The question is, “What will 2020 bring?” For us spiritually, culturally, health wise, relationships and economically, ready or not, here we come. Spiritually, I have discovered that something my mother said to me when I questioned why she changed churches from the one we all grew up after she got old. She simply said to me, “It’s too loud.” A white lady said to me she wouldn’t visit a black church because they are simply looking for your money. She said, “Black churches are simply looking for enough money to sustain themselves. They are the only churches looking for cash for survival.”
Whether I believe these two women or not, it deserves discussion. Sunday morning used to be church time. Period. Get up, get your fi nest clothes on, and go to hear the Word of God. Period! I remembered that on a visit to England where I noted the churches were empty, except the black churches. They were full. Now a lot of the black churches are empty. Why?
Television preachers like Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes and other mega-churches look like a baseball game full, including black folks. The preacher is talking to you, not screaming. The television show is over in an hour. Send in your survival money. I guess we are supposed to say nothing about our church. We’re to go, pray, pay, and obey. Don’t get me wrong, I learned to speak, perform, and get along with people at church. I think our young people could learn a lot about public speaking and leadership skills. If things don’t change, we will be looking for a Mega-type, Fellowship-white church to go to.
Culturally, I learned to sing in church. We didn’t have a sports program. I don’t know why. We did have a choir. I went to Sunday School. I gave my annual Easter and Christmas speech, memorized and spoken without notes. When I was older, I learned about Dr. King and the hatred that gave birth to the violence of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing and the Civil Rights Movement.
vil Rights Movement. I learned and I took my place in the movement. I read Malcolm, Frederick Douglas, Stokely Carmichael, Angela Davis and found that the struggle was a continuous one. I took my place, armed with the tools I had picked up in Sunday School and church.
Healthwise, I did my exercises daily, took the medicine I was prescribed, avoided illegal drugs, cigarettes and alcohol, did my duties and prepared for the daily battle of a black man.
For relationships, I hit the jackpot. I met and married young, fathered three sons and became a grandfather and great grandfather. I taught them well. They make me proud.
Economically, I went to school, worked hard and sometimes had two jobs. I went to college, got a career, worked for myself, bought income producing assets and have done well. I’ve travelled this country and abroad. Now I can say, “I’m OK”.
Happy New Year!