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Mary Lee Brady, Ph.D.

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Many (not all or even most) believers choose to believe the philosophy of Jesus did not come easy but demonstrated how goodness is achieved by movement, ...doing to help self and others overcome life's hurdles rather than waiting on somebody else "to do it, by and by, as many do nothing preachers have been heard to say and suggest to flocks gathered often to be fleeced in the name of religion, seldom mission matters."  So, we dare speculate this greatest generative movement in human history required about twenty (20) years active doing to manifest itself as a product of goodness to overcome high hurdles in life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, ... still achieved by mission minded determination.  

Paul Lawrence Brady Jr.   will attest that high hurdles, even for Jesus, were never easy for even the most gifted and talented youth who choose to pursue goodness.  In fact, if biblical accounts attributed to Matthew are true, Jesus had to muscle up his legs and upper body strength after on-set of puberty about age 12-13 years. He had to condition himself for the strenuous work ethics demanded of carpenters and then walk perhaps some 500 miles per month x at least 36 months of ministry in Galilee (18,000 miles of energetic inspirations).  All the aforementioned had to occur before his final movement into Jerusalem, maybe riding a donkey during last mile.  So, like Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, ... he was likely a very physically strong young man in addition to having gifted intellectual abilities, regardless of what one chooses to believe about him otherwise.  In other words, Jesus was not a couch potato sitting, pontificating and waiting for something wonderful to drop down from heaven.

                                                African-American Christians

For most believers, Easter not only signals beginning of spring parades; ... but was generated by a movement of goodness spanning numerous but measureable minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years of energy and matters deemed worthy of remembrance by the best and brightest in successor generations of all racial heritages including Africans such as Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Not all Africans, Asians, Europeans or Native Americans embraced philosophy or theology about resurrection but for many on the down-side of life, ... the story of Easter afforded hope kept alive by believing it was possible and probable.  No evidence, no anything beyond belief that all is possible with God; and, we the living salute their faith. 

 

Christian Empires

For many of our ancestral generations up from slavery, the great sunrise services on Easter Sunday morning always began before the almighty sun came into view, ... raised up from the east like a powerful repetitive hymn reinforced by beliefs that something wonderful had occurred for their lives, liberties and pursuit of happiness/goodness.  And for the many believers in Africa, it offered a glimpse of the coming of more and better tomorrows to believe in. 

And just as rising of the sun meant light and warmth to those who hungered through the night for it, ... their spirits were enlightened by belief that Jesus crucified by order of Pontius Pilate, on the third day was resurrected from death as a everlasting light for believers.   Easter for certain is a major part of the moral inheritance by which many believers see themselves relative to other humans.  We make this point for emphasis to those who presume to know what origins and believers are or was in past, present and future generations of goodness. 

                                        Hymn To Freedom

And, for one hundred years (1865 to 1965), among many enlightened and educated African-Americans and others the sunrise service rituals continued each year in solemn rituals and song for what many perceived as the most significant movement that made their freedom movements conceivable, predictable and possible.  No one knows for certain the nature of Jesus, but we do know that believer generations in 18th and 19th centuries as outlined on this website chose to believe in HIM as the living Christ to help lift them UP to liberty and pursuit of happiness, ... from where most African-Americans, and a lot of White and Native Americans were situated. 

We also know the philosophical movement initiated by him has spanned some sixty-eight generations (over two thousand years) of human beings on earth, and thus outlasting all empires, kingdoms, and other movements for change good or bad.  So Easter, like Christmas matters a lot to believers who believe make-believe expressions about "Black Power" are sentiments in pursuit "nothingness" no less repugnant than that of "White Power" in coloring philosophy of life by Jesus to be secondary or non-consequential to their own sense of self.

                                                            Let My People Go

Perhaps, God only knows that millions of enslaved people who were not believers in God Almighty or Jesus Christ before the hated institution was spent and ended, ... did believe very strongly after at least seven (7) generations inside hell on earth by any other name or description.  Citing the newly approved King James Bible as moral authority, many (not all) Christians and Jews fostered a movement of horror via the Middle Passage to America, legal and illegal.  Their movement raged from at least year 1619 until the eve of inauguration of Abraham Lincoln in 1861 as President of the United States. 

