Summary: This sermon is about the importance of telling our personal testimonies of faith even in oppressing situations.
A Slave Narrative by Rev. A. L. Torrence, Pastor of Cross of Life Lutheran Church
"She said to her mistress, ’Would that my master, Namaan, were with the prophet who is in Samaria. he would cure him of his leprosy’..."
(Please note that this sermon was an effort to celebrate the rich African American heritage during Black History Month)
After the civil war within our country, many historians took the time to document the words of those born into slavery. HBO in conjunction with various African American actors and directors have brought these testimonies and narratives to the media during this month commemorating our African/Caribbean Heritage. These are just a few excerpts from their various collections simply entitled: “Slave Narratives”. And I must forewarn you that these are direct quotations without editing. Please bear in mind that the labeling used was during a dark time in our society before our need for political correctness and sensibilities. Therefore, please forgive the use of the ‘n’ word.
· Charity Anderson (borne at belle’s landing in Monroe County) "My old Marster was a good man, he treated all his slaves kind, and took care of dem, he wanted to leave dem hisn chillun. It sho’ was hard for us older uns to keep de little cullered chillun out ob de dinin’ room whar ol marster ate, cause when dey would slip in and stan’ by his cheer, when he finished eatin’ he would fix a plate and gib dem and dey would set on de hearth and eat. But honey chile, all white folks warn ’t good to dere slaves, cause I’se seen pore niggers almos’ tore up by dogs, and whipped unmercifully, when dey did’nt do lack de white folks say . But thank God I had good white folks, dey sho’ did trus’ me to, I had charge of all de keys in the house and I waited on de Missy and de chillun.
· Henry Watson b. 1813: He says, “There was a slave on the farm by the name of Jo. The overseer had threatened to put him in the stocks, for some trivial offence. Jo, dreading the severity of the punishment, ran away, which fact was soon brought to my master’s knowledge, who ordered the overseer to shoot him the first time he saw him. The overseer, being a bloodthirsty fiend, like my master, kept strict watch for Jo; and the second night, he saw him but a short distance from his cabin, where he was probably going for the purpose of seeing his wife, and getting something to eat; but he never saw those eyes light up with pleasure,--never heard the sweet music of their voices, or felt their warm embrace,--for the incarnate fiend’s aim was too sure; he was stretched dead in an instant. Yes; this man was hurried into the presence of his Maker, without the power of speaking one word of prayer. On the master being informed that his brutal order had been obeyed, he gave orders that his body should not be removed from the spot where he fell, as he wished it to serve as an example to the rest of us; and there it remained, the vultures rioting and feasting on the remains of a man, whose only fault was a black skin.”