if you are a Jesus freak & get offended easily, do not read any further.
Last year I saw Na’im Akbar speak at a Diversity Conference @ work (U of M Hospital) & the focus of his keynote address was navigating the dual consciousness. While the talks scope was very broad, it was obviously geared toward the dual consciousness of Negro folk.
Na’im talked about what it means to be both African and American and how to deal with both in a sane way.
Walking away from that talk I started to thinking about things in my life that were affected by my African heritage & my American citizenship. I don’t feel like going into a lot of detail because if I did this would be a long fucked up read. So suffice it to say that segments of the speech were factored into my decision to change my name.
Kinda switching topics on you a bit: Today I was in rural town of Manchester MI because a friend of mine invited me to go flying in her glider plan. Well as I was making my way out to the farm/landing strip, I got a little lost and in doing so I found this huge cross in a field.
Immediately upon seeing the cross I started having the visions of crosses being burned on Negro lawns, I thought of Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees & I thought of Negro marchers being attacked with water hoses & by dogs while demanding basic freedoms. Yes, it was a deep moment while lost in the middle of no mans land.
So after I see this huge cross I see a church then I started to understand that this cross was on the churches property (later confirmed). At this point, I saw the cross as some sort of homage to Christianity. In this moment, I thought back to Na’im Akbar & his speech of navigation. This time I focused on navigating Black thought & Christianity.
– What does it mean to be both Black & Christian???
– Is being a Black Christian some type of oxymoron???
Are Black Christians caught up in some type of religious brainwashing of subconsciously trapped in a Matrix waiting to be freed by “Neo” he whom is also lost.
Well I guess I spared myself from having to answer these questions a few months ago when I decided that being a Christian was not a path that was good for me. So I just consider myself to be someone who believes in a higher power out there somewhere but not convinced at all that Jesus is the answer.
When I have discussed this with friends, I always factor in slavery & ask them to reconcile for me why being a Black Christian is the end all to be all to “salvation”. That’s where things get really interesting because I have yet to hear a viable reason why.
Black people where oppressed under the name of Christianity and we know this but yet many of us pray to a pretty white Jesus.
Enough of the controversy, here is a picture of the cross (I was happy that I had my camera on deck). Consider it and in three words or less, caption it.
The catch is that I want you to give a response as Negro or other (if you are) then give a response from a religious perspective. I will go first:
– Negro Response: Just add fire
– Religious Response: Jesus lives here