Rastafari Speaks Archive
Buy Books

Read Only : Rastafari Speaks Reasoning Archives

Rastafari Speaks Archive


A generation of African Americans began to drift away from the church. These first recipients of the benefits of desegregation were facing new challenges, choosing from previously unheard of opportunities and experiencing unprecedented freedom. The nation had grudgingly removed the obstacles to broader exploration and the younger crowd was ready to wander. The black church struggled to effectively speak to those who had left its confines.

What has been the outcome? Those who have not had access or failed to capitalize on the new opportunities are left without hope for a better future. And the popular notion that Jesus has nothing to offer created a vacuum of moral authority. No longer do we look to God as the one to whom we are accountable. We are our own authority. Some even teach that "The black man is God." If this is so, then we can define our own morality, establish our own standards of behavior, and sit in judgment of everyone else. But we have failed because we are not God. No wonder drug trade is seen as an understandable and too often an acceptable career choice. No wonder teenage pregnancy continues to rise and sexually transmitted diseases are approaching epidemic proportions.

And those who do get an education or establish themselves in legally acceptable jobs are not free from concern. There are still obstacles to acceptance by the mainstream society, and the children of the middle class often get caught in the undertow of sexual and chemical enticements. It almost seems that African-American culture is being overrun by a pathological pursuit of self-aggrandizement, sensuality and prosperity at any cost.

The poet and educator James Weldon Johnson proved to be prophetic when he wrote the last stanza of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" in 1921. This work came to be known as the Negro National Anthem and was sung daily after the Pledge of Allegiance in many black schools up until the time of desegregation. His lyrics warned us of the potential for our current predicament:

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears,
thou who hast led us thus far on our way,
Thou who hast by thy might led us into the light
keep us forever in the path we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee.
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee.
Sadly, too many of our feet have strayed. Too many of our hearts are drunk.

What should we do now? How can we honor our history, respond to the present, and build a viable, vibrant future for our people?
It is not too late. We can still return to the God of our fathers. You can select from a number of eras to find African people to consider your "fathers." You could choose the ancient African Christians, who laid the foundations for much of modern Africa. You could identify with those slaves who prayed in the hush arbors. Or you can honor the perseverance of those Negro Christians who washed floors and swept streets to feed and clothe your grandparents. In any case, it starts with an individual choice. You must choose Jesus for yourself.

Messages In This Thread

Re: #4

This site may at times contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

Copyright © 2003-2014 RastafariSpeaks.com & AfricaSpeaks.com