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The History of Black Americans and the Black Church

As many of you know, the church and religion has played and continues to play a big role in the African-American community. Yet, many of us who grew up in the traditional black church do not have an understanding of how our faith evolved under the duress of slavery and discrimination to be and to represent what it does today. The purpose of this broadcast is to provide that background knowledge while also pointing out the dividing line between what is just tradition and true faith in Jesus Christ.

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Slavery in Mainland Latin America, Part 6 (The History of Black Americans and the Black Church #62)

Welcome to episode #62 of the The History of Black Americans and the Black Church podcast.

Our Scripture Verse for today is John 6:35 which reads: “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”

Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Tony Evans. He said, “Churches must extend their influence beyond the lives of church members to impact the broader community that they serve.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: From Slavery to Freedom, by John Hope Franklin, The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier, and The Black Church In The U.S. by William A. Banks.

Our first topic for today is titled “Slavery in Mainland Latin America, Part 6” from the book, “From Slavery to Freedom” by John Hope Franklin.

There were five centers of distribution from which slaves were sent into the various parts of Brazil. From Bahia [BAH-HEE-AH] and Sergipe [SER-JIP-EE] they were taken to plantations and to domestic service on the coast; from Rio de Janeiro [REE-OH DEY ZHUH-NAIR-OH] and São Paulo [SOW POW-LO] they were taken to cane fields and coffee plantations or were kept to work in the capital; from Minas Gerais [MEE-NUHS ZHI-RAHYS] most slaves were sent to the gold mines, such as those of Goyaz [GOY-AYZ]; slaves from the distribution center at Pernambuco [PER-NAHM-BOO-KOO] supplied the sugar-producing provinces of the northeast, and slaves from Maranhao [MAH-RUH-NYOUN] and Para [PAH-RAH] were sent to the cotton plantations of the north. In the seventeenth century it was estimated that more than 44,000 Africans were imported annually, while the following century witnessed an annual importation of no less than 55,000 blacks. Estimates of the number of Africans imported into Brazil vary from 5 million to 18 million. Whatever the total figures were, it is clear that between 1538 and 1828 Africans were imported in such large numbers that persons of African descent still constitute a considerable portion of the population.

In 1798 the first reliable estimate of the population listed 406,000 free blacks and 1,582,000 slaves in a total population of 3,250,000. By 1818 the total population had risen to 3,817,000, in which there were 1,930,000 slaves and 585,000 freedmen. Thus, it can be seen that in that twenty-year period Africans were largely responsible for the increase in the total population. In 1830 they constituted 28.6 percent of the population. In 1847, in a total population of 7,360,000, including 800,000 civilized Indians, there were 3,120,000 African slaves, 1,100,000 free persons of color, and 180,000 free native Africans. In 1888, the year of the emancipation of Brazil’s slaves, there were 723,419 slaves.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

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Our second topic for today is “Negro Religion in the City, Part 11: Religion in the ‘Storefront’ Church, Part 3” from “The Negro Church in America” by E. Franklin Frazier.

The desire for the warm and intimate association of fellow worshippers in church services was not the only reason why the ‘storefront’ church was more congenial to the recently urbanized Negro than the cold impersonal atmosphere of the large denominational city church. In these small ‘storefront’ churches the Negro migrant could worship in a manner to which he had been accustomed. The sermon by the pastor is of a type to appeal to traditional ideas concerning hell and heaven and the imagery which the Negro has acquired from the Bible. Much emphasis is placed upon sins of the flesh, especially sexual sins. The preacher leads the singing of the Spirituals and other hymns with which the Negroes with a folk background are acquainted. The singing is accompanied by ‘shouting’ or holy dancing which permits the maximum of free religious expression on the part of the participants.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

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Our third and final topic for today is from “The Black Church in the U.S.: Its Origin, Growth, Contributions, and Outlook” by Dr. William A. Banks.

