Formerly (How to Separate the Deified Jesus from the Jesus Within? (The Birth of Black Jesus)
There are a few people wondering why I advocate using the Lord’s Prayer even though I consider myself to be a follower of the Kamitic philosophy. It is because as a shaman, I am concerned with what works because most of our ancestors were Christians and we come from a Christian background. But, due to misinterpretation, misrepresentation and misunderstanding about the ideas our ancestors had about Jesus Christ. There is a lot of confusion circulating around. This has led a number of us to turn our back on spirituality or worse become an atheist, which is totally out of sync with our nature and a true slap in our ancestors’ face. So, let’s begin.
This discussion started when I was talking with my wife and at the time we were watching the film Red Tails, and noted that one of the pilots had a picture of Black Jesus. I am not sure if people got it but the director was trying to show how there were two depictions of Jesus that existed. To understand this, it has to be remembered that when the Africans were brought to North America, unlike the Africans in the Caribbean and South America. They were unable to practice their religious beliefs, which most of us already are aware of. Consequently, they had to adapt and modify their beliefs and practices in order to survive in the new hostile environment they found themselves in. Now, contrary to popular belief, the Africans brought to the North America were not forcefully converted to Christianity as some authors believe. There’s a substantial amount of historic evidence that reveals that many of the people from the Kongo-Angolan region had converted to Christianity prior to the advent of the slave trade. This means that even though most of the Africans from this region weren’t Christian, many of them had knowledge of this European faith.
During slavery, for almost hundred or more years, Protestant Euro-Americans were very leery about converting the Africans to Christianity for fear that baptism would give them “crazy ideas” that they were free from bondage. So they gave the early African Americans bits and pieces to make the people subservient, which allowed the early African Americans to fill in the voids with their own beliefs and practices. According to my research, most of these beliefs were influenced by the Kongo cosmogram. This went on for years until evangelical Baptist and Methodist preachers began traveling through the south during the Great Awakening. It was during this time a large number of early African Americans converted to the Christian faith and one of the big drawing points was water baptism. According to classic Kongo belief, it was a barrier of water that separated the land of the living from the land of the ancestors or spiritual realm. When one crossed over to the spiritual realm and returned back to the land of the living with a change of consciousness, it was believed they were reborn, a similar belief existed in Kamit (see the maa aankh). Prior to the early African American involvement in Christianity, you will not find this belief nor practice, because it is straight from Africa particularly the Kongo-Angolan region. In fact, there is no proof of people ever speaking in tongues, the sign of the Holy Ghost, until African Americans joined the church and people were struck by the Spirit at the Azuza Street Revival.
So, what this means is that for more than a hundred years, early African Americans even though were not encouraged practiced their traditional beliefs did manage to blend their beliefs and practices with European religion, which became the foundation of what we call as the Black Church Experience. It was from this spiritual legacy, that the Black Jesus was born.
Now, for those of us searching for spiritual answers and trying to find our way (our maa), we find this hard to accept. I know I did, because we wonder why our people would willingly convert to the religion of our enemy. Why would they willingly convert to a religion that taught that they were meant to be beast of burden and the wretched of the earth based upon the so-called Hamitic myth? I know that if you are like me, you probably have ancestors that resisted this and you’re probably torn up inside about the whole Jesus issue. Well, through a lot of soul searching and conversations with my ancestors I learned that early African Americans didn’t really convert to Christianity. They actually created their own version of the religion, which began in the Kongo, this is where Black Jesus was born and why in the Caribbean Black Jesus is associated with Kongo spirituality.
Now when I say Black Jesus, I am not just talking about a painting of Jesus painted as an African man. I am speaking about the concept of a Black Jesus. That is an individual who suffered right alongside the slave in the field. An individual that was beat and whipped by the oppressor, and then persecuted because of the color of his skin. Just think for a moment. Have you heard or read anything about this Jesus? If you’re like me, most likely you haven’t. There is not much written about him, but you can identify with him because he exists in your racial consciousness. This is the Jesus that Negro spirituals and the first gospel songs were all about. I don’t care what you claim to believe, even the staunchest black atheists today can’t resist the power of Mahalia Jackson singing, “How I got over,” because this is the Jesus that she is singing about. Black Jesus was birthed out of struggle.
