“Why we worship.”
Throughout American history, Black people have always turned to the church as a way of coping in this country. It has served as a sanctuary for us to congregate to praise God and also a meeting place for community issues. But with what has come of the church that is good, there is a darker side to Black people and religion. And that downside comes with subjugation from a time period when we were considered less than human. So why do so many of us believe in the Christian beliefs of America given our volatile history of the past? Well, it first starts with the way we were inundated with the belief.
When Black people were first brought to the New World, we were bought and sold at different ports throughout North and South America. And depending on what country you were sent to, you had a belief that effected you in a different way. As far as the United States, beliefs that Black people took on were either forced or we assimilated to. But just the believing is not enough to understand our relationship with it, but how it effects us. One way is how we have raised our children. And one of those methods of dealing with children is chastising your child/children. Whooping your child is commonplace and not necessarily because they did something really bad.
For example, I remember asking elders say that you couldn’t question adults. You couldn’t just ask an older person a question regarding adult things in life. But if you look at African cultures where young people are supposed to ask elders questions, why do we here have such adverse reaction to our children. During slavery that link between old and young was cut. So the elders in America whooping children is what was done here in this country as a means of surviving under duress. But is that a good thing to whoop a kid for something so simplistic. No it isn’t, but the whooping was to put fear of the “idea” of what White people “could do” to our children.
This is scary because it aims at understanding the fear, guilt, and shame. That same fear, guilt, and shame is correlated with the bible. So it was a perfect combination to keep Black people mentally impotent. So with what has been said, do we continue to believe? Or, do we ditch the faith base all together and start fresh. Because we are no longer slaves and why not. Well, one reason to continue to this is all we know. and the other is the loyalty to the people who came before us. Those past people used Christianity, even if forced on us, in our own way to create joyful music, raise children, and get us through troubling times. In the end, the choice will be up to the person believing in the faith base. But as Black people, we cannot hide the fact religion has had a strong impact on the Black community.