Today we are looking at part 5 of Chapter 5: “Radicalism: 1915 – 1953”

SECULARIZATION OF THE CHURCHES
Black churches in the North were not prepared for the great influx that took place during and after World War I. The result: new sects and storefront churches came into existence, and what Frazier calls the secularization of the churches begin. Secularization drew the Blacks away from a religious orientation to a worldly one where the temporal was stressed rather than the spiritual. Otherworldliness was a major characteristic of the emphasis of the Black church during slavery and until the end of the nineteenth century. Things formerly opposed–jazz, drinking, dancing, card playing, and theater going–were no longer regarded as sinful by all the churchgoers. Significantly, this “secularization” trend was countered in some measure by the birth of church groups stressing “holiness.” More Black ministers began to dabble in politics. Increased interest was expressed in community affairs. Churches began to show more interest in self-help and racial advancement organizations such as the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), and the Urban league. They expressed their interest with membership drives, financial contributions, special sermons, and the availability of the church building for meetings.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

Let’s have a word of prayer.

In closing, allow me to say that like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what the church people whom I grew up around said “being saved” was I now know is wrong according to the Bible. For example, joining the church, being baptized, doing good things, or being a good person does not mean you are saved. I wrote an article about this matter titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.

First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, understand that a horrible punishment eternal Hell awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon the Lord in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you do that today, then you can truly sing in the words of the Old Negro spiritual: Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty I’m free at last.

Until next time, may God richly bless you.

Slavery in Mainland Latin America, Part 5 (The History of Black Americans and the Black Church #61)

Welcome to episode #61 of the The History of Black Americans and the Black Church podcast.

Our Scripture Verse for today is Jeremiah 17:7 which reads: “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.”

Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Martin Luther King, Jr. He said, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: From Slavery to Freedom, by John Hope Franklin, The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier, and The Black Church In The U.S. by William A. Banks.

Our first topic for today is titled “Slavery in Mainland Latin America, Part 5” from the book, “From Slavery to Freedom” by John Hope Franklin.

The absence of a considerable population of blacks in modern Uruguay and Argentina does not mean that Spain neglected to furnish these colonies with African slaves. Instead, it is suggestive of the remarkable biological and cultural fusion that occurred. Montevideo and Buenos Aires were major ports of entry for slave traders during colonial days. While there are no figures available for the total African population of the Viceroyalty of La Plata, there can be no doubt that there was a large population of blacks, especially in the area of the estuary of the Rio de la Plata. A contemporary estimated that in 1805 about 2,500 slaves were being imported annually. In 1803 the black population of Montevideo was 1,040 out of a total of 4,726. There is every indication that Buenos Aires also had a substantial black population. As late as 1827 there were seven African societies in the Argentine capital. The disappearance of Africans in the southern part of South America is an eloquent testimony of the complete absorption of a people by the tremendous migration of Europeans that occurred in the last century.

It was only natural that the Portuguese, the first to sense the importance of African slave labor, would undertake to provide their New World empire with Africans. Although they made extensive use of Indian labor throughout the sixteenth century, they introduced Africans into Brazil as early as 1538, when the first shipment from the Guinea coast reached Bahia. It was the introduction of sugar into the colony about 1540 that stimulated the importation of Africans, and after that time the slave trade continued unabated. During the period of Spanish control, 1580-1640, the slave trade to Brazil greatly accelerated. In 1585 there were 14,000 slaves in the colony out of a population of 57,000. Toward the end of the century the Spaniards brought in large numbers of slaves from Guinea, Sao Thome, Mozambique, and other parts of Africa. Though there was a tendency for them to be concentrated in Pernambuco, Bahia, and Rio de Janeiro, they fanned out in various directions as sugar and coffee plantations were developed in the fertile interior valleys.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

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Our second topic for today is “Negro Religion in the City, Part 10: Religion in the ‘Storefront’ Church, Part 2” from “The Negro Church in America” by E. Franklin Frazier.

