Black Image – Slavery in History: Lessons from the Bible

Go Lean Commentary

Let’s talk fallacies:

  • The Original Sin in the New World was slavery! No, wrong!
  • Slavery was prominent in the Bible, even among God’s people! No, wrong!
  • The Black race is cursed and was condemned to slavery! Again, No, wrong!

These fallacious statements are why the racial reconciliation in the New World has been so complicated; why Black Image continues to be degraded. There is religiosity that causes people to feel that they are justified, authorized and excused for repressing Black people. Therefore, this is the root cause analysis for why Black Image is so challenged.

(Consider the historicity of the First / Southern Baptist chasm in Appendix A below; the Southern Church approved slavery, segregation and White supremacy).

If only we can get religion out of the decision-making. For those with a Judeo-Christian heritage, there is this reminder:

The hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. – John 16:2

This is a commentary about Black Image and the Bible. This is a deep discussion! The movement behind the 2013 book Go Lean…Caribbean have asserted that this is an important discussion that have always needed to be addressed in this region.

The Church – religions and theologians – has not always been a good role model for the Caribbean. In fact, this dysfunction had been vocalized in a previous blog-commentary from August 30, 2018:

The same church that sanctioned and authorized the Slave Trade in the first place; (Pope Innocent VIII back in 1491). All of this history – then and now – forces us to ask these questions:

  • What role has the Church had on Caribbean life?
  • Has the Church been a uniting force … for good in the Caribbean?

These are important questions for the Caribbean. This commentary presents the thesis that the Church – the various religious organizations – have been a False Friend for integration, consolidation and collaboration among the Caribbean member-states.

This is the continuation of this Teaching Series for July 2020; this is entry 4-of-6, on Black Image. The Go Lean movement presents a series every month on issues germane to Caribbean life and prospects. This commentary asserts that we have to dispel the historic fallacies taught by the churches over the centuries. True, there has been successful reform since the bad old days of the Dark Ages – think; the Protestant Reformation – but more reform is needed. The false religious premises still have authority in public perceptions. We must message against that Bad Orthodoxy which is fueling the negative Black Image. The full catalog on Black Image is presented as follows:

  1. Black Image: Corporate Reboots
  2. Black Image: Pluralism is the Goal
  3. Black Image: Colorism – The Stain of Whiteness – Encore
  4. Black Image: Slavery in History – Lessons from the Bible
  5. Black Image: 1884 Berlin Conference – Beyond Slavery
  6. Black Image: The N-Word 101

The Go Lean book, as a roadmap for the introduction of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), is not a religious or Christian Manual, but it does touch on the subject. In fact, there is a chapter with this relevant title of “10 Lessons from the Bible“. See here, from Page 144, as the headlines of these lessons are presented from the actual advocacies, strategies, tactics and implementations:

1 Lean-in for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) to deploy a Bible-inspired brotherhood for the Region.
This treaty calls for the unification of the region into a single market, thereby expanding to an economy of 30 member-states, 42 million people in a confederacy to provide economic empowerment, homeland security and emergency management (disaster recovery). The CU is to be established on a constitution that at its root, instantiate principles from Judeo-Christian laws. The Bible is not a Book of Economics, but its writings are economically astute, as with the gleaning arrangement, dictating care for the orphans, widows, disabled, poor and the sick. These groups are concerns for the CU and targets of regional missions as a Trade Federation, to monitor/mitigate against Failed State indices.
2 Emigrate for Economic Reasons
3 Repatriate When Distress is Relieved
4 Plan for Public Works
5 Repatriate After Exile in Babylon
6 Build on Solid Foundation – Prepare for Natural Disasters
7 First Calculate the Cost – Have Complete Funding
8 Pay Caesar Things to Caesar – (Mark 12:17)
9 The “Sick and the Poor” Will Always Be With You – (John 12:8)
10 Silver and Gold I Do Not Have, But I Will Give… – (Acts 3:6)

Despite the thorough landscape of lessons from the Bible, the Go Lean book did not address the reflections of ‘Slavery in the Bible’. Let’s do that now.

