The only way to influence the thought patterns of African Americans is to change theological belief system. Christianity is design to give preference to white people, by whitening the characters of the Bible, which is a history of North Africa and the Middle East. Color is totally removed from the Bible with the help of The Church and Hollywood. The Church totally whitened Christianity with its magnificent art works depicting a white God, a blue-eyed Jesus, and a blond Mary Magdalene. All of the prophets are white, and Charleston is the pictoral image of Moses.

God is white because He is pictured so in paintings in religious chapels. All that is good is white, and the closer a person is to whiteness, the closer the person is believed to be to God. God and whiteness go together, and the rule of the world by white financial hedge fund experts is the will of God. In that theology, the African American and any person of color does not have a chance. Therefore, the major advances, which have been made in African American culture has been through the teaching of a different Christianity and a different theology.

Black America is guided by liberation theology. The story of the Black experience and achievement is founded on research in Black theology. Moses used liberation theology in his role of delivering the Hebrew people out from the land of Egypt. Egypt symbolizes a state of living where people are oppressed and submit to that oppression in the belief that they are helpless to do anything about their conditions. Social scientist and social workers come to help them to understand the oppression and the helpless of their situations and to provide them with spiritual talk to help them accept an impossible situation with grace.

Christianity as practiced in European culture provides a framework for the minority to rule the majority. Christianity made it possible for Rome to rule the world. Christianity made it possible for Great Britain to rule the world, and conquer continents, transporting millions of its citizens all over the world, without a major military battle.

The Bible was more powerful than the sword, and with careful use it subdue whole continents into submission enabling the conqueror the exploit the wealth in human resources and earth resources with courage and entitlement. With the use of a white Jesus and a large image of a white God pointing a finger at a large white man, Christianity had provided the means by which, the weak conquered the strong.

Fist it was necessary to teach the strong to believe and say I am weak and helpless; second you must place into the minds and heart of a people the sense of delayed gratification, and convince them to give up willingly any right to earth’s resources, and instead wait for post death rewards of the after life. White people were given the earth and life, and black people were given heaven and a spiritual life of salvation. The earth was described as the devils playground, and any and all pleasures of the earth was under the rule of the “boogie man” referred to as Satan.

With black people praying to a white Jesus and carrying around a white plastic Jesus, and having a white bleeding Jesus hanging around their necks, the task of rescuing them out of Egypt was going to be difficult. Enter the role of the Black Church, Black Theology and Liberation Theology. White society was not going to give up its prize easily.

White Christians did not like the idea of Black Christians attending their churches. Those who did believe in Heaven were not too happy about sharing their eternal resting places with those who they were taught to believe were not made in God’s image and were in fact God’s pity and mercy people, who out of the kindness of his heart permitted them to gather the crumbs from his table.

James Cones[1] suggests Liberation theology has to do with receiving the salvation of Christ in all realms of human life, not just the intangible, ethereal, spiritual dimension of human existence. To that end, liberation theology is concerned with the whole person, with all the things that affect the whole person, including one’s socioeconomic status, political standing, relationship to the justice system and the environment, as well as to the universe itself. Malcolm X following in the footsteps of Harriet Tubman, practiced a theology of liberation. His belief was that submission was the wrong strategy, and Black men should stop marching and hoping, and start fighting and walking away from people and their hard hearted rleigion. He encouraged people to rethink Christianity and consider the Nation of Islam, a religion with its foundation in diversity. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. taught a liberation theology using Ghandi as a model of peaceful transformation.

It was necessary to teach African American children how to survive in a hostile oppressive society. America was a white society and the major focus of its interest was to address the needs of the dominant society. The Civil War had been fought to address the conditions of injustice against millions of people; when the war was over, millions of freed slaves were left to the mercy of an angry people morning their old ways of life, and looking for a scapegoat as a symbol of that frustration. Angry southerners could not fight the forces of the United States, but they could torment the refugees left over from this major battle, which cost 650,000 American lives. Leaving freed slaves in the hands of former masters, slave- holders and just plain folks who found themselves poor and eating dirt plants for survival. After World War 11, the Allies freed what was left of the Jewish people, and transported them out of the country to other locations. They did not leave Jews in Germany to live with a defeated people who could and would enact revenge on them. America in its own war on its own soil left the freed slaves to the mercy of an angry and defeated people.

