Category Archives: Race

Sherrod Charade

As I have thought about the unfair treatment of Shirley Sherrod, I remembered my post on Equality vs. Fair Treatment. In white racists and angry white male sympathizers’ attempts to show that they, too, are not racists, both groups immediately condemned Sherrod for what they believed was equal to the discrimination some whites have been guilty of. Every situation is unique. That’s why I believe being treated fairly, not equal, should always be the goal. Read this Continue reading


Day 16: You as Jezebel

She’s haunting me and I know it. I feel her breath on my neck, hear her words in my ears and see her face in my mind. Jezebel visits me time after time, trying to scare me to bring her to existence. She’s on my heels, whispering what woes will be mine if I don’t act in time. “I know you’re tired of them calling. Just call to work out an arrangement so your lights don’t get shut off,” she says. “He said he didn’t have time for devotions with the children. You better work it out so your kids won’t be spiritually weak,” she warns. And she sounds good and I picture how she looks, a trusted girlfriend, shaking her dome like a Bobble head, eyes piercing and wide and saying, “You know!” I do know because Bruhman just ain’t understanding what needs to be done, and I DO want to show him, like, uh, yesterday. Sometimes I slip and do my own thing and am quickly convicted that I just listened to Jezebel, let her in and allowed her to work in my life.

Unmasking the Jezebel Spirit by John Paul Jackson

While Jezebel has come to be a name to demean sexually manipulative women, her origin is one who manipulates circumstances that ultimately manipulate the spirit world. In history she was queen of Israel and wife of King Ahab, a weak man that allowed his wife to rule him and the kingdom. Read 1 Kings 18-19 & 21 to see how she managed her husband and their subjects by herself without his consultation or direction. Her name appears again in Revelation 2, when Jesus challenges the church for tolerating “Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.” Some scholars believe Jesus was speaking of the period to come before the Reformation when the church incorporated indulgences and the high regard of saints into its worship practices. Whatever the historical event, the spiritual implication is this: when you allow a spirit of lawlessness to rule, whether it be in your church or in your personal life, you are tolerating Jezebel.

When you allow Jezebel to reign, God promises to deal with that power and you by allowing you to go through suffering and your children to die. Is this death literal? It could be, but surely there will be spiritual degeneration for your children; having you as such a close spiritual model will inevitably cause corruption in their spiritual lives. Be it literal or figurative, why take the chance? Why allow Jezebel that type of entrance into your home and into your life? I always believe that when we know better we can do better. If you didn’t know about Jezebel, now you do and I have some more for you, too, next time. But for now, examine yourself to see if you have allowed Jezebel to exist in your life. If so, it’s time to let her go. If you keep her around, suffering is sure to come (or is in) your way.

Check out “Unmasking the Jezebel Spirit” by John Paul Jackson for a total treatment on the spirit of Jezebel.

Copyright 2010 by Rhonda J. Smith

Day 15: Don’t Call Me That!

Years ago I dated this guy who called me Jezebel. He wasn’t angry with me; he thought he was giving me a compliment.
“Miss Jezebel,” he said.
“What did you call me?”
“I said your name is Jezebel.”
“Don’t call me that.”
“People think that that name is bad, but really it’s good. She had a lot of power.”

I fell silent, trying to figure out how what I knew about this woman could ever be a good thing. I had never even read her story. I knew that she was associated with evil, and I always thought that evil was her being a whore. I definitely thought my guy believed Jezebel to be a whore, some sex goddess, because after talking about whether or not Jezebel was good or bad he started stroking my cheeks and hair, and I just stared in the distance. I didn’t feel empowered. I felt like a whore, and no amount of caressing could undo what the power of that name had done to me. Names are important and we need to know their meanings so we can decide whether to accept or reject them.

Jezebel has come to be associated with being promiscuous, but her origin is the biblical queen and wife of King Ahab in the Bible. She didn’t use sex but her own initiative to control her husband’s affairs. I should have been upset that my “friend” called me Jezebel not because she was a whore but because she was disrespectful. Unfortunately, any display of strength may have people calling black women Jezebel or any of the following names that we would probably reject, but when we consider the characteristics we may find that the terms—though stereotypes—may fit us:
Aunt Jemima, sometimes known as mammy, is depicted as a large, asexual woman who cares for everyone more than she does herself and to her detriment. Her job is usually in the service industry, cooking, cleaning or taking care of children.
Sapphire is a sharp-tongued, quick-witted woman who usually hurls insults at the man in her life. Her name comes from the wife in the Amos and Andy radio and television series who regularly put her husband, Kingfish, down.

