Alan Dean Artist

An African American Story 

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An African American Story The Culure of Science or Supperstition I   would   like   to   start   this   story   by   telling   you   about   when   I   visited   the   city   of   Dakar   Senegal,   West   Africa   to   participate   in   an   art   show   there with   many   other   African   American   Artists.   I   believe   that   90%   of   the   people   in   Senegal   are   Muslims,   and   I   was   fascinated   by   the   beautiful sights   and   the   beautiful   people   that   I   saw   and   met   there.   From   anywhere   in   the   city   I   could   hear   the   call   to   prayer   five   times   a   day.   The   people would   line   up   by   the   hundreds   to   make   their   prayers   in   the   streets   after   the   Masjids   were   full.   I   considered   all   of   this   to   be   a   beautiful experience for me, but then something else happened. My   African   tour   guide   told   me   that   he   could   take   me   to   an   Islamic   religious   leader   and   receive   a   blessed   pouch   from   him   that   had   pages   from the   Holy   Quran   in   it.   He   told   that   this   pouch   would   protect   me   from   all   harm   if   I   would   wear   it   around   my   neck.   Also,   he   said   to   me   that   if   I were   in   a   plane   crash,   I   would   be   the   only   one   to   be   blessed   to   survive.   Furthermore,   if   someone   tried   to   shoot   me   with   a   gun   that   the   bullet will   not   hurt   me.   I   told   this   person   that   I   am   sorry,   but   I   cannot   accept   that   gift   because   this   was   not   my   religion   or   my   belief.   Most   of   the Muslim   men   that   I   talked   to   in   Dakar   tried   to   convince   me   that   their   form   of   Islam   is   better   than   others   because   they   had   the   belief   in   magic, but   I   did   not   see   it   that   way.   I   was   also   shocked   when   I   realize   that   most   of   the   Muslim   men   were   wearing   all   types   of   pouches   under   their clothes   to   protect   them   from   the   many   things   that   they   feared.   However,   I   was   impressed   with   how   sincerely   the   Africans   in   Dakar   Senegal believed   in   what   they   thought   to   be   true.   I   remember   saying   to   myself   that   the   Africans   believe   more   profoundly   than   any   people   I   have   ever seen. I considered unfortunate that they were thinking in the wrong way. While   I   was   hearing,   and   seeing   all   this,   I   realized   that   there   were   no   superstitious   beliefs   in   me   and   that   they   could   not   sell   me   on   their   ideas about   magic   or   their   superstitions.   After   realizing   this,   all   sorts   of   thoughts   from   the   past   started   bombarding   my   mind.   For   example,   the white   man   took   away   my   history   in   Africa,   my   language   and   I   know   nothing   about   my   past   people.   It   was   at   that   moment   I   realized   that   God had blessed me to be free, and from that point on I began to reconsider everything that I believed and thought to be true. I   believe   that   the   Holy   Quran   was   introduced   incorrectly   to   the   people   in   this   part   of   Africa.   When   any   teachings   from   God   come   to   a   new people,   they   must   be   willing   to   leave   behind   anything   that   God   says   is   wrong.   I   do   not   doubt   that   the   first   Africans   who   received   the   Holy Quran   clung   to   their   superstitions   and   mixed   them   up   with   the   teachings   from   the   Quran.   Then,   they   passed   this   mixer   of   the   truth   from   the Quran   down   to   their   next   generation.   Now   their   tribal   superstitions   are   so   intertwined   with   the   teachings   from   the   Holy   Quran   to   where they’re   unable   to   identify   the   truth   from   the   falsehood.   Most   African   Americans   look   at   the   fact   that   they   have   no   knowledge   of   their   past   in Africa   as   a   curse   and   a   disadvantage,   but   I   now   look   at   it   as   a   blessing.   I   do   not   doubt   that   if   I   was   born   in   Dakar,   Senegal   that   I   would   believe the same things that everyone else here thinks. Nevertheless, I am feeling very thankful to God I wasn’t born in Africa. In   the   Holy   Quran   God   tells   us   that   He   made   the   earth   manageable   for   man,   and   I   believe   this   is   why   He   made   this   creation   based   on   science. In   the   Holy   Quran,   I   can   see   the   introduction   of   science   in   the   story   of   Abraham   when   he   looked   at   the   star,   the   moon   and   the   sun   as   gods until   the   real   God   showed   him   the   laws   that   were   governing   these   things.   I   believe   that   we   can   also   see   the   same   example   in   the   story   of   the creation   of   Adam   when   God   taught   him   the   nature   of   all   things.   When   a   people   study   the   laws   governing   the   world,   it   will   give   them   the ability   to   accumulate   a   lot   of   information   that   can   be   passed   on   to   their   next   generation.   Then,   the   next   generation   wouldn’t   have   to   start   off   at the   same   point   as   the   previous   one.   They   would   only   need   to   start   where   the   last   generation   left   off.   This   process   of   growth   and   development is   the   concept   that   we   have   today   with   the   modern   university.   When   someone   goes   to   a   university,   they   will   learn   everything   that   was accumulated   on   their   subject   so   that   they   wouldn’t   have   to   start   from   the   beginning.   Our   modern-day   society   developed   on   this   cultural system   of   scientific   growth   and   development.   If   you   had   the   formula   for   any   scientific   progress,   no   matter   how   many   times   you   experimented with   it   you’re   going   to   get   the   same   results.   The   recipe   is   not   going   to   do   one   thing   for   one   person   and   another   for   someone   else.   God   the Creator,   don’t   need   science   because   all   He   needs   to   do   to   create   anything   is   say   be.   