Christianity failed at that time, and the white Christians demonstrated the worst of the spirits within themselves. They planned lynching parties in their churches, and hate rallies at social gatherings. The period after slavery was more oppressive that the entire institution of slavery. During slavery, only the wealthy could own the work force, and were protected from the masses by the owners of those who were in the system. Without that protection man was free to exercise his demons, and he did on the African American. One thousand five hundred lynching took place on American soil by Christian men wearing white robes, and singing Christian hymns. Mothers had to teach their sons how to protect themselves to avoid the anger of a frustrated crowed seeking to capture the innocent. Black churches had to preach coded sermons designed to help men to learn survival skills. Eventually the African Americans said “enough” and the recorded great migration in America took place. Over 8 million African Americans left the southern states and took the over-ground railroad to freedom in major urban centers in the east and mid west. This mass migration during the early part of the 20th century was to meet with the immigrations coming out of Europe, and heading for the same locations. The northern cities benefited from these mass movements of people, the poor and the oppressed were about to transform the country, and be transformed by the country. For the African American there was a big shift in culture realities; in the south, white people did not care how close you lived to them, just do not get to smart and get too high above them. In the north, white people did not care how smart you were or how high you were able to go in professions, just do not get too close. White people in the north, ghettoized and “red lined” areas. Parents were left with the role of adjusting the behaviors of their children with dual messages for survival.

The Role of the Women was to learn the behaviors necessary for survival, and pass the codes on to their men and children. Wear the mask of conformity. Save the seed. The family must survive. Women are the carrier of the cultural codes of society. She understands the demands of an oppressive society. It is up to her to save the mental health of the men, and direct the emotional health of the children. Girls were pushed ahead of boys. Girls were to finish school first and select the right male for marriage. She was then to act as guide and direct the male through the dangerous paths. Strong black males threatened white society, during slavery. In order to prevent any form of genocide from taking place, the woman had to assume the role as the guide until the family was out of troubled waters. There were always two messages given. One message came from the ancestors, and related to the truth and history of the African people. The other message came from white society, which had designed a set of behaviors and belief systems about black people.

These belief systems had to be learned by the women, and taught to the family. Men especially developed the skills of acting and performing black scripts written especially for them. In was in the Black Church that men were able to express their true selves in safe environment. They became outstanding leaders and preachers. These preachers gave coded sermons, which only Black people could understand. They established the true strength, identity, and future progress of a people.

Woman Talk

                                                                                                                Race Talk

 

The history from the motherland. The strength and beauty of the race. Strong faith
Acceptable behavior necessary for survival

A strong black man is in danger and a threat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girl
Girl
Boy
Boy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       It is the role of the women to protect the emotional, spiritual and emotional health of the family. Do not send children or husbands out into a world with out the cultural codes necessary for survival. America has not changed, her people are the same, and it is her laws that are holding people in check. Religion is not interested in protecting minorities, it is interested in protecting its power on earth and the multibillion- dollar institutions it owns. It is the role of the Black Church as a separate institution to protect the interest of peoples of color from the selfishness and greed released through many of the Jewish and Christian denominations and institutions. America needs an American Church dedicated to the vision of the Founding Fathers, with Jesus The Christ as its teacher and guide.

 

 

         “Liberation theology has to do with receiving the salvation of Christ in all realms of human life, not just the intangible, ethereal, spiritual dimension of human existence. To that end, liberation theology is concerned with the whole person, with all the things that affect the whole person, including one’s socioeconomic status, political standing, relationship to the justice system and the environment, as well as to the universe itself.”[2]

 

             White America found it easy to accept negative descriptions of Black men rather than have interactions. Hollywood, and the media created a man of fear and myth, and created an economic base, which prospered playing to fears rather than facts. Educational institutions, influenced by Hollywood and the media, developed entire theories and curriculum based on who these institutions perceived the man of color to be. College students, in general, and teacher education students in particular, were taught a sociology, which stratified the classes and the people into assigned roles, making sure that the man of color was always on the bottom.

