We all know there were a lot of wow moments from the Royal Wedding; it’s like its significance kept getting greater and greater as we watched an interracial woman with a black mother don the title of Duchess of Sussex. We were in awe as so much black cultural infusions filled St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
As I watched and reflected on this monumental moment, it was hard not to think about the historical significance of it all…I was immediately reminded of some research I came across while writing the book The Ferguson Dilemma: Healing America’s Racial Wounds.
I found that the Queen of England initially did not want to allow slavery in England when the financial “opportunity” to purchase human chattel was presented to her, but after realizing the magnitude of profit she changed her position. Due to this choice, the triangular slave trade from Africa to Europe and the Islands/Americas exploded.
To see so much of costly black cultural mixture in the same location that slavery was initiated was a prophetic sign to the world. It showed us that GOD is a Redeemer.
He has not forgotten the hundreds of years and millions of lives that were in heavy bondage. He has not forgotten the prayers of slaves that were heard in the heat of southern plantation nights; the underground black slave church that interceded their way out of chattel hell.
He has not forgotten and he is still in the business of exalting the humble.
Our ancestors were humbled by a situation that was out of their control, but like an oyster rubbing up against its shell many pearls have been developed through that challenge:
- Slave spirituals and Rich songs- there is a clear generational blessing in our songs. Our descendants sing music with a depth that is unique to black culture. To see a black choir sing with that blessed inheritance was a kiss from heaven to the black community. “I see you and will reverse the shame on you, your voice will be heard.” The song, “Amen…Amen…Amen…Amen…Amen…” has been heard in almost every black church in America. As Duchess Meghan walked off those steps, her mother (ancestor) standing behind her…it was as if you could hear the blessing of God saying, “It is finished” “Don’t worry” “I will recompense and save you from the injustices in your land and on your generations” “I will turn you back to me and me to you”
- Our Preaching- there is richness and deep heartfelt organic style to our preaching that has come from years of persecution. It comes from the way we have been through trusting on Him from generation to generation. It is the preaching heard from ministerial greats such as Reverend Martin Luther King and Fred Shuttlesworth. Bishop Curry represents a type. There are so many more Bishop Curry’s in America, preaching up a storm every Sunday, preaching until the people rise out of depression, oppression and confusion. These voices give hope and heal. They are the unofficial “psychologists” the “emotional doctors” the ones we lean on as a pillar. The world was in awe at this hidden gift as God placed years of our buried voices on display. This is a sign that the black church has a gift she should not be ashamed of; it will heal the world. It was also a sign that the world is ready for the black church to go, preach the gospel, share it with other cultures and be authentically you. He will create the platform!
- Our Strong Women- Many times our women have had to stand alone as Mothers. Ms. Doria Ragland also represents a type. She is the woman who has been to every game, changed hundreds of diapers, cleaned the home countless times, went to work, started a career, created impossible income, mothered other children in the community and led social care all while teaching her daughters and sons to be strong in a counter culture environment. The Lord is showing the world that this strength is beyond our understanding. He has formed this strength in obscurity and through much trial, but it matches the strength of a centuries old royal company. These women will lead the world into inspiration, needed comfort, and the preaching of the gospel if they continue to surrender to His will. The battle has been real but the reward to losing our children on the streets, police brutality, so many prayers and trusting on the Word is yet to be seen. Eye has not seen, ear has not hear, we can’t even imagine the cross cultural revival about to come out of the seed of black women.
- Our Powerful Churches- In the few past decades there has been a decline in embracing our church history and tropes. We would rather embrace what is easier for the majority culture to understand. I even saw this coping mechanism in Zambia, Africa as Zambians began to be more structured, holding back emotion during mixed cultural services. But when we got alone with them the colorful, bold, expressive nature of their songs (which sounded just like black spirituals) began to explode through the atmosphere. I was so happy to be with them and connected to their songs, whispering to one of the elder ladies “How long have you sang these songs?” Her response was a blank face, “We do not know…forever” It is so important that we don’t trade our inheritance, our culture uniqueness to blend with other cultures, the world needs who we are, not just what we can temper down for their liking. Trust God to help them filter through our expressions and see its richness. Our history cannot be separated from our church experiences and expressivity. That is part of who we are and how we got to where we are.
- Our Young Men- We are able to excel in what would normally be seen as predominantly white cultural expressions such as classical music. We have a gift! And our young men are under attack in more ways than one (to see the least) but their gifts will continue to make room for them in the nations. God has not forgotten the power of our boys who have been targeted and frozen in prison cells. They will be fathers again, brothers again, husbands again. The battle is not over. They will be used greatly. Pray for their deliverance from ill-willed powers that be so their voice can be used and heard.
There are many more pearls that were seen at the Royal Wedding but these five shout the need for us to be given a platform around the world, not for our own glory but for His. It is time to cross the Middle Passage waters again so that we can begin to share these pearls with a lost and dying world.
To the Black Bride…you are needed.
Whenever we go to Africa the people are amazed to hear our voice and want to know our story. But they do not know and have yet to see us. When this happens I believe an explosion will occur like we have never seen of authentic worldwide revival. And we will be healed of seeing ourselves as victims.
We will begin to see that we are the healing balm the nations need. It is our voice, our gospel, our authenticity that the world is aching for (this does not mean other nations don’t have a gift, but there is something chosen about our story that is relevant and relatable to oppressed peoples world-over).
The Royal Wedding reminds us that yes, we are dark and our sisters have made fun of us, but we are lovely.
Yes, we are in pain due to years of oppression and current racism, but we are more than overcomers.
Yes, we are longing for answers to why we were brought to a foreign land and feel like we have to blend in to be heard but the time is now…God is going to give us platforms as He did to Esther.
He is taking the “orphan child” and favoring her with royalty. He is marrying her to royalty so that she can be an example of His healing redemptive nature to a world that needs to know she is His.
We understand pain so we can comfort pain and that is what happened as our dignity was restored at the Royal Wedding.
We are part of the Bride that Christ cherishes and died for.
You are the answer. It is time to be unapologetically you in gratitude and honor of your ancestors that would be squealing in delight to see what happened that glorious day a black mother watched her daughter redeem the years that had been stolen.
Be encouraged and inspired, now is God’s chosen time for an intercultural worldwide missions movement to come out of the black community and it may come in a way we never imagined.