The 19th century in America was a time of unprecedented injustice, as racism and wrongdoing were represented by the racial enslavement of African people in our country. A series of unofficial laws known as “The Black Code” governed the way white slave owners related with their African slaves. The precepts of the codes would negate basic human rights and remove any civil liberties among the Africans.
Cecil Robeck, historian of American Pentecostalism notes a very interesting observation of this phenomenon:
Think for a moment of Daniel and his friends. King Nebuchadnezzar took them from their native land and made them slaves…[there were things that he did] that most subsequent slaveholders have also found to be useful control mechanisms.
Cecil Robeck Jr.
These are the things:
- He separated them from their families
- He changed their names
- He forced them to learn a new language
- He attempted to change their cultural patterns
- He attempted to change their diet in keeping with their new culture
- And he ultimately ordered them to change their religion by requiring that they bow down to an idol
I thought that the comparison was fascinating.
Robeck writes that, as a result, most African slaves did not know form which African country they came. And these changes have contributed to significantly to questions of identity and self-esteem among many African Americans. The result of these inconceivable evils still bear their fruits today.
So, American white slave owners have succeed in following the Bible. They just followed the wrong guy.