The belief system existing among many African-Americans in April 1861 was extrapolated from the life of Jesus, not Pentecostal imagined empowerment descended from heaven to believers after the resurrection, ... with everyone seated and waiting to be enlightened. Indeed, empowerment always came via good minded people seeking after the cause and life of goodness, ... not sitting in a pew singing songs of wonder and doing little or nothing else to raise up a new and better generation.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries faith alone had helped protestant preachers and lay ministers challenge millions of denigrated of African, Native American and European heritage people in America to embrace the philosophy of life given by Jesus.  It did not occur via the acts or beliefs of most priests and preachers such as attested by many in April 1861. 

The issue was not about the philosophy of Jesus or enslaved human beings; but very much an evolved ideology/theology that circumvented and denied existence of either though acknowledged on occasion of blessing food, crops, holy communion, etc.  Slave owners were very much tied to the attitudes and beliefs of the energetic and determined Romans.

The Book of Romans was one of their favorite sources of quotations. Writings by self-anointed Apostle Paul was by course their key to reasoning slavery was OK by Christ, and thus a Christian virtue and value system. Abraham Lincoln disagreed with their analogy of goodness, and many millions agreed with him that slavery was not good for the nation or world in which it existed.                                 

                        Slave Owner Judeo-Christian Beliefs

Southern preachers thus were able to develop an amazing use of the bible as a tool for avoiding the philosophy of life set forth by teachings of Jesus. Black Christians saw and heard many sermons by White preachers upholding slavery and citing the bible as their authority.  Throughout most of the slave holding states, what slaves perceived as the Emancipation War was perceived as the War of Northern Aggression by White preachers ordained to be disciples of Christ but seldom mentioning any teachings that occurred during his lifetime.  They were in effect Pauline Christians in the Judeo-Christian analogies and ideologies, citing Christ as Lord but quoting Paul and Old Testament as reference authorities. 

Many of the enslaved evolved a faith in Jesus to salvage their bodies too but intelligently masked their true beliefs while pretending to accept and believe slave owner doctrines that God sanctioned slavery and the bible authorized it. On Easter of 1861 when the the Great Emancipation had recently begun on 12 April 1861, ... most White Southern preachers and teachers did not hear or see enslaved persons of African heritage as brothers and sisters in the body and spirit of Jesus Christ. True, a few slave-owning Christians allowed slaves such as their carriage drivers to hear their Sunday morning worship services but not participate in matters such as seating and communion.

Millions of people viewed and openly attested that enslaved bodies of African heritage were "nothing" but chattel and/or emancipated property subject to biblically interpreted laws of God and man in eternal states of "nothingness." Less than ten percent of the bible is about anything having to do with the teachings and philosophy of Jesus but critically important for gifted and talented youth to read all the literature so often cited as "the Word of God" by priests and preachers most often to empower themselves in the ageless flimflam game to pick-pocket gullible believers.                                             

                            Union League Club of New York

So, gifted and talented youth of African heritage ought not be fooled into throwing out the philosophy of their inherited faith (teachings of Jesus), ...  with the dirty bathwater of people otherwise described as Christians.  We raise the issue that no one known to us have conceived a better philosophy for uplifting "the least of us" though many have tried in Africa and the Americas.  Indeed, without functional faith in HIM, there was no community, only various state's of "nothingness" by custom and law in Africa and the Diaspora.

The worst denigrations in human history made believers out of many slaves and their descendents who in sum total for generations had nothing but their faith to cover bodies and souls.  To them, the resurrection of goodness on Easter morning was a sign that such empowerment existed to affect their lives, ... however dim and ignored they might appear to other claimants and celebrants.  

  

This faith by unenlightened and uneducated believers afforded them the opportunity to at least dream and keep hope alive for overcoming chattel slavery and giving birth to a new and better future generation of "the least of us."  Our challenge to gifted and talented believers and non-believers is what substitute value system could or should people with nothing of matter hold precious and dear to you and your generation?  Money?  They have little or none?  Enlightenment?  How?  