The social scientist used the minority population as its laboratory for studying the pathology of human behavior. Selected neighborhoods had to be studied to provide the data necessary to support negative belief systems. If a minority neighborhood did not fit the pattern, it was not used. Minorities learned these negative belief about themselves, and as the results of separation from traditional Black institutions and integrated into institutions controlled and taught by white teachers and preachers, they began to believe what was written about them by white people.

           The 1970’s ushered in an even more dangerous set of events, a planned series of events that was designed to change the whole course of the country. As a student studying to become a teacher at teachers College Columbia University in New York City, I was surprised to sit in a class and hear a professor say, “ In order to bring down this system of injustice in the American government, it is going to be necessary to destroy it from within. This can only be done through the destruction of the education system.” To say this was confusing and disturbing would be an understatement.

It was equally disturbing to sit through classes where teachers were taught that “Black students could not speak Standard English, therefore it was necessary to accept the Black English that they would be bringing into the classrooms.” Communication professors, provided supportive information to convince preparing teachers, that it was not fair to impose a writing or reading standard of one group on another group. This particular instructor discouraged the teaching of grammar, spelling, phonics and formal writing. It is helpful to speak from personal experience because sometimes it is difficult to obtain written source materials to document these statements.

Teaching in selected school districts, in selected schools demonstrated that these ideas of instructional guidelines were expected of some classroom teachers in some classes. There were no formal requirements for the teaching of grammar, spelling, phonics and structured writing in the schools to which I was assigned.

It was necessary to make a decision to go beyond what was required in the curriculum provided by the school, and teach the New York State curriculum for primary grade students. This is another way of saying that as a teacher, I taught the subject that I thought the students needed to have, after I taught the assigned curriculum. Sometimes I had to teach these subjects and skills, on my own time, and use my own resources.

I was aware that the educational system in America had indeed followed the plans to “dumb down” it educational system. Mavericks in educational institutions do not do very well, and then tend not to make friends easily. Accepting the status quo is what makes it possible to remain in the teaching profession. Sometimes the best and the brightest people find it difficult to remain. The culture of poor performing educational systems have unspoken and unwritten methods of protecting itself from change.

       Principals and administrators have the responsibility of supervising staffs that know how to follow directions. Creative thinking is not wanted or appreciated. Teachers who are viewed by their coworkers as being exceptional in any way will trigger defense mechanism in others. Individuals who are assigned to schools, which are considered low performing will not be accepted if that individual possesses special skills and abilities, which could result in significant changes in the performance of the students.

The individual would be resented and would be seen as some one who is attempting to show the poor teaching skills, which may or may not be responsible for the low performance of the students. This is particularly true in schools in some minority communities. If these schools were considered low performing because of the cognitive abilities of the students, and the lack of parental support, then anyone demonstrating the error of this reasoning would not be welcomed. Principals would give these teachers the more difficult assignments, and assign the more challenging students to that particular class. Co-workers would find ways of avoiding the individual. Teachers who may attempt changes or use creative approaches in teaching practices often enter into conflict relationships with the principal. It is important for a new teacher to find out the leadership style of the school principal, before embarking on any creative form of instructional delivery.

Some principals are very structured and demand conformity from all of the staff and personnel. Some principals may be considerate of the individual needs of the teacher and encourage teachers to express themselves in their teaching. It is important that a new teacher do the homework to determine if a principal is perceived as structured or considerate when it comes to the teachers.

If it is determined that the culture of a school relates to a culture of failure then teachers who view themselves as agents of success, will not be satisfied in that school. Changing the culture of a school is difficult. If a significant number of the faculty receive their appointments from serving students with challenging learning or behavior needs, then any change would directly affect their economic status. There is significant profit made by support services from poverty and failure, and it is impossible to a change school caught up in the culture of profitable failure. The school would have to be closed and all staff transferred to different locations.

