Alan Dean Artist

An African American Story

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
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