Alan Dean Artist

A African American Story 

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The Culure of Science or Supperstition
II    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   was   told   that   90%   of   the   people   in   Senegal   are   Muslims,   and   I   was   fascinated   by   the   wonderful   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.   When   their   Masjids were   filled,   the   people   would   line   up   by   the   hundreds   and   make   their   prayers   in   the   streets.   I   considered   all   of   this   to   be   a   beautiful   experience for me, however something else happened. I   was   told   by   my   African   tour   guide   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.   I   was   told   that   if   I   would   wear   this   pouch   around   my   neck   that   I   would   be   protected   from   all   harm.   Also,   he   told   me that   if   I   was   in   a   plane   crash   and   if   everyone   was   killed   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,   butI   did   not   see   it   that   way.   I   was   also   shocked   to   see   and   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.   Yet,   I   was   impressed   with   how   deeply   the   Africans   in   Dakar Senegal   believed   in   what   they   thought   to   be   true.   I   remember   saying   to   myself   that   the   Africans   believe   more   deeply   than   any   people   I   have ever seen, and that it was unfortunate that they were believing in the wrong things. While   I   was   hearing,   and   seeing   all   this   I   realized   that   there   were   no   superstitious   beliefs   in   me.   Also,   that   I   could   not   be   sold   into   their   beliefs in   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   when   the   Holy   Quran   was   first   introduced   to   the   Africans   of   this   area   it   was   introduced   to   them   incorrectly.   When   any   teachings from   God   come   to   a   new   people   they   must   be   willing   to   leave   behind   anything   that   God   say   is   wrong.   I   have   no   doubt   that   the   first   Africans who   received   the   Holy   Quran   clung   to   their   tribal   superstitions   and   mixed   it   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   have   no   doubt   that   if   I   was   born   in   Dakar,   Senegal   that   I would believe the same things that everyone else there believes. Nevertheless, I am feeling very thankful to God that 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   God   until   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   science   in   creation   it   will   give   them   the   ability   to   accumulate   a   lot   of information   about   the   creation   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   generation.   They   would   only   need   to   start   where   the   last   generation   left   off.   This   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   is   built   on   this   cultural   system   of   scientific   growth   and   development.   If   you had   the   formula   for   any   scientific   development,   no   matter   how   many   times   you   performed   the   experiment   with   that   formula   you’re   going   to   get the   same   results.   The   formula   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   need   to   do   to   create   anything   is   say   be.   However,   our   development   through   the   knowledge   of   science   has   given   man   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   build   upon. 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   is   as   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   successful   in   the   world   the very   thing   that   they   are   believing   that   is   wrong   will   be   the   thing   they   would   give   the   credit   to   for   their   success.   This   would   encourage   the   rest   of the world to believe 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   came   there   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.   Mankind   has   a   contract   with   God   and   the   contract   that   we   have   with   God   is   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   true   or   is   bad   for   us   we   still   choose   to   cling   to   it.   Even   when   God   sends   messenger   after   messenger   to   warn   us   against   the   evil   things   and people   in   our   lives,   many   of   us   continue   to   cling   to   things   that   is   wrong.   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   Africans   were   taken   into   slavery   to   this   part of   the   world.   Most   of   these   Africans   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   sort   of   way.   Here   in   the   United   States   we   all   know   that   in   New   Orleans   the   African   descendants’   people   there   have   a   strong   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   want   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   the   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   successful   life   here   on   earth   that   no   other   people   in   history have ever lived. Also, we will find God’s promise true in the hereafter where we will live forever in Heaven.                                                                                                                                                                                   Download or Share this Article