It may be difficult to understand the culture of failure. I will try to put in simple terms, and terms based on experience. If an individual or an institution receives a grant to improve academic performance in a select group of students, and after a given amount of time, the students are tested, and the test scores indicate a significant improvement in academic performance. They have successfully completed their goal assignment. There will be no additional funds for that particular project. Staff will lose positions, and all support services required to improve academic achievement will no longer be needed.

Success has caused the removal of a significant number of staff. Some where along the way someone will discover that there is profit in failure, and failure in success. Few businesses can survive if success will affect the budget. Minority school districts receive a significant amount of their budget based on the academic failure of the students.

Every three years new learning strategies are developed, and sales men persuade superintendents and school principals to purchase new state of the arts materials designed to improve the academic performance of the students. Hundred of thousands of dollars are paid to publishing companies, which would go out of business if their products were successful, they would be out of business in three years. Hundreds of reading specialist, math specialist and staff developers are hired to teach teachers how to use the new materials. If these individuals were effective, they would be working themselves out of jobs.

Minority and low-income districts are cash cows for venders, specialist and politicians. If at any point an individual enters into the system, with his or her own plan for teaching students, they are perceived as threats to the system. The system fights to protect itself. This is called the culture of poverty teaching and with all the vested interest involved in keeping it going, the victims, the children and the teachers, are helpless to do anything.

African American teachers are sensitive to the culture of poverty teaching, especially if they have attended schools where strong factors were in place to maintain the status quo. Some attempt to fight the culture, however, many give up in frustration and elect to move on into other career fields, also challenging, but not as emotional as teaching.

Some African American teachers explain the situation to the students in such a way that they could understand. Students who decide to change attitudes behaviors and learning modes, often find themselves in similar position as the teachers. As their scores and performance goes up they are rejected by their peers for “acting white” and discouraged from demonstrating their true potentials.

A bright motivated students can be perceived as a threat and an outsider, the same way a bright and motivated teacher would be. Unless the culture of the school changes, these failing schools will not be able to hold bright students or bright teachers. If the community has been conditioned to see itself and its students in negative terms, then that change must come from the moral center of American communities, and that is usually the different house of worship. The Black Church must again make a choice between Black Theology and Liberation theology and its spiritual purpose to the black family.

The worse threat to a system poverty teaching was the Black Church. The Black Church set up its own educational system. They did not spend thousands of dollars on books designed for failure by publishers more interested in selling the printed word rather than providing information. It is frustrating for a publishing company to print thousands of copies of the original works of Shakespeare, and have some 5th grade student go to a video store and rent the video on Hamlet and Mac Beth, with analysis of characters.

The publishers would have to say, ”Johnny can’t read.” No one notices that “Johnny” reads all the instructions on the complex computer games and can access data from computers going through advanced reading materials. This does not matter, “Johnny” cannot read Ghetto teaching materials, and he does not respond well to poverty teaching. In fact, these students are a pain in the neck to the system.

This is a big problem, and the teacher can only solve it. If a teacher feels the calling to teach, then a way must be found around a system designed to fail students for profit. As a school- teacher, I found my way around this situation. I approached my church and requested space to work with my children after school.

I knew I could teach and the children could learn, the question was only did we have the time to complete the failure based curriculum and the learning curriculum. I said yes, the students said yes, the parents said yes, and the church said yes. This was not a Black Church, but it was a church committed to it outreach ministry and education. Further research is needed to determine how teachers feel about their working conditions, and the student with whom they work.

There is a significant body of information relating to teacher attitudes and the preparation process. It suggests that teachers feel that the preparation, which they received in college, did not prepare them for the reality of the classroom. These are correctible problems. It will however, require the joint efforts of family, school and church.

It is possible to manage children and teach them. This is demonstrated by the success rate prison have with the management and education of young people who are a fall out from the education system. There is however, a lack of research questioning the role of the church in identifying some of the problems faced in the community, especially problems where individuals have the ability to change behaviors, thinking and life styles in order to improve working conditions of teachers.

