Donate Email Alert Links Photo Gallery Mumia' Abu-Jamal's Radio Essays Prison Radio

Prison Radio
Mumia' Abu-Jamal's Radio Essays
Photo Gallery
Mumia Email Update
Mumia Gear
Radio Programmers
Contact Us





Mumia Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts

African Site Conversion

Long version: mp3, 2.96 MBs, 3:37
PDF version: 30.3 KBs

Africa- site of conversion

It is ironic that the land that gave birth to man on this planet is most often the site of intense conversion- a notion that implicitly suggests that a divine source however he or she may be denominated, somehow erred in the act of creation and that these first beings were perhaps flawed in form or perception. Africa, widely seen by archaeologists as the cradle of humanity, has in the last 500 years at least, been perceived and projected as the archetypal land of darkness whose benighted inhabitance needed salvation. This salvation was as much spiritual as temporal and justified European colonial expansion, exploitation and conquest of Africans for centuries. For parts of North Africa, Christianity has been a communal reality since the second and third centuries with its early Egyptian, Naustic and Coptic traditions.

Indeed Coptic liturgy sings of the flight into Egypt, of the infant Jesus and his parents saying "be glad and rejoice o Egypt and her sons and all her borders, for there has come to be the lord of man." Similarly, Ethiopia has been the seat of Christianity from antiquity and this late royal house traced its descent from the union of Israel's King Solomon and the Queen of Sheeba. The Solomonic tradition became the core symbol of Christian Ethiopia- the cornerstone of its sense of national identity. It was first recorded in the Kebra Negast- the glory of kings, written early in the 14th century but it has lived in Ethiopian hearts long before. The Coptic chronicle of the life of the Alexandrian patriarch Casmos born circa 928 D, refers to "Abyssinia, which is a vast country namely the kingdom of Saba from which the queen of the south came to Solomon." The Solomonic legend as related in the Kebra Negast, tells how the queen of Sheeba visited Solomon and after her return home, bore his child who grew up to become Menalich I of Oxum. When he grew up, he went to Jerusalem and took the Arch of the covenant back to his people. From then on, the Ethiopians considered themselves, rather than the Jews to be the chosen people of God.

That's according to Julius Lester's To Be a Slave, published in 1968. Not surprisingly, this ancient and thoroughly Africanized Christian-church, which laid claim to Solomonic dynasty, never became a sustained, European mission field. Portuguese enthralled by the legend of a Black Christian kingdom in Ethiopia, attempted to convert the nation to the Roman practice of Catholicism. But this attempt led to serious conflict and failure. They and the Jesuits were expelled in 1633. Spain and Portugal hoped this remote kingdom in Africa would become an ally of theirs against the expanding force of Islam and the rising power of the Ottoman Empire.

Given the expansion of Islam in the Northern African regions, in the 10th century, Ethiopia became increasingly isolated as did the Coptic communities in Egypt and elsewhere. Christian efforts of conversion therefore, were focused on West, Central and Southern Africa.

You've been listening to "Faith of our Fathers"

From Death Row, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal


Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal

Check out Mumia's NEW book:
"Faith of Our Fathers: An Examination of the Spiritual Life of African and African-American People" at

The Power of Truth is Final — Free Mumia!

International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370


Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa

Text © copyright 2004 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.