The ‘storefront’ church represents an attempt on the part of the migrants, especially from the rural areas of the South, to re-establish a type of church in the urban environment to which they were accustomed. They want a church, first of all, in which they are known as people. In the large city church they lose their identity completely and, as many of the migrants from the rural South have said, neither the church members nor the pastor know them personally. Sometimes they complain with bitterness that the pastor of the large city church knows them only as the number on the envelope in which they place their dues. In wanting to be treated as human beings, they want status in the church which was the main or only organization in the South in which they had status. Some of the statements concerning their reason for leaving the big denominational churches was that ‘back home in the South’ they had a seat in the church that everyone recognized as theirs and that if the seat were empty on Sunday the pastor came to their homes to find out the cause of their absence.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

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Our third and final topic for today is from “The Black Church in the U.S.: Its Origin, Growth, Contributions, and Outlook” by Dr. William A. Banks.

Today we are looking at part 4 of Chapter 5: “Radicalism: 1915 – 1953”

BAPTISTS, Part 2
Baptists, constituting the vast majority of Negroes, were accustomed to local autonomy, and their congregations provided the perfect medium for the free airing of personal disappointments, discontent and disillusionment. Dashed hopes, feuds, factions, and fights created Negro politicians. In this atmosphere of tension, the Baptist preacher arose as the master politician who continued as the leader of the people by diverting them from their external failures in society through practical politics in a religious setting.

Since 1915, the heavy concentration of Negroes in the South has been largely denied the privilege of political expression. The local congregation has filled this need and has created through city, county, state, and national Baptist associations a political outlet for the Negro. The explosion which created two national conventions continued down through county, state, city and local bodies…On the local level, this division of Baptists persists, partly because the external forces have not substantially changed and partly because splits are the habitual way of Negro Baptists.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

Let’s have a word of prayer.

In closing, allow me to say that like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what the church people whom I grew up around said “being saved” was I now know is wrong according to the Bible. For example, joining the church, being baptized, doing good things, or being a good person does not mean you are saved. I wrote an article about this matter titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.

First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, understand that a horrible punishment eternal Hell awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon the Lord in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you do that today, then you can truly sing in the words of the Old Negro spiritual: Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty I’m free at last.

Until next time, may God richly bless you.

Slavery in Mainland Latin America, Part 3; Negro Religion in the City, Part 8 (The History of Black Americans and the Black Church #59)

Our Scripture Verse for today is 1 John 5:5 which reads: “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”

Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Ralph Abernathy. He said, “Christians should be ready for a change because Jesus was the greatest changer in history.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: From Slavery to Freedom, by John Hope Franklin, The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier, and The Black Church In The U.S. by William A. Banks.

Our first topic for today is titled “Slavery in Mainland Latin America, Part 3” from the book, “From Slavery to Freedom” by John Hope Franklin.

During the colonial period Central America was largely a part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and no separate figures are available for the importation of slaves into that region. Africans in Central America perhaps were a small but important segment of the population. They were imported into Guatemala as early as 1524, when the Spaniards occupied the land. While the number was never as large as 10,000, they were a considerable source of trouble to the Spanish authorities. Runaways would band together in the woods of Sierra de las Minas and with their bows and arrows harass the countryside for miles around. The entire military force of Guatemala City found it impossible to subdue them. Some slaves became free, developing into substantial citizens. One such freedman became an extensive landowner and herdsman. Although he made a great profit from dairy products that he sold in Guatemala City, the authorities felt that perhaps some hidden treasure was the real source of his wealth. He periodically denied this, and until his death he stood as an example of what an African was able to accomplish in Central America.

Perhaps the largest concentration of blacks in continental Spanish America was to be found in the Viceroyalty of New Granada, comprising the modern states of Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. The ports along the Caribbean early became entrepots for Negro slaves and points from which they were distributed to the interior. Panama, Caracas, and Cartagena were among the largest slave markets in the New World. By the time that accurate census figures for the area became available, Negroes were present in considerable numbers. In the Audiencia of Santa Fe–present Panama and Colombia–there were in 1810 approximately 210,000 Negroes and mulattoes, slave and free, in a total population of 1.4 million. In the Captaincy General of Caracas–present Venezuela–Negroes and mulattoes numbered 493,000 in 1810, while the total population was 900,000. About the same time, the Presidency of Quito–present Ecuador–had 50,000 Negroes and mulattoes in a total population of 600,000.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

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Our second topic for today is “Negro Religion in the City, Part 8” from “The Negro Church in America” by E. Franklin Frazier.