There is little research suggesting that churches are sensitive to the needs and concerns of teachers working in communities. If teachers are going to come into communities to act as facilitators and guides through the learning process, then the community will have to step up to its responsibility and see to it, that they provide students with the behaviors and attitudes ready to receive the services, which teachers are prepared to deliver.

The Black Church dropped the ball after the Civil Rights Revolution. It is time for them to get back in the game. Churches will again need to become after school educational centers. Perhaps some form of “Release Time” can be established with the wealthier churches that have the funds to support the financial responsibility involved in extended out reach and education. Minority communities will have to take the lead on this issue, and decide if they want their tax dollars to go to pay thirty six thousand dollars a year to keep children in prison, or redirect that money towards a college education? To say this is a racial issue would be correct, but to sit back and do nothing while children in some minority schools and communities are being destroyed is totally irresponsible on the part of the minority communities and elected officials, representing them.

Many minority parents elect to take their children out of low performing schools. Some are able to transfer students under the No Child Left Behind Act. Some elect to put their children in private and religious schools. This however, does not solve the problem for the parent who does not know how to fight for her child, or who feels that the behaviors and education of the children is the schools responsibility. America cannot afford to have a nation of drugged students put in a stupor in order for them to remain in class. America will not be able to complete in the global markets of today and tomorrow, if teachers are finding it difficult to educate children, and if individuals are refusing to enter into the profession

 

The Role Of The Black Church

The Black Church, Black Theology Liberation Theology

Black Theology

Political

Blames history and slavery for anti social behavior

Want an apology and financial reparations for time spent in slavery.

Encourages the telling and retelling of events in history.

Jesus, radical revolutionary

Liberation Theology

Political ideology

Interracial

 

Theory of the oppressed

Social Justice for the oppressed all over the world.

Black Church

Scripture, Faith, tradition, family values.

Jesus as personal savior

Black codes of behavior

Educational training institutes

Bible study for children/strict guidelines

Leadership training programs

Financial training programs

Women as cultural guides and strength

No reference to slavery as cause for failure

Parenting Sermons/Bible/Tradition

Black family/ God, family, education

Strong cultural and religious values

Strong role for men as head of family

Caribbean’s, Africans, Latin Americans, African Americans, Europeans Activist, Black Activist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was necessary to teach African Americans how to survive in a hostile

The Black Church, Black Theology Liberation Theology

Black Theology

Political

Blames history and slavery for anti social behavior

Want an apology and financial reparations for time spent in slavery.

Encourages the telling and retelling of events in history.

Jesus, radical revolutionary

Liberation Theology

Political ideology

Interracial

Socialist/communist

Theory of the oppressed

Social Justice for the oppressed all over the world.

Caribbean’s, Africans, Latin Americans, African Americans, Europeans Activist, Black Activist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Church

Scripture, Faith, tradition, family values.

Jesus as personal savior

Black codes of behavior

Educational training institutes

Bible study for children/strict guidelines

Leadership training programs

Financial training programs

Women as cultural guides and strength

No reference to slavery as cause for failure

Parenting Sermons/Bible/Tradition

Black family/ God, family, education

Strong cultural and religious values

Strong role for men as head of family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The history from the motherland. The strength and beauty of the race. Strong faith
Acceptable behavior necessary for survival

A strong black man is in danger and a threat

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Professor James H. Cone is the Charles A. Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary. He attended Shorter College (1954-56) and holds a B.A. degree from Philander Smith College (1958). In 1961, he received a Master of Divinity degree from Garrett Theological Seminary and later earned an M.A. (1963) and Ph.D. (1965) from Northwestern University. Dr. Cone has been conferred eight (8) honorary degrees, including a Doctor of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (2000).

[2] Professor James H. Cone is the Charles A. Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary. He attended Shorter College (1954-56) and holds a B.A. degree from Philander Smith College (1958). In 1961, he received a Master of Divinity degree from Garrett Theological Seminary and later earned an M.A. (1963) and Ph.D. (1965) from Northwestern University. Dr. Cone has been conferred eight (8) honorary degrees, including a Doctor of Divinity from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (2000).

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