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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.

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Gary Abrahams
Gary Abrahams
1 year ago

God’s people have always suffered. This is because God is a suffering parent. In raising children and now helping to raise grandchildren I have come to realize that parent’s love all of their children. It is the parent’s role to model for their descendants and those who they can influence. I would suspect that slavery may have been the only way to add racial diversity to the North American continent. Certainly, as Christians, the white Americans should have protested and discouraged slavery much more than they did, at the onset. Some Christian denominations even justified slavery. A big mistake. Studies reveal that the racism that developed in both the north and the south: the north as covert and the south as overt, all began from the original sin of slavery. The positive result of any sort of control and domination is indemnity which creates the ability to sympathize with suffering.… Read more »

Lorman Lykes
Lorman Lykes
1 year ago

I want to congratulate Rev. Oliver for addressing one of today’s most crucial and sensitive topics for all Americans. Despite the lofty and revolutionary goal of the founding fathers to create a democratic republic, universality of American full citizenship was denied to minority groups and women until the 20th century. In my opinion, one of the symptoms of this injustice was the diminution of personal identify development from birth. This was and is a primary factor in the lack of a true self image that would have promoted true family values at the inception of this nation. Both blacks as descendants of formally enslaved people and whites whose ancestors may or may not have owned slaves are suffering from a mild form of trauma, shame, guilt and other forms of undiagnosed mental neurosis. These neurosis are at the root of personality disorders the affected some of our greatest leaders past… Read more »

Lorman Lykes
Lorman Lykes
1 year ago

I want to congratulate Rev. Oliver for addressing one of today’s most crucial and sensitive topics for all Americans. Despite the lofty and revolutionary goal of the founding fathers to create a democratic republic, universality of American full citizenship was denied to minority groups and women until the 20th century. In my opinion, one of the symptoms of this injustice was the diminution of personal identify development from birth. This was and is a primary factor in the lack of a true self image that would have promoted true family values at the inception of this nation. Both blacks as descendants of formally enslaved people and whites whose ancestors may or may not have owned slaves are suffering from a mild form of trauma, shame, guilt and other forms of undiagnosed mental neurosis. These neurosis are at the root of personality disorders the affected some of our greatest leaders past… Read more »

Scott Simonds
Scott Simonds
1 year ago

However, there is still an element of oppression and exploitation among people who do not understand their role as servants to relieve the resentment of Cain. It’s not enough to apologize and perform acts of kindness on an individual level. Jacob was victorious in the Abel position because he offered everything to Esau in addition to his loving words. Those of us who have accumulated wealth and power must support exploited people to regain what was lost. Spain, for example, has reparations policy to match funds raised to help indigenous communities. American cities are tearing up highways with low usage to restore neighborhoods destroyed by road construction. Practices such as unfair bail policies, disproportionate access to medical care and education are being re evaluated. Expanded funding in underserved areas for mental health and drug abuse are on the table. The oppressed are willing to forgive. Christian values have taken hold… Read more »

Scott Simonds
Scott Simonds
1 year ago

Continue Reverend Moon observed that there were two motivations for the conquest of undeveloped nations by Europeans. One was to obtain the wealth of those nations in terms of material suck as gold and human labor. The other was to bring Christianity to those people. Missionaries were sent to African tribes, indigenous people in the Andres and Native Americans. Missionaries regarded indigenous people as human beings. Slave traders and conquistadors did not. The belief that Africans are sub human existed in many Christian communities as well as Christian missions. Thus, two views of indigenous blacks, North and South Americans, as well as Asians emerged. Those Europeans who served undeveloped tribes could be classified as Abel type people. Those who exploited them may be classified as Cain type people. As the bearers of Christianity, Europeans are in an Abel position to undeveloped nations. What is the role of Abel towards Cain?… Read more »