In the cities of the North the churches were much larger than the churches in the South. The average membership of a North church in the North was close to 800 while the average for the South was less than half that number. The Negro preacher in the northern city has striven to build up large churches which are a measure of his status and influence, not to mention his control of economic resources. These churches are vast social organizations with a number of departments concerned with many aspects of Negro life other than the religious. They have established systems of book-keeping and something approaching an impersonal bureaucratic organization. In spite of the wealth and power of these churches, they repel the Negro masses who seek a type of religious association that is warm and intimate and in which they have a satisfactory status.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

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Our third and final topic for today is from “The Black Church in the U.S.: Its Origin, Growth, Contributions, and Outlook” by Dr. William A. Banks.

Today we are looking at part 2 of Chapter 5: “Radicalism: 1915 – 1953”

DENOMINATIONAL LOYALTY: STATISTICS
Not surprisingly, the migrants generally continued their denominational affiliations. Those who were Baptists in the South were still Baptists in the North. The Methodists also remained relatively loyal to their denomination. Statistics in 1916 for the four major all-Black groups are: for the Baptists, 3,196,623; AME, 545,814; AMEZ, 456,813; CME, 202,713. The 1998 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches gives this breakdown for 1998: National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., 8,200,000; National Baptist Convention of America, 2,500,000; Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc., 2,500,000; AME, 3,500,000; AMEZ, 1,252,369; CME, 718,922; COGIC, 5,499,875. These statistics do not tell the complete story. Other Pentecostal and apostolic groups have been omitted; figures for some groups are difficult to obtain; and some of the Black Baptist churches belong to more than one Convention.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

Let’s have a word of prayer.

In closing, allow me to say that like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what the church people whom I grew up around said “being saved” was I now know is wrong according to the Bible. For example, joining the church, being baptized, doing good things, or being a good person does not mean you are saved. I wrote an article about this matter titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.

First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, understand that a horrible punishment eternal Hell awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon the Lord in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you do that today, then you can truly sing in the words of the Old Negro spiritual: Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty I’m free at last.

Until next time, may God richly bless you.

Slavery in Mainland Latin America, Part 2 (The History of Black Americans and the Black Church #58)

Our Scripture Verse for today is Colossians 3:13 which reads: “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.”

Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from John Lewis. He said, “The civil rights movement was based on faith. Many of us who were participants in this movement saw our involvement as an extension of our faith. We saw ourselves doing the work of the Almighty. Segregation and racial discrimination were not in keeping with our faith, so we had to do something.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: From Slavery to Freedom, by John Hope Franklin, The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier, and The Black Church In The U.S. by William A. Banks.

Our first topic for today is titled “Slavery in Mainland Latin America, Part 2” from the book, “From Slavery to Freedom” by John Hope Franklin.

It would be erroneous to assume that slave traders in Spanish America confined their activities to the insular possessions. Almost from the beginning they transported slaves to Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Peru, and Argentina, and from these points the slaves were disperses in all directions. Only the lines of supply directly from Africa or from the Caribbean entrepots were officially recognized, but smugglers and interlopers were not averse to bringing Africans from English, French, or Dutch colonies or from other points when it was profitable to do so. By these various routes of commerce more than 60,000 Africans entered Mexico during the first century of conquest. In the following century the number was even greater. While the islands and the adjacent continent possessed a limited capacity to absorb slaves, the Mexican market was a veritable paradise for traders. The Jesuit Father Andres de Rivas estimated that 3,000 or 4,000 entered the country each year. Gonzalo Aguirre Beltran, the Mexican historian, asserts that a conservative estimate for the seventeenth century would place the figure at 120,000 slaves. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries importation declined sharply, with no more than 20,000 slaves entering the Viceroyaltyof New Spain during that period. When Baron Alexander von Humboldt visited the country in 1793, he said that there were only 10,000 slaves. Certainly 200,000 had entered the country by that time, but the majority had become mixed with the whites and Indians so extensively that perhaps they were no longer recognizable as a distinct element in the population.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

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Our second topic for today is “Negro Religion in the City, Part 7” from “The Negro Church in America” by E. Franklin Frazier.

