WHO I AM – WHY I AM – WHAT I DO — PART 9
Again, JESUS WAS BLACK – Not a blond hair, blue eyed, peace and love promoting prophet…
For the past several weeks, I shared my certainty that there are some who may be asking, “Why does it matter if Jesus was Black or not?”
First, I shared that it matters that Jesus was Black because it is true.Second, I shared that it matters that Jesus was Black because it challenges us to rethink what we think about Black people.
Third, I shared that it matters that Jesus was Black because it forces us, and some of us need to be forced, to acknowledge that we have been intentionally and systematically Mis-educated (in the words of Carter G. Woodson) and therefore, cannot trust what was taught, and continues to be taught, to us and about us regarding our overall contribution to culture and civilization in this world.
Fourth, it matters that Jesus is Black because it encourages us to reject assimilation as a path to acceptance and achievement. Since we continue to be taught that everything about us is bad, some of us have rejected everything about us and adopted the belief that if we can assimilate – that is, be like white people, then we will achieve what we desire. The debate of whether to assimilate or not goes back to the antebellum period when newly freed slaves sought ways to minimize their Blackness in favor of adopting what it meant to be white and/or to be accepted by whites. They bleached their skin, straightened their hair, pinchedtheir children’s noses, etc. as a path to acceptance and achievement.
Assimilation undergirded the discussions of Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois regarding the path to acceptance and achievement of Black people.
Today, assimilation is yet viewed by some as an appropriate path to acceptance and achievement. For example, some Blacks believe if their children go to school with white children, they will get a better education. If they live in a neighborhood with white people, they will be able to live in peace. If they can be accepted by white people – receive invitations to their parties, participate in their social organizations, sit on their corporate boards, etc. – they have arrived and are now somebody.
No. Our children will get a better education when they go to schools that values them and values a holistic educational philosophy of academics, culture and spirituality. No. We are able to live in peace when we live in neighborhoods where residents respect each other. No. We have arrived and are somebody when we discover who God created us to be and what God created us to do. Accordingly, when we are in the presence of white people, we are not trying hard to prove to them that we are not “those Black people.” No, no, no. Our acceptance and achievement is not based upon being like and liked by them.
Wear your hair the way that you desire. Live in the house that you desire. Attend the schools that you desire. Join the organizations that you desire. However, do them because that is what you desire, rather than doing them because you are seeking to fit in with white people as a path to acceptance and achievement.
Be who you are. Be who God created you to be. God created you in your skin color, with your hair texture, with your facial features. Appreciate who God created you to be and be the best you – as you are – that you can be. Dr. Floyd Prude said it this way,
Be who you is, and not who you ain’t.
For if you is who you ain’t, then you ain’t who you is.