Black Spirituality Religion : Was Christianity the Only Thing Our Ancestors Has Suring Slavery?

river

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Sometimes we excuse what has proven itself to be a lie by saying that was all some of our ancestors had. But that is not all they brought to this country. That was all they were allowed to openly express. But our enslaved ancestors had a rich spiritual heritage that they brought with them from Africa.

Many of them used the phrases and hymns of Christianity as a coded language when they could not speak openly. The children musta thought Grandma Hazel loved Jesus so much but they didn't know she was singing about her plans to run away. In that way a coded t language for one generation becomes an emotionally laden sacrament for the next.

Many of our ancestors rejected Christianity because they had been worked to the bone, beaten, raped, killed, humiliated and dehumanized in every conceivable way and in ways only a white mind can conceive by the same people who were trying to force them to accept Jesus. Death was their only hope for rest. The thought of spending eternity in a Heaven full of white folks was just too much, The image of God as this old silver haired, pink skinned, Colonel Sanders looking white dude did not resonate with the natural spirituality of their African minds so they rejected it.

So what does it mean to honor our ancestors?
 
phynxofkmt said:
I like where you're going with this, and would love to hear more. How do we honor the ancestors? Is it true that many of the gospel songs sung where directions to freedom, or ways to find the underground railroad?
Hey sista phynx,

Here is some information about how spirituals were used as coded language during slavery.
http://ctl.du.edu/spirituals/Freedom/coded.cfm

Many people see honoring their ancestors as a deeply personal thing which is why I asked the question rather than lay down a prescription for all to follow. That would just be another religion. To make honoring our ancestors a truly spiritual experience we have to explore the question and let our inner spirit give us the answer. I have been told by someone who actually went to Kmt that on a temple wall there is an inscription that says: "That which is revealed to you ceases to be a mystery only to you."

so I invite everyone to explore this question in the light of what was really important to our ancestors.
 
Jumping In------

river said:
Sometimes we excuse what has proven itself to be a lie by saying that was all some of our ancestors had. But that is not all they brought to this country. That was all they were allowed to openly express. But our enslaved ancestors had a rich spiritual heritage that they brought with them from Africa.

Many of them used the phrases and hymns of Christianity as a coded language when they could not speak openly. The children musta thought Grandma Hazel loved Jesus so much but they didn't know she was singing about her plans to run away. In that way a coded t language for one generation becomes an emotionally laden sacrament for the next.

Many of our ancestors rejected Christianity because they had been worked to the bone, beaten, raped, killed, humiliated and dehumanized in every conceivable way and in ways only a white mind can conceive by the same people who were trying to force them to accept Jesus. Death was their only hope for rest. The thought of spending eternity in a Heaven full of white folks was just too much, The image of God as this old silver haired, pink skinned, Colonel Sanders looking white dude did not resonate with the natural spirituality of their African minds so they rejected it.

So what does it mean to honor our ancestors?



IMO, honoring our ancestors begins with remembering their struggles and not taking their acheivements for granted. It has beome commonplace in our community to prioritize money over morals and to "not knock the next man's hustle" even if that hustle is dealing death and addiction to one another.
We also confuse being religious with being spiritual. Claiming a denomination makes you politically correct but it also makes you spiritually bankrupt.
 
Hey monet,

You describe a very real way of honoring our ancestors and what they stood for. Dropping the ball by allowing what they struggled for to come to nothing, dishonoring the bodies in which they must find their future existence while diligently following a religious ritual of pouring libations or taking communion honors no one.
 

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