May 4, 2010
America has also had its share of altered depictions of divine people especially those of Jesus Christ. In the 19th century Jesus was depicted as a black man after the Afrocentrism and black liberation theology movements. More than likely the depiction of black jesus was started by African-American people who wanted to show that Jesus, a divine being, looked like them. Recently African-African rapper Kanye West was featured on the front cover of Rolling Stones with a crown of thorns on his head with the caption of “the passion of Kanye West.” However, the article has noting to do with West being divine in the religious aspect but a supremely good artist. In addition to the alteration of Jesus’ color his sex has been changed to. The feminist movement of the 20th century has challenged us to think of Jesus’ caring and healing characteristics as being feminine. This thinking also promotes gender equality so that women, like African-Americans, can see depictions of Jesus that represents them. As our country has progressively accepted African-Americans and women as equal human beings with equal rights there has also been movements that portray our divine being like the people who have been oppressed. Is it wrong to culturally assimilate God if it helps people who have been oppressed, or younger people who feel removed from traditional religion, to become more open to religion?
May 3, 2010
How many black divine symbols/godesses can you name? There is a country in the center of Europe that holds 38 million European inhabitants, 85% of which are Roman Catholic. The country is Poland and their national symbols and one of the most popular shrines is the Black Madonna of Czestochowa which is the Queen and protector. The Hindu religion in India also worships a black goddess by the name of Kali. The famous painting of Kali shows her stepping on her husband’s head because of that depiction she has become the symbol of the slaying of ego. In addition to Madonna and Kali the Ancient Egyptian culture had a black divine symbol by the name of Isis, the goddess of motherhood, magic and fertility. It is understandable to see a divine image of black person in a society with ethnic people like Egypt and India but Poland’s case is unique. When Poles were asked why their Virgin Mary was black the majority of them could not give an answer. Understanding that the race of divine beings changes depending on location, why would a country with a majority of white Europeans, with Jewish and catholic back grounds, worship a black Virgin Mary?