Sometimes I feel like Joseph. What I mean is Joseph was a Hebrew bought and then sold into slavery in Egypt. A son of Israel, a servant of the one true God, now a slave in a country where the language and customs were different, the people despised (shepherding) the very identity by which his family is called; and above all, where the people served a whole plethora of gods and the headman, Pharaoh, thought himself to be a god.
Perhaps I’ve overstated my situation too much, but I feel the comparison holds true on many levels. Let me try to explain.
As a black man in America, born and raised in the South: Selma,Alabama, home of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Bloody Sunday, Klan marches, and the hub of the civil rights movement, my world was Black. By this, I mean my worldview was monoethnistic and I saw the world through a single cultural lens.
Now as an adult, and here is where the comparison to Joseph comes in, I have lived exclusively within the cultural groupings of white America. This was not done by any particular or conscious choice on my part, but rather was due to a series of apparently unrelated and innocuous events.
Like Joseph, I came of age in a foreign culture; also like Joseph, I took a wife from a people and an ethnic group not my own. And like Joseph, my children are of mixed heritage. But most of all, like Joseph, my wife, children, and I are all servants of the one true God.
Nonetheless, for the southern raised black man this has offered me the opportunity to see the World, America, and myself from a whole new perspective. So in light of all the news of what I call the New Black Voice, I thought I would add the echo of my own. For in many ways the rhetoric I hear coming from the black community is far different from the tones I heard as the backdrop of my world growing up.
Over the next few postings, I would like to explore some of those thoughts with you and hear from you as well, as we discuss the topics and ideas of family, education, faith and religion; and of course, we will have to discuss politics. For within the black world, next to faith and family, politics reigns unchallenged. So strap in and settle down and let’s take this ride together and when we’re done, hopefully we’ll all be a little bit better understood by the other.
Thank you so much for your post. My husband, when asked by telemarketers what race he is, responds, "the human race." It drives them crazy and they want him to pick or choose a particular color or ethnicity. He refuses, politely, and has had some great conversations with telemarketers (and others) who never have been challenged to rethink the "race card." We all came from the first two humans - Adam and Eve - so obviously they had DNA that held all the information for every color of skin, eyes, hair that we see today. Just an aside: I personally hope Dr. Ben Carson is our next president. His color doesn't sway me - but it doesn't turn me away, either. On the contrary, I think it would be a great way to prove a point -- that there are good leaders and bad leaders of *every* color. Whether a person is ignorant or wise, rich or poor, a college grad or a drop out doesn't have a thing to do with skin color -- it has everything to do with what's in the heart and mind.ReplyDelete
I hope you don't mind my being so familiar by using your first name, but yes you are exactly right. We who are believers, especially believers, must hold as true the truths of scripture. Like your husband I too claim the human race as my "group" and Christianity as my main identifier. Perhaps if we keep the dialogue alive we can increase the circle of awareness and acceptance.
Nan is my name, so please feel free to use that in our correspondence. My husband and I are sitting here looking at your website and Twitter page and we are thankful for your comments and perspective on your life journey. BTW, we live in Alabama - the northwest corner. My hubby (Phillip) grew up here and said he can remember the days of segregated water fountains, schools, public restrooms, etc. By the time he got to high school, the classes were integrated and he got to know black students for the first time. They played basketball together and he became friends with them. From that point on, as a Christian, he was convinced the "race problem" has to do with the heart, not the skin color.Delete
Phillip is right. While God is the author ethnicity and a great fan of diversity, this whole argument of difference based on skin tone and color have there origin in the heart of Satan. When I manage to get back home and see the natural beauty of the Selma area, I am amazed at the contrast between what God created and the scares left by the heart of man scarred by sin.