Let my people go! – Moses to Pharaoh demanding the abolition of slavery for the Hebrews in Egypt.

Hebrews?! Egyptians?! Black Image?! All of these subjects are related.

For starters, Egypt is in Africa. So the ancient people were all Black Africans. Egypt was the first conquering World Empire in History. So it is appropriate for the revered Black Image of African-descended people in the New World being stripped from a lineage and legacy of conquering Kings and Queens in their Old Country.

See the VIDEO portrayal in the Appendix B below. This was actually a decades-long production sponsored by the Anheuser-Busch Brewery conglomerate. The company continued this earnest Public Relations campaign promoting Black Image based on the prior conquests in Africa.

So was the slavery in the New World then just a revenge-play for enslaving the Hebrew people in Moses day?

(There are certain parallels of the Hebrew Slavery in Egypt to the African Slavery experience in the New World; see the summary of this encyclopedic reference in Appendix C below).

Is this the premise for believing that the Bible sanctions slavery?

No. The idea of the Bible sanctioning slavery is actually a fallacy too; see the points in Appendix D below. Overall, here is the summary:

Lesson from the Bible
The mature analysis is that the Slave-Master relationship in the Bible depicts the modern Employee-Employer relationship; with an urging for employees to not be insubordinate nor combative and for employers to not be abusive nor promote a toxic work environment.

While we are at it, let’s debunk all those other fallacies:

Theory: The Original Sin in the New World was slavery!
Answer: The first victims of European Conquest were the indigenous people of the New World; starting immediately with Columbus’s discovery in 1492; African Slavery did not develop as an institution until 1619.

Theory: Slavery was prominent in the Bible, even among God’s people!
Answer: The agronomist society in Hebrew times called for every family having their own plot of land to cultivate; misfortunes resulted in someone “selling themselves” into servitude; ‘prisoners of war” or captured people were institutionalized as slaves, but not their children. These ones made up the population of “aliens in your midst”.

Theory: The Black race was cursed and condemned to slavery!
Answer: The curse was to Noah’s grandson Canaan (son of Ham), who settled in the Middle East, not Ham’s other sons Cush and Put, who settled in the African region.

This focus, remediating the damage of a bad orthodoxy – religious and/or White Christian European – has always been a mission of this Go Lean movement. In fact, the points of naming, blaming and shaming the hypocritical religious role models have been elaborated in many previous blog-commentaries; consider this sample here: Brain Drain – ‘Live and Let Live’: Introducing Localism Tolerating Chinese Culture – Allowing 1.5 Billion People to Just Be Themselves Refuse to Lose – Remediating the Bad History of ‘Columbus Day’ Accepting Black Women ‘As Is’ Despite Bad Bible Interpretation European Reckoning – Christianity’s Indictment Bad Christian History: 918 Deaths in Jonestown, Guyana Diwali 2018 – A Glimpse of our Pluralistic Democracy Caribbean Unity? Religion’s Role: False Friend Tolerating a Non-Christian Demographic – Hindus: Live and Let Live Waging a Successful War on Orthodoxy Rwanda’s Catholic bishops apologize for Christian genocide Repenting, Forgiving and Reconciling the Christian Past A Lesson in Church History – Royal Charters: Truth & Consequence

The reason why the Black Lives Matter movement has gotten traction is that for far too long, Black Lives had not Mattered. This is an inconvenient truth; but the truth nonetheless. The prevalence of disinformation, disdain and disregard for Black Lives may be considered a direct consequence of a religious framework that “something is wrong with Black people”.

The truth is: there is nothing wrong … with Black people!

“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32

People of African heritage were not the first slaves, nor the last. There is no justifying the institution of slavery: past, present or future. There is also no justification for devaluing the worth of Black people or anyone else. Black or White and every shade in between have the same abilities and opportunities to honor and please God.

