Why Black People Love White Jesus

Why Black People Love White Jesus

One of the greatest mysteries of my entire life was introduced to me at about the age of 6 years old while I was visiting my grandparents for the summer down in Florida.  Every Sunday my grandmother would get me dressed up & take me to church with her where I would fall asleep like clockwork during the sermon (like most 6 year olds would).  If you’ve ever attended any predominately Black church lead by a Black preacher in America, you should know by now that when the sermon is about to come to a close, the preacher would begin to preach in a melodic tone to basically summarize the entire lecture on what he just taught.  Usually when the preacher began to close out his sermon, miraculously my body would automatically wake up because I knew within the next 30 minutes or so I would be in the car on my way back to grandmom’s house to eat some snacks & play outside.  One particular service as I awoke from my “Sunday nap” I heard the preacher getting revved up to break down the lesson of the week.  In typical fashion he was humming, singing, & fluctuating his voice which caused the congregation to become more excited and catch the spirit.  But then out of nowhere the preacher said something that caught my 6 year old attention that basically left me confused as to what in the world was really going on.  The preacher proceeded to say in his melodic tone…

“Jesus had hair like wool ha! Jesus had feet like brass ha!” — paraphrasing Revelation 1:13-15

Out of nowhere the crowd erupted into a louder than usual cheer which rendered me clueless as to what was going on based upon an indirect observation I had made within that church.  What I witnessed was a congregation of people exuberantly celebrating the fact that Jesus was NOT white, but that Jesus was a person of color.  But what did not immediately register within my 6 year old mind until a few years later was the fact that this church & quite a few more that I had went on to visit since then all continued to over-joyously celebrate that one line, even though there was a picture of a WHITE Jesus within the church.  For years this mystery continued to haunt me as I would attend various Black churches or visit older relatives & see the classic white Jesus picture hanging on their walls…


Every time I would see this picture, I would always reflect back to that one Sunday when I was 6 years old where I was trying to figure out why a congregation of Black people were praising the description of a man of color, yet a picture hanging up in the church was portraying a very different image.  I never really thought to question it because back in the day, there was a sort of unwritten rule when it came to challenging the elders in matters that dealt with God & religion.  The impression I received early on was that all things related to God, the Bible, or religion were…just as is.  So for me to ask my grandmother as to why there was a picture of a white Jesus hanging up in her house and at her predominately Black church that obviously celebrated the fact that Jesus was a man of color was a conversation I really wasn’t trying to have for fear of being slapped in the name of the Lord.

Nevertheless, the mystery remained throughout most of my life up until about three or four years ago when I arrived to the conclusion that when it came to matters surrounding the history of Black people, I was just completely clueless.  Just like every elementary school aged child, I knew of Martin Luther King Jr., the Civil Rights movement, slavery, & a few other prominent historical Black figures; but I never really knew anything in depth beyond what was taught to me as a child & yes, I am to blame for most of my willful ignorance in not educating myself upon the REAL history of Black Americans especially as it relates to the atrocities committed during slavery.  As time progressed I started reading a few books here & there, having intellectual discussions with Black men & women educated about the real history of Black people, & long behold, my long overdue unanswered mystery surrounding the celebration of Jesus (the man of color) yet revering the white Jesus imagery became answered.  Even more interesting, I recently discovered a video created by a white man name Dusty who basically expressed some of my thoughts surrounding the relationship between Christianity & slavery in America and how this all ties into why Black people love white Jesus…

Now albeit, the information in this video can be debated until the end of time, Dusty does make one strong point that resonates with me as far as the influence Christianity had during slavery.  If you have seen the movie 12 Years A Slave, remember this scene?

The clip above is a 9 second summary describing a scene in the movie where the slave owner is reading to his slaves scripture out of the Bible justifying his right to own & beat slaves and how the slaves are to obey his command because he is their master.  And truthfully, this is the beginning of where the love of white Jesus begins to come into play.

