Monday, July 27, 2009

Is Jesus Black?

I read a blog post from someone who I can't seem to remember where I found them and from who's blog that it was linked so I apologize if I'm repeating something incorrectly. But, in the post, she talked about how Black girls have always had problems identifying with being princesses because every princess in every fairy tale is usually white. (Yes, I do know that the Frog Prince is coming out and there will be (finally) a Black princess in the movie).

I thought about how one of my daughters walked around with a yellow towel on her head for "hair" and how she'd point to little girls that were white and say, "I wish I was pretty like her."

Flash back to when I was her age, I also felt the same way. Then, entering into my teens, I pined after boys that were usually non-Black with hopes that they would "crush" on me, but it never happened. The ones that they went for were not Black girls.

Even in church, there were always pictures of Jesus having long, flowing blonde or brown hair and looking more or less White. Now, please don't misunderstand me, it's not that it is a problem if you view Jesus as white, black, asian or hispanic, the point is, why is he more acceptable if he is depicted white instead of Black or Asian?

Also, with Santa. I grew up thinking that there was no such thing as a Black santa. All I saw around me were white santas so in my mind, the good things came from a White santa.

Now that I have Baby Boo in my life and she is Black and Hispanic, I'm seeing the beauty of her heritage. Does it matter? Yes, it does but the reason why it matters is because no matter what her ethnicity is, she is and will grow up knowing that she is absolutely gorgeous! The haters that judge people because of the color of their skin need to realize one thing...we all bleed the same!!!

I would love to hear your ideals on this. What ethnicity is Jesus to you? When you were a kid, what ethnicity was Santa? Have you dealt with racism and how?

20 comments:

lagirl said...

I always figured people saw Jesus as their own race, whatever that might be. I always mentally picture him white, though I know he is Jewish, so that would actually make his skin "browner" and his features strongly Jewish, rather than caucasion...Two of my four children are redheads and some of my husbands family acted as though their hair was "freakish" when they were born and made hurtful, rude remarks directly to me, hurting my feelings countless times when I was a young Mom. People have very strange ideas as to what is beautiful...Great blog topic.

Tami said...

Simone when you told me about this post over the phone, I giggled, because I agree. I always think of Jesus, as a darker skinned man,
Everyone is allowed to view Jesus in their own right, not how the "world" sees him. but how you view him. Just matters that you love him. and you DO!

People can be ignorant as I see above, where they made HURTFUL comments to a young mother because of red hair. Sadly this is how our sick social behavior goes. NOT all. But some.

GREAT TOPIC SIMONE! I GOT'CHA GIRLIE!

HuGZ

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Great post....

Ina in Alaska said...

I just wish people would simply treat others as they themselves would wish to be treated, think before speaking, think outside the "box". No matter the color or handicap or intellectual achievements, we do all bleed the same, cry the same tears, want the best for our families, etc. etc. What goes around always comes around!!

zunzun said...

Actually, I'm concerned that most of the movie the "princess" will be a "frog" which kinda of defeats the pupose of finally having one that black girls could identify with but I'm hoping I'm wrong.

I'm Hispanic with a Black daughter and fostering Native American children. The other day we were reading a kid's bible and EVERYONE (from Adam to Jesus) was white with blond hair...we had some interesting discussions about race, not believing everything that is on print, and how unlikely that they were all white in the part of the world & time.

Love your blog by the way (delurking I guess!LOL)

Veronica Lee said...

For a long time, my boys thought God looked like Morgan Freeman!
The image I have of Jesus is the one I see in the holy pictures and statues we have in a Catholic Church - a bearded brown man. Definitely not white, black or asian.

Deidra said...

I love this post! You ask some great questions. As a child I just assumed that Jesus was white, because that's all I ever saw. Then I went through a phase where I insisted that Jesus was black. As I got older, I realized that Jesus was a Jewish man when he walked this earth. The cool thing about it is that none of this really matters to Jesus and he never stopped watching out for me...no matter what color I needed him to be. You also asked us about racism and yes, I've experienced that. I've also experienced sexism, agism and what I like to call regionism (east coast vs. midwest). All the isms belong to the people who practice them, though. And the older I get, the more I realize that I've got a few of my own to work on. Thanks for making me think this morning!

Kwana said...

