In this chapter they discussed the stereotype of the “Black Church” stating that “There are denominations, composed of congregations of black persons and under their control, and there are countless free-standing congregations, but there is no entity that can be called the black church” (582 Sernett). Even though this is very true I strongly believe their is a difference with how different ethnicities and cultures choose to worship. With that said I also believe that there’s something special about finding the right church because when you do you immediately know and you’ll feel right at home.
Although it doesn’t have very much to do with the chapter I decided to my blog post on Historical Black Colleges and Universities, better known as HBCU’s. In Howard Thurman’s biography they mentioned how he studied at Morehouse college in 1919 and later came back to teach at his alma mater as well as Spellman college (their sister school). Most HBCUs were established after the American Civil War, often with the assistance of northern United States religious missionary organizations. The oldest HBCU in the United States, Cheyney was founded in 1837. In the beginning, the school was known as the Institute for Colored Youth. In 1914, it was renamed the Cheyney Training School for Teachers. That same year, it became an institution of higher learning and awarded its first degree. In those 77 years between its inception and its formalization as a university, 97 other historically black colleges and universities had been founded. HBCU’s gave African American’s a chance at a furthering their education on a more serious level. Getting them started was a challenge because at the time funding was nonexistent and maintaining their existence was even more difficult but somehow they managed to do so. However, seeing how African Americans were not accepted into Public White Institutions (PWI’s) based off of the color of their skin and not on academic ability my ancestors had to create a way for our culture to continue our education. They made it possible for me to be studying at this university and for that I am grateful.
Growing up with a very religious family who went to church every Sunday I felt as if it was something I had to do. However, I’m starting to really appreciate my religion and understand it in my own way. With that being said after reading this chapter I realized within the first couple sentences how accurate everything that Rabbi Matthew was saying. It never dawned on me that nowhere in the Bible does it really ever indicate what race the people were. Rabbi Matthew decides to list all the men in the Bible starting with Adam and he points out that when God to decided to make man he did just that not once ever considering color. If the Bible was such a huge guide for our nation during slavery I sometimes wonder how we became so obsessed with color when it clearly makes no reference towards it in there. People often are misguided in life and it’s their preachers job to keep them on track. However, there are often times when preachers are misguided as well or they just chose to preach what they want and not follow God’s orders on how to lead their flock. In my opinion, this is why teaching and preaching are major components of religion. But just because you claim to be apart of a religion that doesn’t mean you are religious and just because you claim to be religious that doesn’t mean you know about your religion.
I was always familiar with the name “Marcus Garvey” and I knew how much he contributed to African American history but I was not knowledgeable on his personal history. The fact that he was so open and honest about his parents along with his childhood was really inspiring to me. However, I was especially interested in his father. How can someone work their whole life to be successful, achieve it and then pass away without a legacy to leave behind for future generations? Situations similar to this one happen very often in the African American community but I feel like until the root of the problem is addressed we will never find a solution.
“You got to know something ’bout the lord to git along anywhere. You don’t know nothing ’bout him? Well you better know him; better learn ’bout him, that’s what’ll help you.” (70) When I first started reading this chapter I found it very interesting that at 12/13 years old it was clear to Sister Kelly that in order to make it through life and all the adversity sacked up against her merely based on the color of her skin she needed to trust and believe in God. Due to this it wasn’t hard for me to believe that the connection she felt with God was as strong as it was especially at that age because I felt a very similar connection myself. Being raised in the church has taught me that anything is possible when it comes to God and all that He is capable of. I was taught to never put limitations on Him and how much of an impact He can have. Although, throughout this chapter I felt like Sister Kelly did not recognize the “voices” she was hearing or “spirits” that were surrounding her as godly ones. However, her experience is completely understandable due to the fact that the human brain does not have the ability to comprehend religious experiences without questioning them.