The difference between Black Jesus and the Jesus that was taught in Sunday school is that Black Jesus is a powerful archetype that took on the characteristics of the Kongo nganga’s (Kongo priests) and the Yoruba orishas. This is why if you read any books about the religion of the slaves, like the Slave Religion by Robert Robetau. You will find that early African Americans loved Jesus because he was healer and miracle worker like Moses. In fact, next to Moses he was considered to be the greatest healer or conjure man of the bible. Note that I said, next to Moses. Another difference was that Black Jesus wasn’t worshipped like Jesus is nowadays, but was talked to like a familiar friend or a common ancestor, because he was about community and was associated with the super conscious.The interesting thing about this is that Jesus was viewed the same way in the Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latin America, which means this could not be a coincidence.
The super conscious also called the higher consciousness, objective consciousness, divine consciousness, the Spirit also referred to as God. It is what connects us all together as one. It is the divine spark that dwells within each and every one of us regardless if we believe it exists or not. It is what gives us the divine potential to accomplish anything we put our mind to. Many non-Western cultures created spiritual cultures to cultivate peoples’ higher spiritual abilities. For instance, we all have the ability to see into the future but in order to achieve such a goal requires us learning how to listen to our higher consciousness or simply intuit. Spiritual cultures focused on developing these abilities in individuals so that they could greater contribute to the survival of the entire community; whereas non-spiritual cultures simply focused on the physical survival of the people by dominating and subjecting others to their physical rule.
Early African Americans (as well as others in the African diaspora) have known about the or super conscious for hundreds of years because they are descendants from African shamanic cultures. In shamanic traditions the way to access the super conscious is through dancing, drumming, fasting, sensory deprivation, exposure to extremes of temperature or the use of psychoactive drugs. Those familiar with the African American religious experience will note that besides the latter two, all of these practices can be found within the Black Church. These practices along with the latter two (exposure to extreme temperature and psychoactive drugs) are readily used within the Native American spiritual services, which should give you a general idea as to how the relationship between Native Americans and early Africans Americans evolved.
Anyway, the early African Americans danced, chanted, fasted and on occasion drummed (using handclaps, hand and body slaps – i.e. hambone since drums were officially outlawed) to go into trance and meet Black Jesus who gave them certain virtues like lucidity, patience, kindness, truthfulness, humility, and forgiveness towards one’s fellow man, which is called Gifts of the Spirit or the Holy Ghost in some churches. These are all qualities that according to traditional spiritual teachings, one cannot obtain without ascending to the higher consciousness or meeting Black Jesus. Unfortunately, because many African American pastors refuse to research their own spiritual lineage. They fail to understand that this is the reason they feel they have to go to church. It though has nothing to do with the church itself but it is all about connecting to the Divine consciousness. Some of the other fruits of the Spirit are chastity, faithfulness, gentleness, generosity, goodness, love, modesty, self-control, strength, wisdom, counsel and peace. So, you see, the bible simply conveyed what early African Americans already knew about the super consciousness, which the Kamitic people called the ba – the divine spark.
But somewhere along the way, things went awry in regards to the Black Spiritual Experience. Many have traced this great change back to around the Civil Rights and Cultural Movement of the 1970s. It is not known exactly what happened but it seems as if the Black Jesus fulfilled his purpose and people had no more use of him as they got more rights and freedoms. The reason is because people started accepting the Euro-American Protestant idea of Jesus who was more about individualism instead of community. It should be noted that around this same time, there was a sharp decline as conditions in the community across the country got worst. As people migrated out of the neighborhoods, more and more drugs became available. Isn’t it interesting that most of the social ills that exist in our communities were not present prior to that time? The other interesting thing is that it wasn’t that drugs, prostitution, etc. did not exist at all, but there was something preventing it from running rapid as it exists today. The reason is because there was a change in consciousness. In a matter of time, the religious experience of African Americans moved from communal based spirituality to individualism.
