“Riddle me this: What did the Hood (Black Community) smell like on Easter Eve when we were growing up? Jeopardy Music…Time! Burning Hair.” The RevDr
I wrote down many ideas, behaviors, and things that were expected of me as I was growing up. Those expectations were generated through and by the culture of my race and the people I was around. There were important things like respecting my elders and the importance of family and friends; growing up with parents that wanted something better for themselves and their children; listening to the stories belonging to my ancestors and the ancestors of my race; being around music, dancing, and celebrations of accomplishment. Wanting to do well in life so that my people, those who invested in me, would be proud. I wanted them to be proud of me. These all were/are things that culturally were a part of my life as a young black man.
If I explored them all, I would have at least a 90-part series instead of an article. Not being able to examine all aspects of my cultural background, I thought to myself, “What aspect of my life, what activity did other Blacks and I participate in that had the most powerful influence in my life and the lives of others of my race and cultural background?” Church!
In my cultural background being Black in America, most times all we had was God and each other. The Black Church gave us a sense of belonging that we did not experience in our everyday life, especially in the South. In Church, we could showcase our gifts and talents, unless you sang better than Pastor’s daughter and had the nerve to want to sing lead in the choir. But if you take note, a whole lot of entertainers and musicians came out of The Black Church. Many great orators of our time developed their skills as children giving the Sunday School report to the adults towards the end of service. Many great Civil Rights leaders and people with a social justice mind set came out of the Black Church. Today’s Ballerinas and Alvin Ailey troupe members were once young praise dancers, dancing for the Lord.
Church was also the place where one could go for help and assistance. Church members were not about to see anyone suffer if in fact, they could help them. There was a deeply ingrained culture of survival within the Church. We all knew that we had to survive and sometimes that consisted of receiving assistance or giving assistance. It’s just something the Black Culture did. If we did not look out for ourselves and one another, no one else would.
Well, I was right; this could easily be a 90-part series. I just scratched the surface of the richness of my Black Culture. I can write about this because I grew up learning and participating in it. It is what I know. I can read about and listen to stories from other cultures and celebrate our sameness and differences. It is some cool stuff as I love always being open enough to learn something new. But for me and my house, culture reflects the Black Experience in America, whether mine or someone else’s. Celebrate your culture and make room to learn and accept others. Peace.
– Rev. Bobby
The Reverend Doctor Robert I. Yarbrough is an independent New Thought Minister, trained and steeped in Fillmorian Theology. He is a writer, author, lecturer, workshop / seminar facilitator and former television host, of “Eating From The Tree Of Life” in Chicago. His extraordinary Bible skills led him in his two year series on the book of The Revelation, where Rev. Bobby shared the secrets recorded in the most loving book in the Bible with others. His unique presentation style places audiences at ease which is always conducive for them to come away with some spiritual meat that they can immediately apply to their lives. In his newest book, 28 Days A Journey Within, Rev. Bobby establishes the bridge necessary for those ready to breakthrough and move all of their desires into manifest reality. Reverend Bobby is also a board member of the X-Tend-A-Hand Ministry in Chicago. He handles all pastoral care duties and functions as the non-profit expert as he incorporated the ministry and developed the 501 (c) (3) package. Rev. Bobby also fields, initiates and handles all communication between X-Tend-A-Hand and the government agencies that have oversight responsibilities for non profit organizations