Saturday, March 01, 2008

Sight + Sound of the Day

This is the sound of my Southern childhood on Sundays. There was so much I hated about church as a young boy that I would often literally become ill while getting dressed to go. But for all the faults I could cite with the black church (and they are many), and while it's not the place I find spiritual solace or locate my "faith" now, I find it hard to be as completely dismissive of it as so many folks I know. Not only because of its immeasurable historical significance to black politics and culture, (a significance that now often darkly shadows clear-eyed evaluation of the modern church's political and cultural roles, its backwardness/hatefulness/impotence) but also because my own family embodies a practice of Christianity that is truly loving and non-judgmental. Neighborhood 'hos and homos, the homeless and the hungry have all found shelter at one point or another in some aunt's/uncle's/mother's home, and that outreach was rooted in my family putting into practice the teachings of Christ as they understood them. The only Sundays I didn't dread (in fact looked forward to) were those that were Women's Day, because then I knew the women's choir would be singing... and they never disappointed me.


Anonymous said...

Peace be still. Yes! Thank you for this Wattstax moment.

ReggieH said...

It gets into your blood stream, doesn't it? Into your psyche....I can be away from church for years, and that organ starts up and the humming and *that sound*....and somehow I know the words to these hymns I know I haven't heard in ages....amazing. You can love it, and wrestle with it at the same time