This is why in the minds of many; Black Jesus is simply an image. He is not the Black Jesus of old, which is why no matter what color Jesus is. For many of us it is hard to divorce ourselves from the myth versus the cruel reality associated with Christianity. When we hear the name Jesus what comes to mind are all of the atrocities that were done in Jesus’ name, under the banner of a long blonde hair man looking to the heavens. Understand, I have nothing against Europeans and their descendants but it has to be understood the psychological and spiritual damage that was committed due to the idea of some and their so-called “master race.” Although Hitler was the only individual to build a society that worked towards the annihilation of other ethnicities, he wasn’t the only one that believed in such theories. These theories of white superiority had been circulating around Western civilization for centuries. It was these theories that later inspired Colonialism, which is why in the minds of many (especially those who know history) they are associated with Jesus.
So that we are clear about the confuse state people are in regarding Jesus. Just think about the four little girls that were killed in a church bombing in Alabama by Jesus loving Klansmen of the KKK. Clearly, these individuals that committed this crime didn’t know anything about the peaceful teaching of Jesus, but can you imagine still loving a God that would seem to condone such acts of violence? What about all of the lynchings of all the Black, Jewish, Native American and Hispanic men by so-called Christian men and women? Imagine if you were a Native American and you were told that Jesus didn’t love you and you would not go to heaven because your entire way of life is uncivilized, along with the number of treaties supposedly made under God that were broken? Could you still love Jesus? This is why Jesus leaves a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths because of the actions and behaviors of foolish and ignorant people. Jesus taught about love but many of his stewards all around the world have done otherwise. And, they are doing the same thing today. This is why a lot of young people are not just turning away from him but turning away from spirituality all together. And, it is not just minorities. Many Westerners are turning away from Jesus and to atheism because of the same negative history. I can’t tell you how many atheists I have met that are so fond of talking about the various atrocities committed in the name of savior. And, why is there all of this confusion? It is simply because some zealous men made Jesus and the God one in the same. It is hard to worship a God that oppresses you, but we can’t exist without God, because being spiritual beings in a physical body. We need God just as much as God needs us. Without God we have no access to the spiritual fruits that were spoken of earlier, but without us. God cannot physically implement His/Her plan in the world of the living.
So, how do we get rid of this evil concept so that we can grow spiritually? How do we erase the hundreds of misinterpreted, misrepresented and just totally incorrect ideas about God and Jesus that have been told to us throughout the ages?
We just simply need to return to the old ways and see that Jesus is an archetype of who we are supposed to be. Jesus is not the God, which is why he never talked to God by talking to himself. He talked to God like everyone else did by speaking with his super conscious or ba. Notice that when the disciples asked Jesus how they should speak to God, he said talk to the father by saying, “Our Father.” Jesus gave an ancient recipe on how to connect with the ba. It is a similar recipe that the psalmist gave in the Book of Psalms, which is why was the most popular book in early African American and Jewish folk traditions. If you look far enough you will find this is the same way the Kamitic people spoke about the God when they mentioned Osar.
When you really read about Jesus it makes sense why he clearly told his disciples not to worship him, because he knew it would confuse people. Jesus understood that the super conscious was the ba and he identified it with God. This is why saying the Lord’s Prayer or Psalm 23 empowers you, because it is poetic and it invokes the Spirit within our being. It is spiritual alchemy that the ancient Hebrews learned from guess who? That’s right the Kamitic people, who people are beginning to recognize now were master shamans. So, to reprogram your lower consciousness and rid yourself of the old, dogmatic ideas of Jesus and your divinity, invoke your ba as Jesus did. Jesus referred to his ba as his Father. Early African Americans following suit referred to their ba as God or Lord. This is why the Kamitic people understanding the nature of the ba called God Nebertcher (Ne-ba-tchar) – The Lord of All Things, which is why it is perfectly okay if you are trying to clean your spiritual slate to pray the Lord’s Prayer.
Hope that helps.