Blacks’ respect for religion trumps esteem for ancestors

There are a plethora of changes taking place in America.

The Democrats took over Congress, Nancy Pelosi became the first woman speaker of the House, Christian nationalism rose unfortunately and affirmative action is slowly being wiped out of the books.

But there is one thing that has not changed: black people are still chillin’ waiting on Jesus.

There is nothing wrong with using religion as spiritual discipline to improve your life. But it is another issue to use religion to pacify political angst or to use it as an emotional distraction.

We spend Lord knows how much money, time and energy in church getting to “know God” or “becoming a better Christian.”

We call ourselves born sinners, dirty rags and filth of the Earth before Yeshua, Jesus’ original name, came and died for us.

But who would black people in America really be, had it not been for the 15 million to 18 million (or more) Africans who were enslaved, raped, hanged, beaten and then set free to be sprayed by water hoses, attacked by dogs, assassinated for political rights?

How much money, time and energy do we spend getting to know ourselves and becoming better people who more accurately represent the sacrifice of blacks who endured hell for centuries, which is longer than the 33 years Jesus spent on this Earth?

As the Christmas season passed, I thought about all the “anti-African” black people who claim that slavery was so long ago, and we should stop complaining.

Well, how long ago was is that Jesus was crucified?

If my memory serves correct, it definitely was longer than any slave trade that brought us to this country.

So how come it is so hard for us to consistently acknowledge the sacrifice our ancestors made a couple of centuries ago but so easy to redundantly praise Jesus for a sacrifice more than 2,000 years old?

I am reminded of all the chains I’ve seen with hanging praying hands, Bibles and crucifixes.

If being reminded of the torture and death of Jesus humbles us to live a more moral life, then why not correlate the martyr spirit of Jesus with the slaves and humble ourselves to live a moral life and never forget where we came from?

Why not wear a chain with a charm that puts Jesus on the slave ship?

And let us not stop there.

Whatever religious affiliation you have that is centered around an individual making a divine sacrifice, parallel that to the suffering of our people. Doing that allows us to see how sacred their experience was and still is and how we must never forget it.

We are the products of a struggle that has not ended.

We are the prayers of our ancestors in the flesh.

We are the promised generation.

In all of our religious and professional aspirations, let us aim to represent our religion and our ancestry well.

Tynishia Williams is a junior food science student from Tallahassee. She can be reached at