Great post today. Jesus' skin color does not matter especially given the spectrum of colors in the black race. The reality is though that the images that kids see every day to make an impression in their self image and they need to view all sorts of images in prominent positions.
We have to teach to love and respect one another no matter the race.
Also that God loves all people and no one has more or less value because of their skin color.

Tami said...

I awarded YOU

Now since I'm so not into rules, heh heh, all you have to do is pass them on.

I hate rules. LOL.

Butler and Bagman said...

I identify myself as Christian on forms and have gained over many years a strong belief in God which tends to be Christian-ish. But I tune out when people or books start forcing human definitions on Him or Her or It or Them. I guess I think of the historical Jesus as Middle Eastern, but I don't think of the living Jesus as having skin at all...or legs or arms...and if God did decide to appear to someone in bodily form, God could take any form God wanted. God is God, for God's sake!

Justine said...

Well, I believe Jesus is depicted as white because from written history on him, he was white. They also have the shroud that surrounded him with the imprint of his face on it. Features are white. So there's that.

That being said, who gives a diggidy dong which color he actually is, or which color people think of him as. Color, to me, is insubstantial. Means nothing. I've seen beautiful and ugly people in every race there is.

Thank God times have changed so drastically, but I'm guessing we still need a lot more changing.

Btw... even as a honky I did the yellow or white towel thing as a kid. I wanted to be a blonde back then!

What ethnicity is Jasmine? I haven't seen many of those Disney movies, but wtg on finally having a black one! Woot woot!

Justine :o )

blueviolet said...

I grew up with the stereotypical views of Jesus and Santa just like you did. But, I actually now believe that Jesus was not white like I saw so often. I think he was a darker skinned man as would have been the average person from that area. I like my new picture better.

King of New York Hacks said...

Jesus was an arab...however I did like the good times episone where Michael paints a black jesus..Why not ??

Mariah said...

I think Jesus is white, but I could SOOOOOOOO be wrong, I'm usualy wrong

Danica said...

Love your honesty!!!

I deal with racism every day now that I'm dating a black man. It's terribly sad. He is no different from me. Just because he's black doesn't mean he's not educated, funny, good looking, etc. I love LW because of who he is, not because he's one color over the other.

As for Jesus, I was raised in a very Lutheran upbringing so Jesus was always white, but that doesn't mean that my views haven't changed once I got older. After reading "The Shack" I realized Jesus could be black, could be white, could be a woman. Jesus is who we want him to be in our minds. He exists but it's all in how we view him.

You know how I feel about racism. It's an ugly word.

Tooj said...

I think it's very easy for people to say "just treat others how you want to be treated" and THINK they're doing it. Most situations today, regarding race, are subconcious beliefs inbedded in us. The majority of issues aren't blatant, overt, or verbal. They're bred into us through stereotypes passed along, stereotypes lived out, influences we meet in our day to day lives. I think what lagirl said is most accurate for me with regard to religion or fantasy figures. I supposed that they viewed them as their own race. And unfortunately, I can say I never put a lot of thought into how others viewed these figures as a young person. It wasn't until I was older and came to appreciate all the different influences surrounding us that I was able to reflect and see "from their perspective". It always shocks me when I come across grown adults who have never reflected on that, or at least come to see that the view of someone with darker or lighter skin color just might be very different from their view. They just "EXPECT" people to feel as they do, think as they do, see things as they do. I strongly believe you can't get on the same page with others who differ from you until you see where they came from.

mother goose said...

i was brought up believing that santa is white and so is Jesus. but I never had the connotation that they should be any other color. I wish i had blonde hair and blue eyes when I was younger because everything in the media said that I needed that, however with the super models and our blended country there is beauty in every race and color. We need to as mothers of any race other than caucassion to always point out beautiful women of all colors, and sizes. An appreciation for beauty and I think they won't have a complex about black white or other.

Thirtysomething aka Mama Grits said...

Applause! To me, Jesus is simply...love. Love doesn't have a color. I honestly don't think of Jesus as any color. I have experienced hurtful remarks from others when my daughter was alive - she had special needs. But to all who knew her and loved her...it didn't matter what was seen on the outside. We loved the spirit, the light that was...Her.

Thirtysomething aka Mama Grits said...

100! Yeah I am number 100th follower!! Why this is exciting to me, I don't know...
Had to post again just to say yeah for 100 readers!! ok..too much time with small children...

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