The secularization of the Negro church has not affected to the same extent and in the same manner all sections of the Negro population. The manner in which secularization has affected Negroes is related to the new stratification of the Negro population. In a study of stratification in Negro churches in Chicago, it was found that church-going was not important for many persons of upper-class status and that those who attended church attended churches with services that were ritualistic and deliberative, the Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Congregational. The upper middle class was found to be affiliated with the same churches as the upper class with the important difference, however, that the upper middle class was more faithful in church attendance. Some members of the upper middle class also attended the Methodist and Baptist churchs for social reasons. On the other hand, the members of the lower middle class were affiliated with churches which were described as semi-demonstrative, as there was emotional participation on the part of the members. This was indicative of their recent social ascension from the lower class for whom demonstrative participation in the church services is regarded as indispensable. In fact, some of the members of the lower middle class preferred to attend certain Methodist and Baptist churches for this very reason.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

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Our third and final topic for today is from “The Black Church in the U.S.: Its Origin, Growth, Contributions, and Outlook” by Dr. William A. Banks.

Today we are looking at part 1 of Chapter 5: “Radicalism: 1915 – 1953”

BLACK POPULATION SHIFTS
Migration to the cities was inevitable. Many Blacks went to the urban centers of the South after the Civil War, but it took the First World War to cause mass migration to northern cities. This urbanization had a tremendous effect upon the life of the Black man. Prior to the war, 90 percent of the Blacks in America lived in the South and most of these, some 80 percent, were in rural areas. When the war came the population began to shift and Blacks headed North. Many reasons were given for the migration: oppression, forced labor, the Ku Klux Klan, lynchings, etc.

One hundred Negroes were lynched during the first year of the twentieth century. By the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the number stood at 1,110. When the war was over, the practice was resumed–28 Negroes being burned alive between 1918 and 1921. Scores of others were hanged, dragged behind automobiles, shot, drowned, or hacked to death.

Natural calamities also caused some Blacks to leave the South. Northern industry’s need for unskilled workers probably played the most important part in drawing the Blacks North. The war brought European immigration practically to a halt; from 1914 to 1915 the number of White immigrants decreased from 1,218,480 to 326,700. The cities’ Black populations increased by leaps and bounds. Migration from the farm to the city and from the South to the North brought many difficulties. In housing, there were restrictive covenants, segregation ordinances, and White landlord exploitation, all of which led to ghettos and the poor health and high mortality that accompany large families living in small, unsanitary homes. The city’s impersonalness and destruction of family life, with increaed desertion, illegitimacy, and juvenile delinquency aggravated matters. Increased migration North created hostility there, and the churches were greatly affected.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

Let’s have a word of prayer.

In closing, allow me to say that like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what the church people whom I grew up around said “being saved” was I now know is wrong according to the Bible. For example, joining the church, being baptized, doing good things, or being a good person does not mean you are saved. I wrote an article about this matter titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.

First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, understand that a horrible punishment eternal Hell awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon the Lord in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you do that today, then you can truly sing in the words of the Old Negro spiritual: Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty I’m free at last.

Until next time, may God richly bless you.

Slavery in Mainland Latin America, Part 1; Negro Religion in the City, Part 6 (The History of Black Americans and the Black Church #57)

Welcome to episode #57 of the The History of Black Americans and the Black Church podcast.

Our Scripture Verse for today is 1 John 5:5 which reads: “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”

Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. He said, “Press forward at all times, climbing forward toward that higher ground of the harmonious society that shapes the laws of man to the laws of God.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: From Slavery to Freedom, by John Hope Franklin, The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier, and The Black Church In The U.S. by William A. Banks.

Our first topic for today is titled “Slavery in Mainland Latin America, Part 1” from the book, “From Slavery to Freedom” by John Hope Franklin.