Media executives created these stereotypes to control the black race. Some of us perpetuate these stereotypes to take control of our situations and others. As a result, we don’t recognize what we are causing to happen in the spiritual realm. As physical and spiritual beings what we do affects what happens in the physical and spiritual worlds. This is why we have to recognize when we are being strong outside of God’s parameters. We can’t just engage in behavior that meets our end goal and then proudly proclaim “I’m a strong black woman” or have others calling us a Jezebel or Sapphire. Surely, we are effectuating power but more than we could probably imagine or ever want to. Look for more about the spiritual effects of our behavior in upcoming posts.

Copyright 2010 by Rhonda J. Smith

Day 14: Strong’s in the Bones?

Some years ago I read a book that seemed to suggest that the strong black woman was inevitable because black women have always had to take the lead, starting in West Africa. In The Black Woman, edited by La Frances Rodgers-Rose, the editor says Continue reading

Day 13: History Shaping You

Every society has myths that either makes the society famous for being archaic or heroic in a supernatural way. Whether folklore or tradition, many myths become so entrenched in society that they are hard to distinguish from reality. What’s more is people unknowingly perpetuate myths, and, unfortunately, continue a cycle of abuse in the process.

Continue reading

Day 9: History of the Strong Black Woman

Clearly when we look at the history of our families we get an understanding of why we act the way we do. I know I have the tendency to OVER-administrate because my grandmother, mother and my aunt did this. And I know that I gravitate toward the intellectual and cultural arts because my daddy was an intellectual genius and loved the arts. Family, of course, is just one influencing factor on our thoughts and behaviors. As a (recovering) strong black woman, I realize that I exerted my own strength based on what I saw my foremothers doing, but there were other factors, too. Continue reading

The USA: An Unrequited Love

I simply love “My Country ’Tis of Thee,” the patriotic song I had to learn in kindergarten. This song by Samuel F. Smith (1831) speaks of beautiful people and bountiful land, and the music gives me goose bumps every time I hear it. This is America, the way it was meant to be. But in too many ways and for too many people, the United States of America never became Smith’s “My Country ’Tis of Thee.” Proverbs 14:34 tells us why: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” Lack of morality, particularly acknowledging that God-given ability to discern between right and wrong, has brought disgrace among us. Our history and the continuance of racial and gender discrimination, monetary greed and unrestrained sexual appetites cause those of us who see these as problematic core issues to seek change. This is why an abolitionist in 1843 rewrote “My Country ’Tis of Thee” and why Henry Dumas couldn’t bring himself to call the United States his country in the poem ’Tis of Thee, his tale of unrequited love. And this is why I seek for people to give their lives to Jesus Christ, making Him their Savior and Lord. Jesus is righteousness and having Him not only as Savior but Lord (master) of their lives can bring about the change we need so that our nation can be exalted the way it needs to be.

Copyright 2010 by Rhonda J. Smith

My Country, ’Tis of Thee
By Samuel F. Smith, 1831

My country, ’tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims’ pride,
From every mountainside
Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills,
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom’s song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our fathers’ God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.

Additional Abolitionist Lyrics
By AG Duncan, 1843

My country,’ tis of thee,
Stronghold of slavery, of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Where men man’s rights deride,
From every mountainside thy deeds shall ring!

My native country, thee,
Where all men are born free, if white’s their skin;
I love thy hills and dales,
Thy mounts and pleasant vales;
But hate thy negro sales, as foulest sin.

Let wailing swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees the black man’s wrong;
Let every tongue awake;
Let bond and free partake;
Let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong.

Our father’s God! to thee,
Author of Liberty, to thee we sing;
Soon may our land be bright,
With holy freedom’s right,
Protect us by thy might, Great God, our King.

It comes, the joyful day,
When tyranny’s proud sway, stern as the grave,
Shall to the ground be hurl’d,
And freedom’s flag, unfurl’d,
Shall wave throughout the world, O’er every slave.

Trump of glad jubilee!
Echo o’er land and sea freedom for all.
Let the glad tidings fly,
And every tribe reply,
“Glory to God on high,” at Slavery’s fall.