My dudes, let’s have a chat about Davis’s work. First off, disclaimer, I recently took a history course over the summer about early civilization (basically through the fall of the Roman Empire)- and oh my god. High school leaves out so much. We’re all aware that with the crowning of Justinian,Rome was a predominately Catholic, but I found this work to be amazing because it discusses how this religious shift specifically impacted African Americans. For one thing, at the very beginning, people were divided. On the one side we had Justinian and his followers who believed the teachings of the Catholic church, that God could be both human and divine (i.e., The Trinity). On the other side we had Theodora and her followers believed that God could only be divine. Also, a lot of this is super cool because it is only until very recently that historians have discovered that Nubia followed a Christian religion. According to Davis’s work, he found, “unmistakable proof” that the Byzantine Empire had been influenced as well. Furthermore, Nubia isn’t even the oldest place to be recoded as having a Christian faith. According to Davis’s research, Ethiopia had been influenced over two centuries earlier. Davis also goes on to state that African Americas had a lot to do with the foundations of Catholicism. This made me link together a reading from last week where in his address, Nathaniel Paul had suggested that the British had helped pave their way to freedom. Here, in Davis’s work, we find that he states African Americas were in no way dependent.
Reading about the concept of black pride was also interesting. Here again, we observe a common theme. Bible verses are again used to prove a point. In Song of Songs, there is the line, “I am black, and I am beautiful.” In the eyes of Augustine, blackness was an undisputable sign of the church and its community. However, the phrase, “one step forward, two steps back,” continues to be applied throughout history. One of the most striking examples of this was with St. Benedict Moore. Although he began life as a slave, he soon broke away from those chains and committed himself, and rose-in religious life. St. Benedict Moore was not only popular in Spain, but also around Europe and the New World of this time. But despite all of his popularity and influence, he was ironically standing on the future grounds of the admirers that would later enslave his people. I think this reading was very important because it helped me to cast eyes upon some topics of history we have been educated in since grade school, but very much got painted a pretty picture of many events. The real world, is not so black and white.
Also, ps. Theodora was actually, lowkey, pretty badass.