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The History of Black Americans and the Black Church #40

  • Broadcast in Christianity
Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III


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Our Scripture verse for today is 1 Peter 3:15 which reads: "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear."

Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Lee June, a professor at Michigan State University and the author of the book, "Yet With A Steady Beat: The Black Church through a Psychological and Biblical Lens." He now begins to discuss statements which are frequently heard in the black church which he calls “innocent but dangerous.” The second such statement is: “If you have Jesus, you don’t need anything else” or “I got Jesus and that’s enough.”

Our first topic for today is titled "One Way Passage, Part 1" from the book, "From Slavery to Freedom" by John Hope Franklin. 

The voyage to the Americas, popularly referred to as the “middle passage,” was a veritable nightmare. Overcrowding was most common. There are records of ships as small as 90 tons carrying a complement of 390 slaves in addition to crew and provisions. The practice of overcrowding became so common that the British Parliament felt compelled to specify that not more than five slaves could be carried for every 3 tons of the burden of a ship of 200 tons. This regulation, like so many others, was not enforced. More slaves meant greater profits, and few traders could resist the temptation to wedge in a few more. There was hardly standing, lying, or sitting room. Chained together by twos, hands and feet, slaves had no room to move about and no freedom to exercise their bodies even in the slightest.