The Image of God: Reflections on Black History

Posted by on Feb 9, 2012 in Articles | 1 comment

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image …”So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

- Gen. 1:26-27.

Celebrating Black History month acknowledges the atrocities of African slave trading throughout the diaspora, and the degradation and vestiges of slavery from which Jim Crow and the Civil Rights movement emerged. During this time, we also honor the countless heroes, sung and unsung, of the African American people.

Even though America is the greatest country in the land – notwithstanding its faults, flaws and stains – it remains incredibly suppressed in many ways. Of course, the enactment of legislation, and the advancement of societal attitudes, norms, and morals have moved America farther from its once outright and shameful attitude of superiority. Unfortunately, however, there are remnants of racial stigmas and indifference to economic and social emancipation that cripple and prevent this great country of ours.

“Racial equality” in America is still elusive. Not in the law of the land, but in the heart of man. All things being equal, I have on occasion witnessed – from my African American tinted glasses – certain exchanges involving an African American and a White American and wondered how different the outcome of the exchange would have been if all involved parties were white.

While I have no empirical data to support this contemplation, I don’t suspect it is unique to me. More importantly, it is the antithesis of the beauty and glory of God that is within each of us.

When God created man (used here in its general sense) He did so fashioning each of us, black, white, brown and yellow in His image. This means He gave us all unique gifts, in varying degree and proportion, that collectively reflect His splendor. Consequently, we all stand equal in the eyes of God as it was His intention that our cultural differences would add to, and not subtract from, the beauty of the fabric which is America.

From this, I pray a deeper appreciation for, or perhaps, a new understanding of, why celebrating the history of Black America is so important. Being reminded or told of lives and stories of so many blacks whose courage, pride, and talents somehow transcends our consciousness and makes us want to live in far greater appreciation of the life and liberty we enjoy in America.

George Lucas got it right. Hollywood got it wrong. Red Tails, a movie about the all black air squadron – the Tuskegee Airman called to service in WWII, was told by an all black cast. This movie was unique in that George Lucas, multi-billionaire and producer of Star Wars, produced, financed and marketed Red Tails on his own believing, unlike Hollywood, that not only the untold story of heroism and patriotism demonstrated by the Tuskegee Airman deserved to be told, but that black and white America wanted to see its story unfold on the big screen.

Let us all learn a lesson from and follow the example of Mr. Lucas: bravery, honor, dignity, perseverance, and faith know no color nor ethnicity. They are attributes that would serve all human kind well to adopt and emulate. Red, Yellow, Black and White – we are perfect in his sight. Jesus loves all the little children – and people – of the world.

Image by sxc.hu user flaivoloka

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One Comment

  1. It is important that we celebrate our heritage yes, but only to the extent that it serves Christ.. We can illuminate our storied history, from the vulgarities of slavery to the lofty achievements of our many heroes; yet we risk overshadowing our mandated ministry of reconciliation through ritualistically falling back on personalistic and individual expressions of cultural traditions when uncoupled from its spiritual context fails to glorify God. 2 Corinthians 5:16 “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we henceforth know him no more.”

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