..but Jesus had an Afro

“Does is matter what color Jesus Christ was?” This was one of the questions from our Roundtable discussion last week. There were a wide range of responses, but I want to focus on one of the main points. Regardlesswhite jesus black jesusof Jesus’ “color” or “race” the Bible states very clearly-Jesus had hair of wool. I.E. nappy hair like you and me. So why do the majority of the images that we see (including the black ones) show Jesus with a perm? I did not realize they had relaxers like that back in the day! This is a very important question. To what extent do the institutions in this country (Religious and otherwise) reinforce white supremacy? Deen addressed this question in his post, How Much Is Your Name Worth? Why are Eurocentric names, characteristics, etc. valued more?

This brings me to a club in Richmond, VA called Big Daddy’s Sports Club. Big Daddy’s enforces a very strict dress code, banning hairstyles such as dreadlocks and cornrows, baggy clothes, long chains and jerseys, strictly prohibiting brands such as Rockawear, FUBU and others. The owner insists,

“it’s not a race issue, but a way of protecting (ourselves) against potentially dangerous situations.” read more here.

Now this may seem like a stretch to some of you, but I argue that these phenomena are linked. It is the collaborative effort of all of the institutions in this country (religious, economic, educational, political, judicial, media and so on) to perpetuate and reinforce white supremacy. I wonder if the owner of Bid Daddy’s would so closely associate danger with black hairstyles if knew that it is was more likely that Jesus wore dreadlocks (gasp) than the mullet in which he is so often portrayed. There is a connection between seeing Jesus with a perm and associating strait hair with “Godliness” and “purity”. And as Big Daddy’s shows us, the legacy of demonizing blackness (and Black hair) lives on. And Black people internalize this. That is why so many of us are in schools and in the workplace with perms (though, because of the same racist paradigm, many Blacks cannot get employed because of thier “black” hairstyles-or names, apparently).

The point of this post is two-fold. 1. to develop (at least one) perspective of the institutions in which we live. and 2. to rally our troops in opposition to that institution which does not have our best interests in mind. We should embrace our “hair of wool” unconditionally, because it is beautiful and it is “Godly”. Furthermore, putting those dangerous chemicals in our hair is only burning away our pride and heritage.

Can i get an Amen?

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Published on October 12, 2006 at 11:50 pm. 16 Comments.
Filed under black culture,black image,spirituality.