In 1501 the government in Madrid authorized the introduction of Africans to make up for the deficiency in Indian labor which the Spaniards had been using in the New World, much more than the English ever used. The condition that only such Africans should be taken as had been born under the power of Christian masters was shortly overlooked as the demand for workers increased. They were being brought into Cuba in such large numbers by 1506 that the Spanish government, for fear of a slave uprising, was moved to prohibit their future importation. For a decade the importation of Africans slowed to a trickle, and the extensive use of Indians was resumed. In 1516 Charles II issued licenses to several Flemish traders to take Africans to the Spanish colonies. In the following year the ban against the use of Africans was removed, with the stipulation that one-third of those imported should be women. By the time that Cortes [KOR-TEZ] launched his conquest of Mexico, Africans were in all the Spanish island colonies and were being rapidly introduced into the mainland.

In the early years of the Spanish colonies the slave trade was viewed as un-Christian and illegal. To overcome this dual disfavor, it was necessary for traders to secure special permission—the asiento—to bring slaves into the Spanish colonies. This made it relatively easy for the crown to subject the traffic in slaves to rigid control. Since the contracts, or permits, were monopolistic, the holders were required to pay a tax to the crown on each slave brought in. The crown reserved the right to revoke the asiento if the traders did not make accurate reports on the numbers of slaves imported or if they were either unhealthy or in some other way undesirable as workers. Whether the asiento [AS-EEN-TO] was held by private individuals or companies, by Spaniards, or by foreigners, the crown could use its granting powers as an effective diplomatic and economic weapon to enhance its influence in both hemispheres.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

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Our second topic for today is “Negro Religion in the City, Part 6” from “The Negro Church in America” by E. Franklin Frazier.

From the standpoint of formal affiliation with the various denominations, it appears from available statistics that the Negro in the northern city continued his traditional affiliation. That is to say, nearly two-thirds of the Negroes continued to attend Baptist churches and about a third were in the various Methodist churches. Most of the remainder of the Negroes who were affiliated with the church were in the Episcopal and Presbyterian churches, and a small number in the Roman Catholic Church. But these figures fail to tell what had occurred in the Negro churches and in the religious behavior of Negroes. The change which occurred can be best described as a secularization of the Negro churches. By secularization we mean that the Negro churches lost their predominantly other-worldly outlook and began to focus attention upon the Negro’s condition in this world. The most obvious evidence of secularization has been that the churches have been forced to tolerate card playing and dancing and theater-going. The opposition to these forms of recreation was rationalized on the basis that they would lead to gambling and immorality rather than that they were sinful.

A more important indication of the growing secularization of Negro churches has been their interest in the affairs of the community. The interest in the affairs of the community included recreational work and contributions to the work of a social welfare agency like the National Urban League or organizations fighting for civil rights like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. This new direction of interest in worldly affairs was more strongly indicated by the nature of the sermons of the ministers and their leadership in political affairs in which their church members actively participated. In a number of northern cities the pastors of large Negro churches have been influential in politics and have received important political appointments. It is no accident that one of the four Negro members of the House of Representatives of the United States is a preacher, the Reverend Adam Clayton Powell, the pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City which is reported to be the largest church in the United States. Reverend Powell has not only been a political leader of Negroes but he has also marched with them in the boycott of stores which refused to employ Negroes.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

Let’s have a word of prayer.

In closing, allow me to say that like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what the church people whom I grew up around said “being saved” was I now know is wrong according to the Bible. For example, joining the church, being baptized, doing good things, or being a good person does not mean you are saved. I wrote an article about this matter titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, gospellightsociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.

First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, understand that a horrible punishment eternal Hell awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon the Lord in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you do that today, then you can truly sing in the words of the Old Negro spiritual: Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty I’m free at last.

Until next time, may God richly bless you.

The Plantation System, Part 8; Negro Religion in the City, Part 5 (The History of Black Americans and the Black Church #56)

Welcome to episode #56 of the The History of Black Americans and the Black Church podcast.

Our Scripture Verse for today is Ephesians 2:20-22 which reads: “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Gardner C. Taylor. He said, “There are days when we can bring before God a deep and glad laughter of joy and gratitude. There will be other days when we can only muster a bitter, angry complaint. If it is honest, be confident that God will accept whatever it is we truly have to lift up before him, and he will make it serve his purpose and our good.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: From Slavery to Freedom, by John Hope Franklin, The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier, and The Black Church In The U.S. by William A. Banks.