34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism, 35 but welcomes those from every nation who fear Him and do what is right.Acts 10: 34-35

Black Image has endured a lot … over the years. The truth of Black Image has not always been commonly accepted. Those most responsible for the spiritual education, the Church, have many times been the ones that have failed most egregiously. Those are the ones with the most bloodguilt.  🙁

We must message the truth, if not to the whole world, then at least here in the Caribbean. This is how we can make our regional homeland a better place to live, work and play.

Yes, we can!  🙂

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 14):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xii. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law. As such, any threats of a “failed state” status for any member state must enact emergency measures on behalf of the Federation to protect the human, civil and property rights of the citizens, residents, allies, trading partners, and visitors of the affected member state and the Federation as a whole.

xiv.  Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

xxxiii. Whereas lessons can be learned and applied from the study of the recent history of other societies, the Federation must formalize statutes and organizational dimensions to avoid the pitfalls of communities …

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix A – ‘First’ versus ‘Southern’ Baptist Chasm

First Baptist Church – Providence, Rhode Island

Baptists form a major branch of Protestantism distinguished by baptizing professing believers only (believer’s baptism, as opposed to infant baptism), and doing so by complete immersion (as opposed to affusion or aspersion). Baptist churches also generally subscribe to the doctrines of soul competency (the responsibility and accountability of every person before God), sola fide (salvation by faith alone), sola scriptura (scripture alone as the rule of faith and practice) and congregationalist church government. Baptists generally recognize two ordinances: baptism and communion.

Diverse from their beginning, those identifying as Baptists today differ widely from one another in what they believe, how they worship, their attitudes toward other Christians, and their understanding of what is important in Christian discipleship.[1]  …

United States
Leading up to the American Civil War [(1861 – 1865)], Baptists became embroiled in the controversy over slavery in the United States. Whereas in the First Great Awakening Methodist and Baptist preachers had opposed slavery and urged manumission, over the decades they made more of an accommodation with the institution. They worked with slaveholders in the South to urge a paternalistic institution. Both denominations made direct appeals to slaves and free blacks for conversion. The Baptists particularly allowed them active roles in congregations. By the mid-19th century, northern Baptists tended to oppose slavery. As tensions increased, in 1844 the Home Mission Society refused to appoint a slaveholder as a missionary who had been proposed by Georgia. It noted that missionaries could not take servants with them, and also that the board did not want to appear to condone slavery.

The Southern Baptist Convention was formed by nine state conventions in 1845. They believed that the Bible sanctions slavery and that it was acceptable for Christians to own slaves. They believed slavery was a human institution which Baptist teaching could make less harsh. By this time many planters were part of Baptist congregations, and some of the denomination’s prominent preachers, such as the Rev. Basil Manly, Sr., president of the University of Alabama, were also planters who owned slaves.

As early as the late 18th century, black Baptists began to organize separate churches, associations and mission agencies. Blacks set up some independent Baptist congregations in the South before the American Civil War. White Baptist associations maintained some oversight of these churches.

In the postwar years, freedmen quickly left the white congregations and associations, setting up their own churches.[73] In 1866 the Consolidated American Baptist Convention, formed from black Baptists of the South and West, helped southern associations set up black state conventions, which they did in AlabamaArkansasVirginiaNorth Carolina, and Kentucky. In 1880 black state conventions united in the national Foreign Mission Convention, to support black Baptist missionary work. Two other national black conventions were formed, and in 1895 they united as the National Baptist Convention. This organization later went through its own changes, spinning off other conventions. It is the largest black religious organization and the second-largest Baptist organization in the world.[74] Baptists are numerically most dominant in the Southeast.[75] In 2007, the Pew Research Center‘s Religious Landscape Survey found that 45% of all African Americans identify with Baptist denominations, with the vast majority of those being within the historically black tradition.[76]

Source: Wikipedia retrieved July 28, 2020 from:


Southern Baptist Convention
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a Christian denomination based in the United States. It is the world’s largest Baptist denomination, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States,[2][3] and the second-largest Christian denomination in the United States, smaller only than the Roman Catholic Church according to self-reported membership statistics (see Christianity in the United States).