                                    Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

In the first-half of the 20th century, many prominent Black preachers, teachers and even professors like Dr. WEB Dubois and poets such as Langston Hughes were generally agreed that without beliefs in the promise of such salvation, ... most slaves down and out of sight in the worst forms of human denigration could never have gotten up.   It is ridiculous to think that  enslaved bodies and minds could spring forward in a relatively few generations to where gifted and talented youth of color tend to be now days in actualized life, liberty and pursuit of happiness we refer to as "goodness" ...without belief in something greater than themselves.  It has always been that way in the movement forward driven by gifted and talented youth shining their light that others might follow.   

                                        Diane Nash

We are compelled to argue that for people of African and all other heritages the philosophy for life, liberty and pursuant of happiness has flowed like turning of earth itself from east to west via enlightenment of the son.  It was not generated from California mindsets, ... as some gifted and talented souls of the past 20th century would have it with make-believe counter faith movements against the belief system many of our ancestors internalized in their great struggle up from slavery.   Those of us with ancestors who served in the great emancipation struggle believe they did so in the tried and true faith of doing.  Such faithful were not simply being happy and helpless to others in need of help.  Their sights and souls were beyond the sounds of pretentious preachers and prayers other than that taught by Jesus for believers to learn.   

Indeed, like the least of us, earliest movement by Jesus First Generation In Goodness  according to Gospel of Matthew was the process of moving from conception to birth, continuing on to the age of puberty and learning to work and live as a man (called himself "The Son of Man") helping to enlighten, motivate, educate and heal others before he died at Mount Calvary. And, we double dare youth of African heritage in America to dare not believe generations that generated orchestrated movements motivated by Richard Allen, Frederick Douglass, Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. Dubois,  Kwame N'Krumah,  Martin Luther King, Jr. and many others were somehow not related to or relevant in relationship to that of Jesus in generating the first movement we commemorate during Easter Week as triumph by the everlasting spirit of goodness over nothingness in death. 

                                        Marcus Garvey

It is untruthful for scholars to skip over fact that all the above were first and foremost devout believers in the philosophy and teachings of Jesus.  In fact, Dubois organized the successful Fisk Jubilee Singers and Garvey's first public meeting in the United States was held at the Saint Marks Roman Catholic Church in Harlem!  None of these men were ever known to dismiss the philosophy of Jesus in their endeavors simply because many Whites also believed in him. 

Gifted and talented youth of new generations have the free will to believe or not believe tales told about Easter that very much like Christmas represents what many believers believe as a generator of their faith, ... not joined to reasoning by many men and women during the past two thousand years.   Both events are examples of the great challenges for enlightened and educated youth of any color or caste to join superior reasoning (philosophy), in the final analysis, with faith that abiding change (not power and self-glorification) can be generated by indoctrinating and motivating mothers to be and want to do better. 

Most multi generations successfully up from past degenerations certainly know change did not occur without aspiring motherhoods tied to a functional generative philosophy of life tried and true to WORK beyond death always due for everyone, ... and perhaps past due for pretentious philosophers who envision rituals of doing nothing to be something of value for raising up new generations to love one another and be useful. 

                             Non-Believers Reasoning

The dogma and ideology articulated in the 1940s and 1950s by men like Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X helped fuel attitudes and aspirations by a lot of young men in the early 1960s not enlightened by historic Black scholars such as philosophers like Dr.W.E.B. Dubois and historians like  Dr.John Hope Franklin.

We wish to make clear our view that African Studies scholars should not be guilty of rejecting the philosophy of life espoused by Jesus; but, rather should study what it is and why men like Frederick Douglass, WEB Dubois, Marcus Garvey, Nnandi Azikewe, Kwame N'Krumah, Martin Luther King, Julius Nyere, Nelson Mandela and so many other functional leaders of consequence were also believers in HIS philosophy. 

Clearly, integration of the functional faith held by many millions of Whites in Europe and America was a key function in generating the alliances of fellow believers needed to abolish chattel slavery and initiate efforts to eradicate the after-math of it, much of which is still with us.

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