Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts
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
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.
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.
listening to "Faith of our Fathers"
From Death Row,
this is Mumia Abu-Jamal
2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Check out Mumia's
"Faith of Our Fathers: An Examination of the Spiritual Life
of African and African-American People" at www.africanworld.com
The Power of Truth
is Final Free Mumia!
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© copyright 2004 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.