Scott Simonds
Scott Simonds
1 year ago

Rev Oliver does an excellent job portraying the black history of slavery and dissociation from African roots. He identifies two histories that shaped American race relations and proposed that they be viewed in a providential context where the two races can be understood as having a higher purpose providing a framework for reconciliation, love and Harmony at a new level. This, he proposes, is a God centered viewpoint as opposed to a “humanistic’ approach that separates the two races based on resentment and unresolved sins of the past. He does present the DP teaching that contemporary history, horizontal history, is the product of the accumulated history of the past “vertical” history and must be resolved in our lifetime. The greater context of slavery is the exploition of indigenous people by European people around the globe. While blacks in Africa were cast into slavery, so were indigenous people in South America.… Read more »

David Burton
David Burton
1 year ago

On the 100th Anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre I think any discussion needs to acknowledge the pain and suffering experienced. Can we cry with the loss to families and cultures? As a white person I must take such suffering into account and not whitewash over it. I can’t ignore it and only judge from the present. I am still part of the problem. Such suffering does not go away on its own, but merely passes into the spirit world. From where it still affects us today.

Chris Noble
Chris Noble
1 year ago

It is important to study and learn from the history of slavery. Slavery and racial conflict existed everywhere for thousands of years, including in the Americas before the arrival of the Europeans and in Africa until recently. We must learn from the past but we shouldn’t live in the past: dividing the broad diversity of people into a few groups based on arbitrary definitions of “race” is like dividing them by “religion”. Both dimensions of social division have led to violence and oppression everywhere in the past. Every individual deserves equal rights and equal opportunity, and the right to value their own sense of religious and racial identity in their own private life as each person chooses, without penalty or benefit from the state. We need Separation of Race and State just as much as we need Separation of Church and State. Only by breaking with the mentality of the… Read more »

Robert Beebe
Robert Beebe
1 year ago

Very sorry, I meant Rev. Oliver.

Robert Beebe
Robert Beebe
1 year ago

Rev. Taylor, this is a very important conversation for us to have as there are forces at work today to exploit the suffering of slaves brought to America (along with the horrendous treatment of Native Americans) to deny the very legitimacy of the nation itself. There are those who would use the sin of slavery in America’s past to deny the important steps which have been taken to eliminate racism, segregation, and Jim Crow laws. The civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s was all about challenging America to live up to the vibrant words of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Current events seem to be more about tearing the nation apart rather than moving forward. More about setting people against each other than bringing people together. I believe at this moment in time God wants to use all the indemnity paid by slave-descended Americans and their… Read more »

Bruce E. Smith
Bruce E. Smith
1 year ago

This website has a easy framework to describe American Descendants of Slavery, which I consider myself to be.

White Denial is going to be a challenge for people to open up about, but let’s see.

On ADLC Website scroll down this page and look at the the books at the bottom. These are part of the discussion I believe would focus on the heart of God, and center our discussion correctly toward the goal of Liberation and Restoration: Liberation of the suffering Heart of our Heavenly Parent and Restoration of the Ancestors who in the Spiritual World are far from HP.

America collective failure to see from God’s point of view at the time of the Papal Bulls and the resulting outcomes.

Thanks again for the discussion

Katherine Duncan
Katherine Duncan
1 year ago

I am a descendant of American slaves. My ancestors were among those who were bred as slaves and sold as property. My ancestors were bred to be dumb, docile, subservient, and obedient. We knew nothing of our African culture nor were we allowed our European inheritance. We were “made in America, made by America, made for America. AAAmerican! We are America’s only begotten children. Our role in America is to take ownership and responsibility for our country’s success and for its well-being. We love God and have continued to demonstrate our love for our enemies.

Gary Abrahams
Gary Abrahams
Reply to  Katherine Duncan
1 year ago

History is humankind’s attempts to progress to the filial and then to the parental heart of God. There is nothing that we can do to get God to stop loving us. Angels understand from the servant’s point of view. Children understand from the parental point of view. We fell below the angels and inherited their point of view. The only thing that God can relate to is His ideal of love.
There are no re-do’s. The only fix for all humankind’s problems is to live ideally.

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