Date of Degree

2-2022

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor

Jessie Daniels

Subject Categories

African American Studies | Africana Studies | Creative Writing | Nonfiction | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies

Keywords

Black Existence, Black Identity, Epistemic Violence, Black Curses, White Christianity, Healing

Abstract

How does white Christian doctrine fragment Black existence? When African slaves bound in chains landed on the shores of the Americas, they brought their religious and cultural traditions into that oppressive environment. They were dehumanized and compelled to embrace white Christian doctrine enforced on them by white theologians and white enslavers. Slaves were branded as inhuman and inferior beings. Biblical scriptures became a vessel for their prayers, dreams and sacred ceremonies. They transformed their deities into biblical prophets. Their African identity, religious and cultural beliefs were demolished and shrouded with biblical mis-interpretations to promote white supremacy.

This capstone project WHO TAUGHT YOU TO HATE YOURSELF: Disentangling My Black Identity from White Christian Doctrine is a creative non-fiction narrative, which chronicles some of my personal experiences with the doctrine of white Christian thought resulting in emotional upheaval about my Black identity from the age of sixteen and well into my thirties. While in the dark about my Black existence and consciousness, always in a battle with myself, I was constantly spoon fed by mother through the use of biblical scriptures that was mis-interpreted to declare that Black people are cursed.

My entire existence was impacted––intellect, psyche, skin color and body image. I was molded into a Black adolescent with a white vision where I strived to fix myself to emulate white consciousness. It would take many years to disentangle from injected biblical epistemic violence. I began by studying African indigenous Yoruba theology, which was syncretized in Cuba with Catholicism into the Lucumi/Santeria practice. It helped me learn to accept my Black identity. I came to realize that even the Lucumi/Santeria practice also reeks with some of the Christian doctrine of white supremacy.

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