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Spiritual Death in the Hood

March 30, 2013

I’m realizing that no government program or foundation can completely fix the brokenness that we see in the hood. The problem isn’t poverty itself, or racism itself, or even misguided public policy itself. The people are suffering from spiritual death. Centuries of degradation have crushed the souls of black folk. If you pay attention you can see the light fade from a child’s eyes as they grow. By the time they become an adult it is nearly dark.

What our people need is not more welfare or jobs program per se, our people need spiritual rejuvenation – an understanding that we all are valuable as children of God. Over and over again I hear from people that “I just want to get around something positive.” Because they are surrounded by negativity and spiritual death.

We have hundreds of churches and other houses of worship in Harlem, and yet they are not effectively going out and ministering to the needs and the souls of the people. A job will not fill the hole in a soul that leads people to drink, or smoke, or abuse some other substance. What is a job when your spirit is suffering? That’s why some anti-poverty efforts don’t work, because they are missing the point.

Listen to “Fear Not of Man” by Mos Def on Black on Both Sides. He poses the question “how do people get better” and responds that the people get better “when they start to understand that they are valuable. And they’re not valuable because they got a whole lot of money or because somebody think they sexy but they’re valuable because they’ve been created by God. And God makes you valuable.”

We’re missing the fact that God makes us valuable. Since we don’t value ourselves it is easy call each other nigga, bitch, hoe, and every other name. Since we don’t value ourselves it’s easy to pull a trigger on each other.

Our spiritual leaders need to get into the community more to minister to needs of the people. We as individuals need to get out and minister to needs of the people. Otherwise we’ll have another generation of what Nas calls “Black Zombies.”

From → Commentary, Faith

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