Black God? White God? What do black people see?

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  • #10951

    N. Carman
    Participant

    How do African Americans perceive God? Do they pray to a white God or a black God? How do they portray God visually?
    Originally RE152. Click here to see responses in original archives. Click ‘To respond’ below to respond.

    User Detail :  

    Name : N. Carman, Gender : F, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 17, City : Arlington, State : TX Country : United States, 
    #14362

    Analee
    Participant

    I am assuming you are referring to the Christian God in your question, and not the Islamic God, Allah, who incidentally, is black. But anyway, because Christ grew up in the Middle East, it is unlikely He’d have blue eyes and blond hair, which I am sure many people would like to dispute. I always thought of him as brown with kinky hair.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Analee, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Christian, Age : 18, City : Santa Clarita, State : CA Country : United States, 
    #24309

    R-Scannell
    Participant

    While I am Caucasion, I am of the opinion that each of us was created in God’s image, and since God can take any form, we would probably see Him in a form that is personally familiar. I would expect that a Caucasion would see a Caucasion God, while an Afro-American would see a dark-skinned God, an Oriental would see a God with yellowish skin. I don’t think it matters; the important thing is to find God.

    User Detail :  

    Name : R-Scannell, Race : White/Caucasian, City : Westland, State : MI Country : United States, 
    #30191

    Melissa
    Member

    A better answer than I can ever give comes from author James McBride, a black man raised by a white mother. When he asked her what color God is, she replied that God is the color of water.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Melissa, Gender : F, Age : 18, City : New York, State : NY Country : United States, Occupation : Student, 
    #32277

    Lee-S
    Participant

    I think it shows an inherent prejudice to think of God as a certain color or race. Color and facial features are for flesh and blood only. How could it be otherwise? God doesn’t need dark skin to protect against the sun! He created it! He doesn’t need blue eyes and blond hair, either. God is of spirit, thought, compassion and inteligence. You insult whatever God you believe in by assigning it your own prejudice. You show ignorance by insisting on it.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Lee-S, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 47, City : Perris, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Technical field, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #34501

    Stacee27908
    Participant

    A previous posting said that to see God as a specific race was an insult to God. However, most mainstream Christians believe Jesus was God incarnate. Therefore, in His incarnation as a human, He did have human characteristics, including race. Also, God understands the limits of our minds. He knows that we must put His greatness into some terms we understand. Every person will have a different image in their mind. I am white, but I have always seen God as very dark-skinned. God honors our attempts to contemplate Him. He is never insulted by our love.

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    Name : Stacee27908, Gender : F, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, City : Houston, State : TX Country : United States, Occupation : Television production, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #15682

    Ron29664
    Participant

    Why would God have a color and be of human form? I think God is all around and everywhere, not a specific form. When man made God in his own image, that certainly was a great conceit.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Ron29664, Gender : M, City : Randolph, State : NH Country : United States, 
    #37969

    GB
    Participant

    The only person who has ‘seen God’ is Moses, and he was only allowed to see the back of God. The view he describes is not human but a ‘dazzling presence’ or a multicolored whirlwind; consequently, God does not have a ‘race.’ Also, the prophet Mohammed believed in the same God as the Jews and Christians but felt that Christ was a human prophet, not the son of God (Mohammed felt Christ was the second-most important prophet after himself).

    User Detail :  

    Name : GB, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Lutheran, Age : 32, City : Detroit, State : MI Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #40688

    T. Nicaise
    Member

    I believe that we were all created in God’s image, so it shouldn’t matter what God’s “color” i. It should matter that He loves all of us the same. Love is color-blind.

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    Name : T. Nicaise, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, Age : 18, City : Galesburg, State : IL Country : United States, Occupation : Student, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #18804

    Jennifer
    Member

    We are created in His image, at least that is what the Bible says, and being a Christian I choose to go on faith to believe that. So what does God look like to different people? I would say He is as different in people’s eyes as we are to each other, but isn’t that the beauty of humanity? I asked my five-year-old Caucasian daughter what God looks like, and I am a little sad to report He is an old man with a white beard, but she is, after all, only five, I still have hope that her paradigms will be shattered.

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    Name : Jennifer, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Christian, Age : 31, City : Eatontown, State : NJ Country : United States, Occupation : Pastor's assistant, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #40474

    Angie24977
    Participant

    At first, I perceived God as being white because that’s what the images showed. I went to a black Baptist church and all the pictures of God and Jesus were white. When I questioned this, I was chastised. Luckily, I met a very open-minded, religious friend who told me we have to create an image of God we’re comfortable with. It wasn’t until much later that I realized God has no color

    User Detail :  

    Name : Angie24977, Gender : F, City : Lawrence, State : KS Country : United States, 
    #31621

    Saraji
    Participant

    I am responding to Annalee, who said that “the Islamic God, Allah, is black.” This is untrue. For one thing, Allah is not some different God from the God of Judaism and Christianity. It is just that Allah is the Arabic word for God. Arab Christians and Jews also say Allah.

    Secondly, Muslims do not think of Allah as having human characteristics, be it facial features, gender or race. He is above human traits. (Muslims use the male pronoun because in Arabic, it signifies gender neutrality). Allah ta’ala (Most High) has no race. Allah is not black or white or Arab. There is no Islamic imagery of Allah because of this.

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    Name : Saraji, Religion : Muslim, City : Newark, State : NJ Country : United States, 
    #34787

    Dawn M.
    Member

    Why does God have to be any specific color? For all I care, The Universal Creator can be purple, or any other color I am in the mood for. I am a Neo-Pagan, and therefore my “God” takes on many forms: Male/Female; Wind/Water/Earth/Air; Animate/Inanimate. Mostly I find that the Higher Power I pray to looks like all people. After all, weren’t we created in “His” image?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Dawn M., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Wiccan, Age : 36, City : Bay City, State : TX Country : United States, Occupation : Homemaker, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #28035

    C.S.
    Participant

    The second Commandment of the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above…’ God is in Heaven. Therefore, people shouldn’t try to give God any race or human characteristics. As far as Jesus Christ, the Bible says he had hair like lambs wool (kinky) and brown skin.

    User Detail :  

    Name : C.S., Gender : F, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Baptist, Age : 16, City : Shelby, State : NC Country : United States, Occupation : High school student, Social class : Lower middle class, 
    #28243

    annonymous
    Member

    I pray neither to a black nor white God. I do not visualize God in a human expression. I believe God is spirit.

    To backtrack a little, I do believe I can perceive God in other people. In a poetic sense, I believe each of us is an individual expression of God.

    Now, if I had to choose a human form, God would be female and multiracial or black, since the first man is almost uniformly accepted to have originated in Africa.

    Jesus is another matter. I find it very difficult to accept Him as portrayed in most paintings as white. He is described in the Bible as having curly/wooly hair and as being Jewish. It seems unlikely he looked like the Eurocentric image we’re used to seeing. And many of us know that Jews can be quite dark in complexion. I’m curious: What prompts your question? Have you read James Mcbride’s book The Color of Water? Good book. Pick it up if you have the opportunity. It’s fiction. Not too deep, but moving nonetheless.

    User Detail :  

    Name : annonymous, Gender : F, Race : Black/African American, Age : 34, City : Detroit, State : MI Country : United States, 
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