A (One) Truth
“You want answers? I want the truth.. You can’t handle the truth!!!”
Yesterday a friend of mine quoted the above interaction from A Few Good Men. But it begs the question; Do people actually want the ‘truth’?
Let’s define truth:
Now that we have a frame of reference, let’s pose the following questions:
- Why do Black churches and others within Black religious traditions give allegiance to biblical faith and witness?
- What biblical references allude to the existence of Black Jews before Jesus Christ?
The answer to the first question is simple. “…because their own experiences seem to be depicted in the Bible. Many of the biblical stories reflect the existential reality of the “Black Story” in an environment typically hostile to the interests Blacks attaining their full sense of human potential.” (Cain Hope Felder, Troubling Biblical Waters). To piggy-back on Professor Felder, the Bible was the only thing given to Blacks where they could find similar struggles to theirs.
In the Bible they have found ancient symbols of their predicament: the saga of Egyptian bondage, the devastation of Assyrian invasions, the deportation into Babylonian captivity, and the bedevilment of principalities and powers of the present age. Blacks have consequently developed an “experiential sympathy” with much of the Bible, which in turn, receives their reverent attention as quite literally the revealed Word of God.
Regarding the biblical references of Black Jewish existence, we merely need to study Gen. 10, the family of Ham(Hot) and his descendants. By investigating this particular chapter you will find that many of the blemished characters in the Bible are generally connected to lineage of people of color in their blood line.
Despite the reluctance of Euro-American or Ashkenazic Jewish scholars to attribute much significance to explicit references or allusions to Blacks in the Old Testament, such mentions are instructive. There is an impressive array of Black people in the Old Testament, beginning with those in Gen.9 & 10 or 1 Chron. 1: Hagar, from Egypt(Gen.16:1); the Cushite wife of Moses in Num. 21:1; Jer. 38:7 and 39:16; Isa. 37:9; perhaps even Zephaniah, the son of Cushi(Zeph.2:12, 3:10), to name a few.
What truly puzzles me is how many Black people attest to the oldest person on earth to be from the continent of Africa, but at the same time support the biblical depiction of Shem (Semi[tes], mixed) as being the progenitors of mankind. There seems to be a contradiction in these positions.
If we truly want the truth, then it is incumbent upon us to perform the required research into matters that will reveal the truth instead of merely accepting the indoctrination of Western academia. Even most of the clergy have performed some degree of scholarly work.
I am interested in hearing what you have to say. In the meantime,I will leave you with the words of I.M. Nur:
“...when one accepts lies as truths, this affects his or her notion of reality,
which inevitably causes incorrect conclusions to form in the mind. These
conclusions, consciously and unconsciously, affect and filter our beliefs about
the nature and order of things in creation. Such untruths necessarily shape a
people’s belief about the alternatives that they should consider when dealing
with their contemporary problems. Lies also limit the actions a people might
choose to take in response to their oppression. Also, lies have a definite
influence on the type of world an oppressed people will choose to support, as
well as the resulting relationships they will have with family, friends,
neighbors, and with their enemy. In short, the beliefs a person or a people
hold as truths directly affect all of their social interactions. Though truth
is ‘a common thing,’ the lies another people have replaced with truth now seem
just as ‘common’ to us, especially when we continue to ignore logical
The Meaning of Blackness