by Cinque Kofi Kinaya
Recently I had a conversation with my son about religion; I told him that Black men suffer from religious ignorance, confusion, and manipulation. I explained to him that all religions are ‘cultural specific’ - there is no universal religion, only the specific practice of religions are universal. In most instances particular cultural-specific religions became universal through the conquests of ‘lands’ and ‘spirits’.
All religions have their particular prophets, priests, sages, shamans, and wise-men that are representative of that specific culture. Crusader Christianity came out of Europe this is why the image of Jesus is white, Islam came out of the Middle East this is why Prophet Muhammad was an Arab, and so on. These prophets, priests, sages, shamans, and wise-men are honored, teachings followed, and sometimes they are deified through anthropomorphism (gods with human characteristics).
The religious problem of Black men in America is that we are believing, following, promoting, and perpetuating the religions, stories, traditions, and worship of non-Black men who either enslaved us in the name of his religion, or who have benefited from the after-effects of our enslavement. We graphically see the ‘psycho-economic effects’ this religious problem has on us – White, Jewish, Arab, Asian, and East Indian men totally dominate the businesses in our communities directly or indirectly super-exploiting us.
As Black men we take our money/tithes – offerings to their businesses religiously and enrich them; we view the clothes, shoes, jewelry, and vehicles they sell and manufacture as ‘sacred’; constantly giving-up and risking our lives and freedom for their symbols.
The reason why Black men have a religious problem in America is we don’t know the definition of religion that comes from the Latin root ‘religare’ which means to bind back. So religion means to go back and connect to its cultural-specific origins; our religious origins is Ancient Kemet /Africa.
In Ancient Kemet religion was a way of life based on ‘Divinity’ - becoming gods (gaining one’s divine self) to reflect GOD (Greatest of Divinity). Being religious meant the sacredness of self – ‘Know Thyself’, respecting yourself, developing your virtues – subduing your vices, honoring your culture, and venerating your best Ancestors.
The two-headed religious monster that is destroying Black men is the religious worship of non-Black men and the worshipping of our own compensatory false arrogant-egos.
Until Black men realize that religion is ‘ourselves’ – the sacredness of our ‘Black Manhood’, we will continue to suffer from self-hatred, self-doubt, self-loathing, self-deception, self-destruction, self-defeat, and will continue to self-perpetuate non-Black men’s oppression and exploitation of us.
Hotep – Health & Peace Black Men