Is There A Jesus For Black People?

John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.”… or does it say “For God so loved white people?” I must have missed that part. Our history is littered with artistic depictions of an emaciated white Jesus hanging from crosses in cathedrals and dainty dining rooms all over America. His modesty is kept by a scrap of dainty cloth and his head adorned with a thorny crown hangs low. These images do not scream ‘Mighty Lord and Savior!’. Yet, this white portrayal has been the precipice upon which a ‘master race’ has been born. Because clearly the savior of the human race can’t be anything but Cool Whip-Creamy white! Anyway, I digress. When the European missionaries of yesteryear sought to establish relations with Africans by serving them up white Jesus, it seems they assumed that Africans were too ignorant to eventually gain the context of the Bible. The same book they attempted to use to justify slavery, is the same book abolitionist used to justify why slavery is wrong. 

“There is slavery in the bible, so its okay right?’’

Let’s talk about the famous ‘Ham’s Curse’. If you are not familiar here is a snippet; In Genesis chapter 9, after Noah parks Ark, he celebrates by planting a vineyard and getting drunk. One of his three sons, Ham, saw him naked and did some shameful act that is not mentioned. When dad came to the next day, he was angry at his son and cursed Canaan (Ham is the father of Canaan) to be slaves to his other sons Shem and Japeth. If you go back and read the text yourself, you do not have to be a bible scholar to point out the fact that there is no skin color mentioned! Yet, for some reason, this was the Old Testament justification for slavery in the south. Now, before I get too much further ahead of myself, I want to be clear, I am black, and I do believe in God, so I am passionate about context. As I am writing this, I am currently a biblical studies and psychology major! Context is key! Somewhere along the lines, some masters wives and well to do ministers taught slaves how to read the Bible and that later gave way to something more sinister than a freedman. Literate negroes. From the get-go, no one counted on a black persons reading and comprehension. Thus began the downfall of black oppression. 

So what about Jesus for black people? Well, let us look back at the verse at the beginning of the article. John 3:16. At some point, our ancestors realized that not only did God love the WORLD, but he also made ALL of us in his likeness and image. For some reason, the white folks tried to compartmentalize an omniscient God into one solid color. But I do have to play double advocate here too, God ain’t black either! WE look like Him, not the other way around. When we all realize that the Bible is for every race and creed, the quicker we and get along and move on to more heavenly matters.

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