The history of a People is often defined and measured by their source and degree of hope, as compared to the severity and endurance of their struggle. The history of black people is marked by a ceaseless commitment to survive insurmountable adversity and graced with edifying testaments of a collective soul. The African-American experience stands as a particular example of the power of faith to sustain the evolution and freedom of a people.
Africans delivered into slavery suffered unspeakable atrocities during their indoctrination and captivity. Our ancestors were reconditioned to abandon belief in tribal deities, in exchange for Eurocentric representations of Christianity. State and Church commissioned translations of The Holy Bible were effective tools utilized in this effort to reprogram African belief systems.
The resulting embrace and exuberance that African Americans have for Christianity is a seminal testament to the Glory and healing power found in the Gospel. The Bible’s principles of faith and obedience and Its promise of grace and mercy have provided a continuum of hope and deliverance throughout black history. We have endured genocidal loss of millions of lives during the middle passage across the Atlantic Ocean; the inhumane separation of families like cattle across thousands of plantations; the capitalistic exploitation of free labor used to build the infrastructure of a new nation; the frightening honor of fighting a Civil War; the emancipation of millions of uneducated and completely unprepared “free men and women;” a social order designed to impose State sanctioned and institutionalized discrimination; terrorism and intimidation waged in the forms of lynchings, bombings, beatings, and cross burnings; more wars with less honor; a deconstruction of unjust legal doctrine, a realization of self beauty and proclamation of power; and finally an emergence of political and economic strength.
Throughout black history, the bedrock of communal conscience has been the church and its foundational text, the Bible. The amalgam of popular black personalities, gathered to record The Bible Experience, while unprecedented in the annuls of Christian and/or Hollywood commerce, should actually be recognized as a reflection of our multi-generational commitment to Christ. The Bible Experience documents our submission, reverence, and praise for the Lord. We have been delivered—Hallelujah!
The Bible Experience