“The slaves…scoff at religion itself—mock their masters, and distrust both the goodness and justice of God. Yes, I have known them even to question his existence. I speak not of what others have told me, but of what I have both seen and heard from the slaves themselves. I have heard the mistress ring the bell for family prayer, and I have seen the servants immediately begin to sneer and laugh…they would not go into prayers; adding if I go she will not only read, ‘Servants obey your masters,’ but she will not read “break every yoke and let the oppressed go free.”
–Daniel Alexander Payne, founding bishop of the AME church, 1811-1893
To be black is to be congenitally religious, pious, Christian, intractably devout, God crazy, God loving, God fearing, and God obsessed. This is the conventional wisdom and “commonsensical” myth that has been perpetuated since slavery. Yet, contrary to myth, a black skeptical tradition exists and is quite robust in contemporary United States. In her groundbreaking novel Quicksand, Harlem Renaissance author Nella Larsen’s protagonist Helga stated the following:
“The white man’s God–and his love for all people regardless of race…was what ailed the whole Negro race in America, this fatuous belief in the white man’s God, this childlike trust in full compensation.”
We Are All Africans, By Kwadwo Obeng
Exposing the Negative Influence of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic Religions on Africans (Two Harbors Press; May 2009; 978-1-935097-31-0). Positioned for a diverse audience, We Are All Africans challenges the teachings of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic religions from an African perspective. Readers of the Christian, Jewish and Islamic faith will discover an honest evaluation of their religious teachings and the effects on society.
Two Harbors Press: 978-1-935097-31-0