We all can agree that slavery was no cakewalk for Africans.  The life of a slave was extremely brutal & harsh.  What Dusty described in his Black Christians = Uncle Toms video in regards to the treatment of slaves was absolutely correct.  Africans literally had the culture, history, & life beat out of them along with forcing them to conform to a new standard of living that subjugated them to a lifetime of being property to the dominant society.  At the head of the dominant society was none other than the white man.  So being that the white man was on a mission to instill the fear of God into an entire populace in order to serve as a mechanism for further control over Africans, who best should this god resemble as the ultimate authority for the justification for slavery?  The white man of course.  Now that I think about it, exactly who is this infamous man that we’ve all come to know as Jesus in the picture?  The man that is used to depict Jesus Christ is highly believed to be a man named Cesare Borgia, who was the son of Pope Alexander VI.

“The theory is that people were generally not too enthusiastic about the Catholic Church’s regular massacres of Jews and Muslims, because the people they were killing looked like Jesus.  Pope Alexander VI then ordered the destruction of all art depicting a Semitic Jesus and commissioned a number of paintings depicting a Caucasian Jesus.  His son, Cardinal Cesare Borgia, was the model for these paintings.  Thus, the nastiest of all of the Borgias, became the iconic Caucasian Jesus so loved by Christians today.” — The Holy Prepuce

So where does the white Jesus love tie into all of this?

Black Americans have a very long history of trying to blend in, being accepted by, & being treated equally by members of the dominant society.  This desire to be respected & accepted runs so deep that Black people for the longest have gone out of their way to appease members of the dominant society in order not to offend them.  Evidence of this stems back to the days of slavery so vividly portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson’s character of Stephen in the 2012 DJango Unchained movie all the way to present day Black people consciously or subconsciously practicing code switching around members of the dominant society as displayed perfectly in this video by Kanye West on the Kris Jenner Show

White Americans have a tried & true history of oppressing Black Americans by any means necessary as displayed by the atrocities of slavery, the Jim Crow era, the Civil Rights era, all the way up to modern day times through the use of the police force (think Eric Garner, & Mike Brown); which some within the Black community have dubbed Jim Crow 2.0…

But the love of white Jesus runs much deeper than the issue of one race fighting to be treated equally & humanely.  The love of white Jesus amongst the Black community plays on a much deeper level which has been engrained into our culture over the generations.  The real love stems from Black people as a collective understanding their place in society regardless of how much freedom our people are “rewarded”.  White Jesus is a representation of the ultimate authority.  This authoritative figure has been the driving factor for the dominant society to inflict their will upon many nations & cultures for quite a few centuries now.  This authority has been “divinely” passed down to the members of the dominant society as the ultimate checkmate in the game of chess known as life.  For 400 years an entire population in one country has been under control in some shape or form of the dominant society.  The dominant society has derived its guidance for how a nation should operate due to the principals taught out of the world’s most famous book, the Bible.  The ultimate authority figure for whom the Bible was written has taken on the likeness of the members of the dominant society for whom have used this book to justify their actions over the last few hundred years when it came to the treatment of another race of people.  Black people, regardless of how exhilarated they are when it comes to the physical description of Jesus (as quoted from scripture) as a man of color understand that that celebration is not shared collectively amongst an entire nation controlled by the dominant society.  The same dominant society which kidnapped, enslaved, tortured, raped, beat, lynched, killed, forcefully separated families, forcefully made Africans forget their culture, and discriminated against for the better part of the last 400 years.  The same dominant society that will cause a Black person in modern day times to code switch, go above & beyond to not offend, get extremely nervous when interacting with law enforcement, will cause him to look down upon his own race in order gain approval, present him on average with much harsher sentences for violations of similar crimes, or simply cause him to get shot to death in a Wal-Mart for carrying around a bee bee gun that the store sells simply because someone lied

This is the same dominant society who has spent 400 years of perfecting the craft of keeping Black people in their place directly or indirectly.  So when I say Black people love white Jesus, I don’t mean love in the literal sense because in present day times it is more acceptable to find a Black Jesus hanging on the wall in a Black church or home. When I say Black people love white Jesus, that is simply my way of saying that Black people as a whole understand and fear the overall power structure forever linked to white Jesus’s Caucasian image.

Your favorite mulatto.


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