Out of the weekly readings, Sernett’s chapter 27 of African American Religious History gave me the most insight. William Wells Brown, although blunt, spoke about issues that some African American communities face currently. The part of his excerpt that resonated with me the most was towards the end of the chapter when he talks about the Petersburg Baptist church tearing down an old monument and rebuilding it for the sole purpose of glamour and recognition from sister churches. When discovering the news, he criticizes the priorities of the church which was quite taboo at the time. Even in today’s times, less fortunate people put their hard earned money into institutions that have no beneficial intentions for them. Instead of having flashy items that make the church “worldly-minded” in the words of Brown, he suggest that the church actually uses the people’s funds to build programs for their benefit rather than skewing the capital distribution. By doing this, it creates a less money oriented church, helping members and leaders focus on faith.
This interview from Dr. Umar Johnson speaks about the same investment turmoil that the African American community faces today.