#TreasuresOfDarkness: An African Descent Month Devotional-A reprise for 2020 (excerpt)*
Devoid of Light
Lacking knowledge or culture.
Lack of spiritual or intellectual enlightenment.
Throughout our complex and convoluted history, forcibly exiled to these divided United States , we as People of Color specifically, children of the African Diaspora, have had the label affixed to our very being, everything that could be seen as negative and malevolent, based on the color of our skin. Our ancestral home, was known as the dark continent:
Therefore, it is no surprise the roots of the detriment of our humanity has become a learned and permanent part of the dominant culture and the status quo’s misinformation.
In the movie Malcolm X, Malcolm who is at the brink of spiritual awakening, is confronted by another prisoner, who is a follower of the Nation of Islam about the meaning and the portrayal of the words Black and white and how these are attributed to humanity. Malcolm slowly becomes angered after the description and definition of white is shown to him:
The opposite of Black
Free from spot or blemish
Without evil intent
“It is inherent in every monotheistic faith that there are only truth and error, good and evil…Since the dark-skinned heathen obviously did not belong on the side of truth and good, the Christian assigned him…to error and evil.” Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, What’s Faith Got to Do with it? Black Bodies/Christian souls.
This mindset has filtered down throughout Christianity, to where many, as People of Color have become ashamed about who we are and questioned why the Creator would curse us with this troublesome skin. Unfortunately and because of the onset of what Dr. Douglas defines as “Plationized Christianity”, scripture after scripture has been misused to enforce racism, stereotypes and our sacred bodies being dehumanized into nothing more than beasts.
“Our American Christians are too busy saving the souls of white Christians from burning in hellfire to save the lives of black ones from present burning in fires kindled by white Christians.” Dr. James Cone, The Cross and the Lynching Tree.
This February as always is African Descent History Month; as scholars, troublemakers, seminarians, pastors, theologians and questers towards knowledge and empowerment, we are flipping the definition of darkness/blackness on its proverbial head and reclaiming the power of this word. Darkness does not equate a people blessed and enriched with melanin, created and formed in the image of Creator, who has blown sacred breath into our sacred bodies, giving us LIFE and a purpose.
Follow us at #treasuresofDarkness this February, as many beloved siblings of Faith, of Love and of Light share with you their perception and translation of the concept of darkness in Scripture and in sacred/holy texts.
The Rev. Kwame Pitts(M.Div, LSTC), is empowered and embolden by the presence of the Ancestors, living out her life as such. Her call is not only to prophetically teach and preach but also experience her Faith along a dual and sometimes complex spiritual pathway, as Creator has called her. Following and continuing the responsibilities laid out through her Womanist theologian mentors and Elders, her Ancestors both known and unknown and venerating her namesake and the work of building a nation, Kwame lives her life authentically, as a Woman of the African Diaspora, working and rooted in transformative and social justice. She has been ordained in the ELCA since 2015 and currently serves in Upstate NY Synod both as Pastor and Campus Pastor. She continues towards completion of her Master’s of Sacred Theology (STM) from Chicago Theological Seminary, 2020.
**To view the entire post from #TreasuresOfDarkness, follow: https://medium.com/@TravelingPastor/treasuresofdarkness-an-african-descent-month-devotional-3cf60143bd9e.