Our first topic for today is titled “The Plantation System, Part 8” from the book, “From Slavery to Freedom” by John Hope Franklin.

The cost of producing sugar increased as soil exhaustion manifested itself after a century of intensive cultivation. The price of slaves, moreover, was going up as the demand for them increased on the mainland. White society was so completely without resourceful and imaginative leadership that it was not able to discover areas of economic activity that would compensate for the losses it was sustaining in older activities. Desperate efforts were made both in Europe and in the island colonies to encourage whites to migrate to the Caribbean. Some islands required planters to import proportionate numbers of whites for all the slaves they brought, but many planters found it easier to pay the fines. With a surplus of slaves on their hands, the residents of the West Indies were willing to sell many of them to the mainland colonies.

The increasing exportation of slaves from the West Indies is a clear manifestation of social and economic debility. After several centuries of European occupation, religious institutions were still weak, and vice and immorality of all kinds flourished. Education was at an especially low ebb, and ignorance prevailed even among whites. The ineffectiveness of the law showed itself in its inability to prevent running away, insurrections, and widespread miscegenation. In sending many of their slaves to the mainland, the West Indies served notice to the world that they had yielded the long-held economic primacy in the New World to the mainland.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will begin looking at “Slavery in Mainland Latin America” in our next episode.

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Our second topic for today is “Negro Religion in the City, Part 5” from “The Negro Church in America” by E. Franklin Frazier.

The change in status was related in part to the fact that in the northern city the Negro children received the same education as the white child even when they were not in the same school with whites. The education was of a nature to broaden their intellectual horizon and give them an entirely new outlook on life. In addition, education opened the door to many occupations that had been closed to Negroes on account of race in the South. As a consequence there was an acceleration of the occupational differentiation of the Negro population in northern cities. Whereas, for example, preachers constituted about fifty percent of the professional class among Negroes in the South, in northern cities, where nearly nine-tenths of the Negroes in the North lived, only one professional Negro in ten was a preacher. And what was important, Negroes were not only to be found in most of the occupational groups in the northern cities but Negro professional men and women and white-collar workers were not confined to the Negro community as in the South.

On the basis of the occupational differentiation of the Negro population, a new system of social stratification or socio-economic classes came into existence. We have noted the simple stratification of the Negro community in the South which consisted of a small upper class based largely upon family and a light complexion and later based to some degree upon education. As a result of the entrance of Negroes into new occupations, some of whom served the new needs of the large Negro communities in northern cities, a new class structure emerged consisting of three major classes. This new class system has not only helped to change the traditional organization of Negro life but it has caused the Negro church to adapt itself to the general outlook and religious requirements of the different classes.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

Let’s have a word of prayer.

In closing, allow me to say that like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what the church people whom I grew up around said “being saved” was I now know is wrong according to the Bible. For example, joining the church, being baptized, doing good things, or being a good person does not mean you are saved. I wrote an article about this matter titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, GospelLightSociety.com. Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.

First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, understand that a horrible punishment eternal Hell awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon the Lord in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you do that today, then you can truly sing in the words of the Old Negro spiritual: Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty I’m free at last.

Until next time, may God richly bless you.

The Plantation System, Part 7; Negro Religion in the City, Part 4 (The History of Black Americans and the Black Church #55)

Welcome to episode #55 of the The History of Black Americans and the Black Church podcast.

Our Scripture Verse for today is Hebrews 10:24-25 which reads: “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Martin Luther King Jr. He said, “It is our job as ministers to bring the church back to the center of the human race. But we can only bring the church back to the center of the human race when we bring Christ back to the center of the church.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: From Slavery to Freedom, by John Hope Franklin, The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier, and The Black Church In The U.S. by William A. Banks.

Our first topic for today is titled “The Plantation System, Part 7” from the book, “From Slavery to Freedom” by John Hope Franklin. Continue reading “The Plantation System, Part 7; Negro Religion in the City, Part 4 (The History of Black Americans and the Black Church #55)”