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Dr. Alex Mekonnen helps us understand why we should care about what is happening in Africa.
Read: The West and China in Africa: Civilization Without Justice by Alemayehu Mekonnen
Black Panther–Who’s Side Are WE Supposed to Be On?
Where to start with this one? First – I’m so grateful for the big, humongous, seemingly unattainable visions God has given you. Every time you put something out there, my first thought is wow, wouldn’t that be amazing? Then, all of sudden, it’s happening. Now, not only are you sharing the visions God has given you, but you’re also making available to us other God-size visions. This interview ignited a lot of thoughts. First, I’m grateful to hear the perspective of your guest on the Chinese presence in Africa. After learning through DNA testing of my own Chinese lineage, I thought that it made sense that the Chinese people have always been in Africa taking advantage of the wealth and commerce going on there with the slave trade, and integrating with the people. Using “soft” tactics allows them to establish themselves among the people much as that community has done here in the United States – establishing businesses in the middle of minority communities. The idea that Africans and African-Americans can come together and learn from these tactics is a great one. I actually got chills imagining the type of gathering that you and Alex talked about – Black religious leaders from both continents coming together to explore and accomplish God’s wills for our lives. When Alex spoke about the accomplishments of African Americans, it made me realize that every Black History Month we talk about the major accomplishments of African Americans, but I know that Africans over the centuries have contributed far, far more to the world than any of us realize. So to me – it’s a matter of education. After reading the book Americanah I thought there may be progress made in bridging the gaps between the diaspora. Now after hearing your interview and (soon) reading Alex’s book, I continue to hold out hope that we will see each other as resources. I’ve always felt that the people in Africa can teach African Americans a lot about true spirituality and what it means to lean on the Lord for every single day and blessing. And that African Americans can be a resource because of how richly He has blessed us in the country. Another ah-ha before I go – I hadn’t considered the perspective that the Africans who participated to the slave trade may have been thinking that we would be treated as sons and daughters in the new land. Not as chattel to be brutalized and treated as less than human. Someone said to us in Ghana “You’re the ones who got away”. I couldn’t understand that comment at the time, but this gives me something to think about. Thanks as always for Sankofa and expanding the question of “Why are we here” to the world through your podcasts.
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The Sankofa Experience is an online community where Black Christians can gather to examine the things of our past and collectively discover what God may be calling us to in the future. The concept of Sankofa comes from a West African proverb that recognizes there are things in our past that were lost, left, or stolen that we as a people need to reclaim before we can move forward. It’s symbolically represented by a bird in flight looking back. In the bird’s mouth is an egg, which represents the desires and dreams of past generations still unfulfilled with the hope those dreams may hatch into greater realities in the future. We’d be honored if you join us as we remember tomorrow today.
The Sankofa Experience begins with a series of conversations shared through our Remembering Tomorrow podcast. These conversations revolve around four key areas: the Wisdom of history, the Calling of God, the Sacrifice of following Jesus, and the Jazz of living in rhythm with the Spirit — we call this The Sankofa Way.
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The Sankofa Experience first began through the vision of Robert Gelinas. He is our podcast host and conversation curator for The Sankofa Experience. Robert is a pastor, author, orphan advocate, and jazz theologian. He and his wife Barbara live in Denver, Colorado with their six beautiful children. To learn more about Robert and his work, please visit JazzTheologian.com.
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