Thursday, February 01, 2007

Christian and Black

Sometimes, as in my forthcoming novel Wind Follower, all things work together wonderfully. Sometimes I'm pretty conflicted. I mean: Am I a Christian or am I black? Of course the two shouldn't be opposed to each other. But many African-Americans find it problematic to be both Christian and black. Especially because of the history of white Christian slaveholders. Many Blacks have become Muslims. Which is weird because Islamic Slavery existed before the atlantic slave trade...and still exists along with racism in many Islamic countries. Indeed, when people talk about slavery, they often talk as if it ONLY existed in the US and ignore what is happening in Sudan and other places.

But back to me.

When I think of myself as a black woman, I want to talk about Justice ... and the modern folks in Christianity want to talk about other issues. Although Christianity is about justice, and mercy and grace, and equality. I often find myself with strange bedfellows. Such as victims of cruelty and discrimination who may not be Christians, and who may hate Christians. Of course, on the other hand...often the folks who said they were Christians were affected by some other philosophy, religion, or world mindset. For instance, nowhere in Christianity is racism affirmed. Quite the opposite. And if we think of the Crusaders, they picked up their idea of "holy war" from the Islamic idea of holy war. We Christians never cared much for a holy kingdom on earth. But you know what I mean.

When I think of myself as a Christian, I remember that evil is in everyone and I can't take sides...although I really, really, really want to. What to do?

I'm very pleased with Wind Follower. In that book (coming June!) I show that sexuality is healing, that racism exists, that there are issues of injustice. It comes from the part of me that is very black, and very Christian, and very woman, and very screwed up. It's a lovely, lovely, book. I'm hoping the rest of my works will be as balanced, and as lovely, and as evangelical.
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