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The potency of black culture is not a sporadic phenomenon. I believe that the influence of the African Diaspora as a whole is because of the seeds of sorrow and perseverance planted by our ancestors. It’s not spooky or creepy. It’s real, beautiful and has been centuries in the making.

 

The Bible teaches us that we find the beauty of Jesus and unlock different layers of His goodness and treasures of peace and love when we endure trials of many kinds. Even when we emerge from the aftermath of oppression with gratitude. That’s not just on a day to day individual basis, but on a generational premise. Some inherit wealth while others inherit property. As a part of the diaspora here in America we have inherited a joy, a beauty, a sass, a strength, an endurance that could only have been compressed from the toil and troubles our people endured. It’s in our music, our dancing, our clothing designs, our childhood hand games. It’s embedded in the parts of our braids, the coconut oil and Shea butter in our bathrooms. It surfaces in our exclamation of “Hey girl!” and our contemptible “Oh no, he didn’t”. It’s in the passion behind our protests and our restless fight for equality. What the devil has intended for evil, God intends for good (Genesis 50:20). Every single time. On every fundamental and complex level of life.

 

When I got to Spelman in 2010 and learned that the Bible was used to support the enslavement of Africans I was crushed. I began to question the authenticity of my faith. I couldn’t understand how God could allow this to happen. It took years of asking, seeking, praying and hoping for me to understand that it was not the perfect will of God that there should be this type of suffering. It’s not God’s will for anyone to suffer. But within the intertwining of wills and the will of fallen humanity God was able to redeem the purpose of black people throughout the world.

 

My prayer is that through the celebration of Black American culture you are empowered to celebrate yourself and the roots God has given you. Black girl Magic, Black Boy Joy, and Black Lives Matter, among countless others, are all movements to empower and enlighten you. I challenge you to expand your expectations as a lover of Jesus Christ.  Also, believe that God is moving and using the Joy that's being planted into the black community in order to help shift the entire world in the direction of the Kingdom that God originally intended. Blessings aren't simply meant just for the receiver. It’s also for those fortunate enough to witness it.

 

I am the flower buding from the aftermath of their pain and joy.  To say that I am grateful  is an understatement.