However,   our   development   through   the   knowledge   of science has given humanity a way to manage the world. However,   a   society   that   believes   in   magic   and   superstitions   have   no   way   to   pass   their   knowledge   down   to   their   next   generation   to   develop farther.   It’s   not   like   in   the   movie   Harry   Potter   where   they   had   a   book   of   potions   where   they   can   get   the   same   results   every   time   one   would cast   the   same   spell.   The   closest   thing   I   have   seen   to   real   magic   in   this   world   is   my   Samsung   Galaxy   phone   with   the   Internet   and   all   its   apps.   I can   call   and   talk   to   anyone   anywhere   on   this   planet   with   a   device   that   can   fit   into   my   pocket.   It’s   like   the   old   concept   of   a   crystal   ball   where   I can   ask   the   Internet   any   question   I   wanted,   and   it   will   give   me   the   correct   answer   in   a   matter   of   seconds.   However,   we   all   know   that   this magic   comes   to   us   through   the   development   of   science   over   many   generations.   Also,   we   know   that   anyone   can   learn   how   this   device   works   if we wanted to by going to a university.    A   lot   of   people   believe   that   the   many   problems   that   we   see   in   Africa   today   are   a   result   of   the   African   slave   trade   and   we   blame   it   all   on   the white   man.   However,   the   only   thing   that   I   see   holding   the   African   people   back   is   their   belief   in   magic   and   superstition.   Furthermore,   I   know without   a      doubt   that   the   white   man   did   not   give   them   their   belief   in   magic.   If   God   would   bless   the   Africans   to   be   great   and   prosperous   in   the world   the   very   thing   that   they   believe   that   is   wrong   will   be   the   thing   they   would   give   credit   to   for   their   success.   Then,   their   example   would encourage the rest of the world to think as they do. There   was   nothing   good   about   the   enslavement   of   the   Africans   on   this   side   of   the   world,   but   white   people   did   not   make   slaves   of   the Africans.   It   was   the   Africans   that   made   slave   masters   out   of   the   white   people.   The   truth   is   that   before   the   first   white   man   came   into   Africa, the   Africans   and   the   Arabs   already   had   a   thriving   slave   trade   in   operation.   The   first   white   men   that   arrived   in   this   location   of   Africa   was looking   for   gold,   but   they   were   offered   slaves   instead.   What   all   believers   in   God   must   accept   to   submit   their   will   in   obedience   to   God   is   that all   good   is   from   God   and   that   all   bad   is   from   ourselves.   Humanity   has   a   contract   with   God   that   no   evil   can   come   into   our   lives   until   we disobey God first. The   number   one   problem   that   I   see   that   most   human   beings   have   on   this   earth   is   that   we’re   clingers.   Even   when   we   know   a   belief   or   way   of life   is   not   suitable   for   us,   we   still   choose   to   cling   to   it.   I   believe   the   African   Americans   have   a   unique   opportunity   to   be   the   new   people   of God   but   only   those   who   are   willing   to   obey   God’s   concept   of   right   and   wrong   and   follow   His   guidance.   The   unique   opportunity   that   I   believe God   has   blessed   the   African   Americans   with   is   that   we   have   less   to   cling   to   than   any   other   people   on   the   face   of   the   earth.   God   has   separated the   African   American   people   from   Africa   and   their   many   superstitions   of   the   past.   Many   African   people   went   into   slavery   to   this   part   of   the world, and most of them went to places other than the United States, such as the Caribbean and South America. I have traveled to many of the islands   in   the   Caribbean,   and   I   have   found   that   most   of   the   African   descendants’   people   there   also   believe   in   and   practice   magic   in   some   way. Here   in   the   United   States,   we   all   know   that   in   New   Orleans   the   African   descendants’   people   there   have   a   firm   belief   in   magic   and   that   you can get some roots put on you down there. All   over   the   world   black   people   are   still   considered   to   be   cursed   by   God,   and   I   believe   that   God   wants   to   give   the   African   American   Believers an   opportunity   to   prove   the   story   of   Ham   a   lie.   Today,   there   are   African   Americans   who   are   claiming   to   be   the   original   Hebrew   Israelites,   and I   have   even   heard   white   Jews   in   videos   on   YouTube   say   that   the   black   man   is   the   original   Hebrew   Israelites.   Whether   this   is   true   or   not   it doesn’t   matter,   because   God’s   promise   is   only   within   reach   of   the   righteous.   If   black   people   had   God’s   blessings   in   the   past   and   God   took   it away, then this must mean that they were no longer obeying God as righteous people. Also,   there   are   those   who   want   to   reconnect   to   Africa,   its   history,   and   past   great   civilizations   as   a   way   of   solving   black   people’s   problems here   in   the   United   States   today.      However,   we   don’t   need   to   go   back   into   the   past   to   find   success   by   taking   on   customs   and   traditions   of   a people   long   gone.   Think   about   it,   if   we   start   practicing   customs   and   traditions   of   a   people   from   the   past   we   may   be   bringing   from   the   past some   of   the   very   things   that   got   them   in   trouble   with   God   in   the   first   place.      All   we   need   to   do   to   become   the   most   successful   people   on   earth is   to   be   the   first   to   come   back   to   obeying   God   as   righteous   people.   Then,   God   will   bless   us   to   live   a   victorious   life   here   on   earth   that   no   other people in history have ever lived. Plus, we will find God’s promise true in the hereafter where we will live forever in Heaven. Download or share