Thought Leaders Series: 2018
Transatlantic Slave trade took place from the 16th to the 19th centuries. As a footnote, for those of us familiar with European history, this was the same era of the Reformation.
In fact the Reformation kicked off in 1517 and ended around 1648. This begs the question if the Reformation was really a religious or a political campaign. Many argue that much like Brexit, the Reformation was simply to break the reins of the Catholic Church over Germany.
Luther himself had major problems with the Jews, his sentiments and ideas in his treaties: On the Jews and Their Lies, will later serve as an important text for nationalists and Hitler in championing the genocide against the Jews.
That aside, according to the Bible the Jews were said to have been enslaved for 400years, following which they were delivered by Moses, metaphysical interventions, in the shape of the plagues, manna, pathing of the Red Sea, cloud and fire etc.
While the writers of the Old Testament argue that God favoured them over the Egyptians because of the covenant with Abraham; Transatlantic Slavery, happened under the watchful eyes of Christian Europe. How come there was no divine intervention for the black race as we saw with the plagues in the Bible, even though many were forcefully converted to Christianity?
How come it took enlightened thinkers to begin to question and challenge church orthodoxy and theology, for public opinion to shift, leading overtime to political change? Many lost power, influence, wealth and their lives in the struggle.
This is not a problem statement or thesis, but something for us to muse over.
Scholars argue that about 1.2 – 2.4 million Africans died enroute to America, and many more upon arrival. The number of lives lost within Africa remains a mystery, but may equal or exceed the number who ended up in the plantations.
The impact on community life was devastating. Tribes were made extinct, culture disappeared, wisdom lost and knowledge ceased. The fact that the continent still exists is really a miracle.
Much like the story of Lazarus and the Rich man, slaves were told by the Church that their reward was in heaven, and that it was better to be a slave on earth like Lazarus, than to suffer in hell like the Rich man. But none of these preachers were willing to be slaves themselves in order to enjoy the vision they projected to our ancestors.
The challenges upon us in the 21st century requires collective action, education, unlearning, reorientation, drive and vision.
We need to rise up from mental slavery, and brake the chains of mediocrity. In the words of Bob Marley, “none but ourselves can free our minds”.
Healingsprings fellowship: Human Capital Development
Reachout | Revive | Recover