Note: Instead of suspending Whoopi Goldberg over comments she made recently on The View, ABC News could have explored several of these identity and classification issues.
Some African Americans with deep North American roots have been conditioned to equate the genesis of our history to the arrival of our ancestors to America. Many of us allow our minds to sail back only to places such as the Cape Coast Castle in present day Ghana, Kunte Kinte Island in The Gambia, and Gorée in Senegal - - all with their infamous “Door of No Return.”
We have been taught that it was America that introduced us to Christianity, though believers and tourists have flocked to the Christian churches carved out of rock in Lalibela, Ethiopia since the 1100s, 500 years before the first Blacks landed in English America. The truth is, God designed us to be his chosen people and even some of the slave master’s children have preached this gospel.
It was on the Continent where God stooped down, embraced the deep rich dark soil, and created His first man and woman. This is the genesis of our history.
Though often overlooked, and intentionally under-preached, Africa was the pivotal region in the Old Testament. The Old Testament is replete with stories set in the major metropolises of the Nile Valley including modern-day Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan. In the Bible, modern day Ethiopia/Sudan is often referred to as Cush, or territory near the Red Sea, where water from the Garden of Eden flowed.
In the New Testament, Africa became the refuge where Mary and Joseph hid Jesus from King Herod’s decree. The decree was to kill all Jewish male babies under two to make sure baby Jesus was killed. He wanted Jesus dead because he felt Jesus would usurp his throne.
In Hosea 4:6, God says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Marcus Garvey echoed those sentiments when he said, “People without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture are like a tree without roots.”