The word Southern in Southern Baptist Convention stems from it having been organized in 1845 at Augusta, Georgia, by Baptists in the Southern United States who split with northern Baptists over the issue of slavery, with Southern Baptists strongly opposed to abolition and black civil rights.[4] After the American Civil War, another split occurred when most freedmen set up independent black congregations, regional associations, and state and national conventions, such as the National Baptist Convention, which became the second-largest Baptist convention by the end of the 19th century.

Since the 1940s, the Southern Baptist Convention has shifted from some of its regional and historical identification.[5] Especially since the late 20th century, the SBC has sought new members among minority groups and to become much more diverse. In addition, while still heavily concentrated in the Southern United States, the Southern Baptist Convention has member churches across the United States and 41 affiliated state conventions.[6][7] Southern Baptist churches are evangelical in doctrine and practice. As they emphasize the significance of the individual conversion experience and declaring their belief in Jesus.

Recent history
In 1995, the convention voted to adopt a resolution in which it renounced its racist roots and apologized for its past defense of slaverysegregation, and white supremacy.[56][57] This marked the denomination’s first formal acknowledgment that racism had played a profound role in both its early and modern history. …

Source: Wikipedia retrieved July 28, 2020 from:


Appendix B VIDEOGreat Kings and Queens of Africa –

Posted Jul 23, 2012 – Documentary depicting the 30 pieces of original art that comprise the complete collection of the Great Kings and Queens of Africa along with highlights of the accomplishments of each king and queen.


Appendix C – The Resistance: How African-American Slaves Were Different From Egypt’s Hebrews

Main Points:

Like the Jewish Exodus from Egypt, the emancipation has often been told as a story of passive slaves led by a heroic leader. This narrative is changing …

The abolition of slavery in the United States have become increasingly challenged in recent years by scholars who view the story of Abraham Lincoln’s heroic courage as simplistic and one-dimensional.

The fact is, Lincoln declared at his first inauguration in March 1861 that he had ‘no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists’


Playing a part in their own emancipation

Historians, together with other writers and scholars, were deeply influenced by developments, which showed how a community subject to prolonged oppression and systematic acts of violence was nevertheless capable of drawing on reserves of fortitude to demand justice. This affected the assumptions of researchers who were prompted to re-examine the history of slavery in America.

Was it really true that the slaves made peace with their enslavement, as had been claimed for so many years? If this was not the case, was it possible to conclude that they played a part in their own emancipation? In other words, could the abolition of slavery in the United States have been the outcome of resistance by slaves themselves, which Lincoln then supported?


We should assume that the Hebrew slaves likewise prepared themselves for liberation. The very tale of the exodus from Egypt proves just how ready they were …

See the full article here:

Posted March 4, 2018; retrieved July 27, 2020.


Appendix D – Christian views on slavery

Christian views on slavery are varied regionally, historically and spiritually. Slavery in various forms has been a part of the social environment for much of Christianity’s history, spanning well over eighteen centuries. In the early years of Christianity, slavery was an established feature of the economy and society in the Roman Empire, and this persisted in different forms and with regional differences well into the Middle Ages.[1] Saint Augustine described slavery as being against God’s intention and resulting from sin.[2] In the eighteenth century the abolition movement took shape among Christian people across the globe. …

In modern times, various Christian organizations reject the permissibility of slavery.[3][4][5][6]

Old Testament
Historically, slavery was not just an Old Testament phenomenon. Slavery was practised in every ancient Middle Eastern society: EgyptianBabylonianGreekRoman and Israelite. Slavery was an integral part of ancient commerce, taxation, and temple religion.[8]

