LISTEN: The Plantation System, Part 1; The Negro Church: A Nation Within a Nation, Part 17, Reconstruction and Retaliation, Part 16 (The History of Black Americans and the Black Church #48 with Daniel Whyte III)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Our Scripture Verse for today is Psalm 119:30 which reads: “I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.”

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 said, “Spirituality or spiritual, as a concept, apart from organized religion or Christianity, is becoming more of a force to be reckoned with. Increasingly, as already noted, more people are comfortable in declaring themselves as spiritual, but without having a specific religious affiliation. However, in a biblical context, the word ‘spiritual’ as used in the New Testament is defined by Scofield as ‘non-carnal.’ While the Bible makes reference to ‘spiritual wickedness in high places,’ spirituality in the Christian context is very precise. It is the result of a connection to God as defined in the Bible and is produced by reliance on the Holy Spirit.”

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. If you enjoy this podcast, please feel free to purchase any one of these books from our website.

Our first topic for today is titled “The Plantation System, Part 1” from the book, “From Slavery to Freedom” by John Hope Franklin.

Africans were first used on the tobacco plantations of the Caribbean islands. By 1639, however, European markets had become so glutted with the weed that the price decreased sharply and West Indian planters sustained a great loss. Some of them turned to cotton and indigo, neither of which proved to be as profitable as they had hoped. Some heeded the suggestions of Dutch merchant traders who suggested that they try sugar. It appeared to be a good opportunity, and with capital borrowed from Dutch and English merchants, West Indian planters began to cultivate sugarcane. The results surpassed their greatest expectations, and they immediately made plans for extension of the cultivation. The problem of labor became acute, and the planters turned more and more to the use of slaves. Thus, in the middle of the seventeenth century, the importation of Africans into the Caribbean islands began in earnest.

In 1640 there were only a few hundred Africans in Barbados. By 1645, after the new sugar plantations had demonstrated their profitableness, there were 6,000, and by the middle of the century the African population had increased to 20,000. Between 4,000 and 5,000 Africans of good quality were delivered to the island in the 1660s, and they found a ready market among the sugar planters. By the end of the century Barbados had a black population of upwards of 80,000. A similar growth took place in many of the other Caribbean islands in the seventeenth century. The momentum of importation was so great by the end of the century that in the next 100 years, when the demand for slaves in the islands was declining, importation continued, and in most places it even increased. By 1763, 60,000 African slaves had been imported into Cuba. In the next three decades they came in at a much more rapid rate. Through a system of granting special licenses to importers, Spain was able to bring into Cuba as many as 17,000 Africans in a single year in the 1770s. Between 1763 and 1790, about 41,000 were brought in, while between 1791 and 1825 no less than 320,000 were delivered to Havana alone. Jamaica, Nevis, Montserrat, St. Christopher, St. Vincent, and St. Lucia experienced proportionately similar increases.

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 “The Negro Church: A Nation Within a Nation, Part 17” from The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier.

— A Refuge in a Hostile White World

In providing a structured social life in which the Negro could give expression to his deepest feeling and at the same time achieve status and find a meaningful existence, the Negro church provided a refuge in a hostile white world. For the slaves who worked and suffered in an alien world, religion offered a means of catharsis for their pent-up emotions and frustrations. Moreover, it turned their minds from the sufferings and privations of this world to a world after death where the weary would find rest and the victims of injustices would be compensated. The Negroes who were free before the Civil War found status in the church which shielded them from the contempt and discriminations of the white world. Then for a few brief years after Emancipation the hopes and expectations of the black freedmen were raised and they thought that they would have acceptance and freedom in the white man’s world. But their hopes and expectations were rudely shattered when white supremacy was re-established in the South. They were excluded from participation in the white man’s world except on the basis of inferiority. They were disfranchised and the public schools provided for them were a mere travesty on education. The courts set up one standard of justice for the white and another standard for the black man. They were stigmatized as an inferior race lacking even the human attributes which all men are supposed to possess. They were subjected to mob violence involving lynchings and burnings alive which were justified even by the white Christian churches.

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 16 of Chapter 4: “Reconstruction and Retaliation — 1866 to 1914”

— CRIME IS AN EXPRESSION OF THE SINFUL HEART

Many factors in life help determine the way in which evil hearts express themselves: culture, education, mores, religion, environment, economics, etc. Whether men are civilized or savage, educated or illiterate, live in the slums or suburbs, sin will come out. Statistics, which cannot be fully trusted in this area, show disproportionate numbers of blacks being arrested and imprisoned, usually for certain crimes such as drunkenness, rape, assault and battery, petty larceny, and murder. However, whites are actually arrested in greater numbers for certain crimes. If more blacks are given the opportunity, we will soon catch up in numbers with the whites who embezzle, defraud, bribe, swindle, commit treason, bomb churches, and commit mass murder

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.

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My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International. Since it is hard to separate Black American history and Black Church history I am combining the two because they are so intertwined. 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.

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.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

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