The First Afrikan Church has just completed a Lenten Bible Study entitled Lent and Africentric Christian Ministry in the Era of the Alt Right. During this study, reflections from the Lenten study guide entitled Lenten Reflections on the Belhar were coupled with selected biblical passages and questions containing power-filled Afrikan sociological notions like Ubuntu, Harambee, and Umoja to discern the sort of witness that Afrikan descended peoples in North America must bear as racism, xenophobia, sexism and classism boldly, unashamedly and even arrogantly conjoin in the highest offices in the land. Several revelations were evident.
Social, economic, and spiritual unity (Umoja) is the most powerful and effective antidote Afrikans and all other aggrieved, exploited, and oppressed peoples can obtain and inject (in terms of psycho-social consciousness and behavioral practice) to guard against the poison of white supremacist, narcissistic thoughts and behaviors.
As a people whose spending power reached $1.1 Trillion in 2016, it is imperative that small Black-owned businesses in predominantly Black and all Black communities must become the primary recipients of Black consumerism. This step calls for and even demands a bit of sacrifice because it will take time for Black business persons to respond to the needs and interests of the Black consumer. Yet failure to redirect Black dollars to Black people can only result in the ultimate failure of every institution important to Afrikans in America – families, schools, religious institutions, colleges and universities, civic organizations, etcetera (Ujima and Ujamaa).
Afrikan peoples are historically a spiritual people. We continue to be. The current events taking place on the stage of human experience remind us that conscious, constant engagement with Spirit is both a survival strategy and a powerful and revolutionary tactic for holding back and ultimately defeating the exploitive and oppressive powers and principalities of the so-called ‘new world order’ (Muntu and Ubuntu).
As Christians we reconnect and renew our commitments to our Afrikan Messiah who insisted that we follow him, learn, internalize, and live out his teachings in the world. As Afrikans we build upon our memories of our pre-enslaved, pre-colonial Afrikan past as well as the legacies of our ancestors, both enslaved and free, and together develop a new Afrikan collective consciousness that enables us to walk powerfully, self-determinedly, and purposefully in the newness of life.
Pastor Mark Ogunwale Lomax
First Afrikan Church