In the book of Genesis, Noah condemns Canaan (Son of Ham) to perpetual servitude: “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers” (Gn 9:25). T. David Curp notes that this episode has been used to justify racialized slavery, since “Christians and even some Muslims eventually identified Ham’s descendants as black Africans”.[9] Anthony Pagden argued that “This reading of the Book of Genesis merged easily into a medieval iconographic tradition in which devils were always depicted as black. Later pseudo-scientific theories would be built around African skull shapes, dental structure, and body postures, in an attempt to find an unassailable argument—rooted in whatever the most persuasive contemporary idiom happened to be: law, theology, genealogy, or natural science—why one part of the human race should live in perpetual indebtedness to another.”[10]

[But the truth of the matter is] the Canaanites settled in Canaan, rather than Africa, where Ham’s other sons, Cush and Put, most likely settled. Noah’s curse only applied to Canaan, and according to biblical commentator, Gleason L. Archer, this curse was fulfilled when Joshua conquered Canaan in 1400 BC.[8] 

New Testament
Early Christians reputedly regarded slaves who converted to Christianity as spiritually free men, brothers in Christ, receiving the same portion of Christ’s kingdom inheritance.[8] However, this regard apparently had no legal power. These slaves were also told to obey their masters “with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ.” (Ephesians 6:5 KJV)[8] Paul the Apostle applied the same guidelines to masters in Ephesians 6:9: “And, masters, do the same to them. Stop threatening them, for you know that both of you have the same Master in heaven, and with him there is no partiality.”[44] Nevertheless, verses like Ephesians 6:5 were still used by defenders of slavery prior to the American Civil War. Slaves were encouraged by Paul in the first Corinthian Epistle to seek or purchase their freedom whenever possible. (I Corinthians 7:21 KJV).[8]

Avery Robert Dulles said that “Jesus, [preached] a number of his stories are set in a slave/master situation, and involve slaves as key characters. …These circumstances were used by pro-slavery apologists in the 19th century to suggest that Jesus approved of slavery.[46]

It is clear from all the New Testament material that slavery was a basic part of the social and economic environment. Many of the early Christians were slaves. In several Pauline epistles, and the First Epistle of Peter, slaves are admonished to obey their masters, as to the Lord, and not to men.[47][48][49][50][51] Masters were also told to serve their slaves in obedience to God by “giving up threatening”. The basic principle was “you have the same Master in heaven, and with him there is no partiality.”[52] Peter was aware that there were masters that were gentle and masters that were harsh; slaves in the latter situation were to make sure that their behaviour was beyond reproach, and if punished for doing right, to endure the suffering as Christ also endured it.[53] The key theological text is Paul’s declaration in his letter to the Galatian churches that (NIV version) “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”,[54] suggesting that Christians take off these titles because they are now clothed in Christ.[55]

Paul’s Epistle to Philemon was an important text for both pro-slavery advocates and abolitionists.[56] This short letter, reputedly written to be delivered by the hand of Onesimus, a fugitive slave, whom Paul is sending back to his master Philemon. Paul entreats Philemon to regard Onesimus as a beloved brother in Christ.[57] Cardinal Dulles points out that, “while discreetly suggesting that he manumit Onesimus, [Paul] does not say that Philemon is morally obliged to free Onesimus and any other slaves he may have had.”[45] He does, however, encourage Philemon to welcome Onesimus “not as a slave, but as more than a slave, as a beloved brother”.[58]

Paul’s instructions to slaves in the Epistle of Paul to Titus, as is the case in Ephesians, appear among a list of instructions for people in a range of life situations. The usefulness to the 19th century pro-slavery apologists of what Paul says here is obvious: “Tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to talk back, not to pilfer, but to show complete and perfect fidelity, so that in everything they may be an ornament to the doctrine of God our Savior.”[59]

Source: Retrieved July 28, 2020 from:

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