Clarification of the identity and role of Black Americans is a central task in finding the path to achieving lasting racial harmony in our country.
Black Africans, who came to North America initially as slaves, have been in this country from its very beginning. They are no less fundamental to the identity and history of the United States than are White European immigrants.
In fact, it is inappropriate to refer to them as African-American and group them together with Africans who have been welcomed to America in recent times to seek freedom and prosperity. The experience of recent African immigrants and the experience of America’s slave descendants is strikingly dissimilar.
The connection of a slave to Africa and to personal tribal history was purposefully, thoroughly, and permanently severed at the time of capture, hundreds of years ago. A more informed, and in fact more respectful reference, giving deserved honor to their true identity, course and contribution would be “Slave-Descended Americans.”
Slaves and Slave-Descended Americans helped build this country. For generation after generation, they paid an unimaginable price as this country slowly matured. They fought in every one of our wars. They created flourishing churches in every village and city where they have lived. Their unique contribution to our culture is our national treasure. This is their home.
What is the true identity, role and value of the Slave-Descended American?
Did they really come to America merely as a source of free labor, or was there a higher providential purpose?
If there was a providential purpose, what was it? Did they, do they, have a central role to play in the emergence of the United States as the leading Christian nation?
What was the spiritual heritage they brought that resonated so fully and powerfully with the Christianity from Europe?
Why did they need to suffer so much? Is there a benefit from that suffering? Should that benefit be appreciated and uplifted for the good of our country?
Please share your thoughts below.