Wednesday, February 28, 2007


to be whole
i must examine my
soul but
to see me
I must look
through you
a misted mirror
obscured by
lies, hypocrisy,
your history
reflecting a
culturally rabid
cloned in the
image of your god
bellowing i’m saved
cause my mama's mama

said so

So many Black folk are quick to defend Christianity and Islam based on things like Jesus’ skin color, the meaning of faith, what did god say or didn’t say, and which religion is the true religion. However, in my conversations with black Christians and Muslim, they seem to never consider the deeper psychological impact of religion on culture. For some strange reason, they don’t think it important.

When the enslaved Africans arrived in the “New World,” very few, if any, were Christian. The main exposure, at this time, for West Africans to Christianity would have been the Roman presence in so called North Africa. Many were Muslim because of the 7th Century onslaught of Islam, but an even greater number practiced their ancestor’s traditional religions. Given this fact, one could ask, why the descendants of these Africans don’t practice their ancestor’s religions and even more telling, is it important?

Reading academic responses to these questions, in my opinion, are mostly apologetic. They will pose that Africans were Christian when they arrived. They’ll suggest that the African’s ancestral religion was Islam. They’ll say that Christianity is originally African (Coptic Church) or make some latent connections that the Africans adapted Islam and Christianity to their "similar" traditional belief systems. I’m sure there are others, but the attempt at rationalization is obvious and ongoing.

When examining Christianity and Islam (which are two side of the same coin), you’ll see that on a deeper level, they don’t fit the African’s ancestral belief systems, but are in complete apposition to them. If this is true, and I believe it is, one could ask, what does it matter? My first response would be why didn’t the Africans, after untold millenniums on the planet, develop a belief system essentially Christian or Muslim instead of having to "adapt" it to theirs? My quick answer would be it was repulsive to their deep cultural structures. It was not in their cosmological view.

I base my conclusions on several concepts. First, that the African worldview was rooted in Natural phenomena. They saw their deities throughout Nature, not confined to a particular area of Nature or the Universe, like the sky or a "heaven". Although some had a “Chief god”, it wasn’t a solitary omnipotent god like Allah or Jehovah (Jesus) and the African “god” didn’t make man, especially in “his image.” Man was a force, a part of Nature and therefore had his or her own efficacy. This is why Islam and Christianity can not be an African religion. It may have similarities in some unimportant concepts, but the essences of the African view, connecting the human with Nature, is antithetical to the Indo-European religious systems. Indo-European religions purposely DISCONNECT man from his own spirit! The societal decadence that the religions preach against are in fact perpetuated by the religions own basic philosophy because society is do disconnected.

This is critical because it changed the entire dynamic between the human being and their world. It allowed for complex manipulation on many levels. When the African absorbed Christianity (*Judeo-Christianity) and/or Islam, it removed the power from the human entity to the sky god (or those who had special access to him). No longer could the human feel the power of his spirit and how it interacted with the environment or his community. Now his spirit and behavior was prescribed by words in a book that in reality didn’t apply to everyone and if the word was disobeyed, asking for forgiveness made things right. The human had no real responsibility for his actions like genocide or enslavement or his inactions like fostering equality. He was said to be born in sin therefore he needed guidance from the outside not from within. He became a child with a father in Rome, England, Mecca, or Virginia Beach. He internalized his own helplessness and this allowed him to lose spiritual, not religious, direction and balance to succumb to excessive materialism and decadence. It allowed for his humanity to be subdued.

Today the descendants of the African and many Africans themselves are lost. They are absorbed into their new religions through conquest, missionaries, and the media. Even though the Judeo-Christian and Muslim religions give pause to their own creators, the European and the Arab, they still fit their cultural essence, a cultural essence of power for control, of man over Nature (or other non Europeans), in the image of their god. Western religions will continually try to combat, what they perceive as terrorism, un-Americanism, a threat to freedom, or just plain primitive unenlightened beliefs from a true African worldview.

The Africans and their descendants power is not in technology or religion, but in the Spirit and if they want that elusive “Black cultural unity”, I believe it can only be possible if they allow a cultural spiritual hegemony, based on an African worldview, man in harmony with Nature, to prevail. However it appears by the number of Blacks who embrace those religions, they are no longer able to contact, connect, and use their severed Spirit to balance the negative (not necessarily bad) influences on their worldview. They instead pray and ask for guidance outside of themselves. They only cursory consider they can’t get true spiritual guidance or truth from their “black” religious leaders because of materialism and ignorance. As a result they (we) muddle along dying culturally and spiritually while African spiritual opposing ideology is gaining strength, even among us and our balance is lost.

(*The Abyssinians, who where the descendants of the last (with the Nubians, also the first) African "Egyptian" dynasties, was influenced by ideas of “monotheism” since the time Akhenaton had the whispers in his ear turned from the African way. Therefore, when the Romans brought the Abyssinian Africans Christianity, they easily blended it into what we know today as the Coptic Church. Dr. Clarke said that the thrust of the Greeks into the heart of Africa was its final walk in the sun, I say it began when we lost our way and our Gods.)