Black History Month – February 2018
The Cradle of Civilization
Black History Month is a celebration of the history and accomplishments of black people in America, a people descendant from Africans brought to America as a free labor force. But to trace the history of these people back to only slavery or even to Africa does a disservice both to history and these people. It is a tragedy that even in modern days the true history of black people in America is still hidden. Descendants of African slaves now have the liberty and responsibility to promote their own history for future generations.
People from the continent of Africa were taken by force from their homeland and brought to America in chains in the year of 1619 to serve as a free workforce for white settlers in America. The biggest tragedy is not that they were stolen from their homeland or that they were forced to provide free labor and treated horribly. I believe the biggest tragedy was the fact that the African slaves were stripped of their identity of name, family, language, traditions and native land. They were forbidden by their slave masters to ever speak of these identifying traits under threat of punishment or death. Many African Americans still today do not know their rich heritage. The African people survived the cruelty of slavery and new generations were birthed in America without their ancestral identity. Destruction of African heritage is why Black History Month is so important. Lost identity stripes one of origin, destiny and purpose while leaving a terrible void in life. The celebration of black history is an opportunity to recount the deleted history to our people and more important to provide for the children a stabilizing force of family identity, purpose and destiny for those lost without it.
As I mentioned above and the title suggests, there is much more to the story of black people then is commonly brought out in black history month. The title, “Cradle of Civilization” is a reference to where mankind started its existence. The continent of Africa is where the slaves were stolen from and the region where mankind originated. This, too, is a fact that has been long hidden from the black population but that should be brought to the forefront for the healing and restoration of the souls of black people and the world.
Africa, sometimes called the Motherland, is the place where biblical history takes place and where today’s archaeologists, anthropologists have traced the earliest evidence of humankind. From clay jars and skeletons to caves and discovery of ancient texts, the early history of the world’s people have been found and pieced together for a more accurate accounting of man’s origin. The transition of people through lands, wars and through rising and falling civilizations has caused history to be a puzzle to modern populations. Even though the stories have changed, the evidence continues to reveal the truth. Bible references to African territories and scientific evidence proves the origin of the bible characters and fore parents of African American people. Just as interesting are the many nations and cultures that are derived from African people.
We do neither history nor religious faith any justice when we fail to disclose that bible characters were dark skinned people who found faith in the true God and started a religion that has circled the globe and is the foundation of multitudes of nations. The very Christ that Christians around the world have expressed faith in was raised up in and around Africa. The lands popularly called Middle East or Israel are part of the African continent, the second largest of the seven continents of the world. The Suez Canal waters separate Africa from what is now called the Middle East and is a man-made channel created for ease of travel through the massive land by water. The dividing of Israel from Africa by this waterway has caused people to claim it is in the continent of Asia, rather than Africa. Illustrated below are early and current maps of the region which show land changes and division over the years. The politics of nations have influenced and distorted history and territorial borders but truth is important. Researching old maps will reveal that Israel was originally part of the African continent. These facts are important because the history of African people is of necessity to the identity and cultural esteem of African American people who descended from African slaves, who were brought to America and stripped of their identity. It is important because these people who were made to feel subservient can now know who they really are and rise up to fulfill their destiny. Jesus came for the purpose of delivering all mankind from bondage and spiritual darkness. Black children must know of the great intellectual contributions Africa made to the world and the great learning centers such as the pre-colonial center of ancient Timbuktu. The great knowledge of Africa was stolen by the invading armies from Greece and Rome and that knowledge evolved into the knowledge of the present day western world. Struggling black students of today’s educational system must be told that this is their intellectual heritage. They must not be allowed to believe that they are second class citizens who came from slaves that were classified as only 3/5 human. Knowing their true heritage can elevate a deflated self-esteem derived from generations of degradation by a dominant society.
Biblical accuracy of scriptures must be restored for blacks who have been sold a bill of goods by white religion and educational systems. The casting of an all-white bible is a lie told by the devil to rob black people of their ability to ascend from the bondage they have suffered far too long. The truth hidden or denied will never bring our society to racial reconciliation. Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, “History is written by the victors;” and it is true today because those that hold the reins of power over black people are distorting and changing history to their advantage. Blacks must now take the truth and excel to their God-given destiny. Past black heroes such as Frederick Douglas, Langston Hughes and others have both spoken and written the truth of black history for their descendants but we must make sure these great works are read in the formative years by black children. It is up to black educators, ministers, entrepreneurs and political leaders of our society to make sure these lessons are not lost to the black community. We must remember that those who forget their history are destined to repeat it.
For the purpose of a progressive future for all, the truth must survive and prevail. Booker T. Washington said, “You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him.” It is in the best interest of all Americans to let the history of black people survive in our society. The bible teaches knowing truth can make us free but the truth must be obtained and utilized to break the yokes of bondage. Blacks must use every instrument available to promote our freedom as a people. Black History Month is just one month of the year where we try to bring to the forefront of our society that which should be commonly known, accepted and celebrated throughout the whole year. God has given blacks liberty in Jesus Christ, knowledge and opportunity to break every yoke and reclaim our rightful place in Him and we must not be fearful to use everything He has given to proclaim and sustain our liberty.