Black Folks Embody the Trinity — for Better or for Worse
(Disclaimer: This article is written by me, a Queer White guy. I don’t claim to understand the Black experience. I don’t claim to have all the answers on anti-racism. What I do bring to the table is a platform and a willingness to amplify Black voices and uplift the inherent goodness of the Black experience. If I get it wrong (and I will), call it out. I am learning and I am trying. For all the White folks reading this, I invite you to do the same.)
Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer
Whether you are a practicing Christian or not, the structure of the trinity — creator, redeemer, sustainer — is an important reminder to White folks across the globe of how Black folks embody Divinity. But Black folks didn’t ask to be in this position. Black folks are creators, and while that is beautiful, the Black community should not have to be redeemers and sustainers for the rest of the world. Still, I want to recognize how so many of the world’s Divine contributions have been from the Black imagination and have combatted the sin of Whiteness.
Before White folks Whitewashed the world with the “patent,” a vast number of inventions came from Black dreamers, visionaries, and Imagineers. Do you know just how much Black inventors and creators have given to modern society?
Three Light Traffic Light, Garrett Morgan
The Clock, Benjamin Banneker
The Carbon Light Bulb Filament, Lewis Latimer
Automatic Elevator Doors, Alexander Miles
The Clothes Dryer, George T. Sampson
Refrigerated Trucks, Frederick Mckinley
The Home Security System, Marie Van Brittan Brown
Blood Banks, Charles Richard Drew
The Fiber-Optic Cable, Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson
Super Soaker Water Gun, Lonnie Johnson
The Mailbox, Philip Downing
Laser Cataract Surgery, Dr. Patricia Bath
Spot Test for Identifying Explosives, Dr. Betty Harris
World’s Fastest Computer, Dr. Philip Emeagwali
Evidence shows that the history of Mathematics, Navigation, Religion, Philosophy, medicine, astronomy, speech, law, art, trade, and tools dates back to indigenous African communities. This wisdom is apparent in innovators of color. Whether it is recognized or acknowledged by everyone or not, Black folks create.
Ever since the founding of the United States (and before), Black leaders have held the weight of redeeming institutions and systems that perpetuate Whiteness.
Marsha P. Johnson, LGBTQIA+ rights activist and Transgender woman.
Ruby Bridges, First Black child to desegregate an all-white school.
Coretta Scott King, American author, activist, and civil rights leader.
Ida B. Wells, investigative reporter who exposed the systematic lynching of Black men in the South.
Betty X, American educator and civil rights advocate.
Claudette Colvin, American pioneer of the 1950s civil rights movement and retired nurse aide.
Tarana Burke, American activist from The Bronx, New York, who started the MeToo movement.
Ciara Taylor, A popular educator, grassroots organizer, and artist.
Lateefah Simon, Bay area activist.
Behind the civil rights movement, Women’s suffrage, LGBTQIA+ liberation, and fights for refugees and other marginalized groups lie a vast assembly of Black activists who have had to hold the weight of oppression and marginalization on their backs while fighting for the redemption of said systems and institutions. Just like the redeemer of the trinity, many of these folks are crucified, physically or metaphorically. Regardless, when systems fail, and they always do, Black folks redeem.
The earth was a place created for humans to live in harmony with one another while tending to its natural beauty, but the sins of Whiteness and Capitalism have joined forces overtime to destroy Mother Earth and everything that sustains life. Black love has once again held the weight of creating sustainable life on earth.
(Information below from Andrea Tineo | Ecology Center)
Jaylin Ward, (they/them) is a multimedia journalist and co-founder of Generation Green
Jennifer Nnamani, Founder of Beau Monde Society, an eco-focused creative agency specializing in production, editorials, and creative direction (and more)!
Lori Caldwell, Owner/Operator, CompostGal Consulting, Landscaping & Education
Aniya Butler, Youth vs. Apocalypse
Jessica Jane Robinson, CEO and Founder, Resilience Birthright, Inc.
Leah Thomas, Founder, The Intersectional Environmentalist Platform
Wanjiku (Wawa) Gatheru, Founder, Black Girl Environmentalist
Reverend Dr. Ambrose F. Carroll, Co-Founder and CEO, Green The Church
John Francis, “PlanetWalker”, Author and Environmentalist
Dr. Dorceta E. Taylor, Professor of Environmental Justice, Yale School of the Environment
Ron Finley, Gangsta Gardener for the Urban Community
Teresa Baker, Founder, The African American National Park Event
Rue Mapp, Founder and CEO, Outdoor Afro
While we continue down a path of no return on our fight against dangerous climate change, Black folks, especially Black Women, have led the nearly impossible movement to break down the walls of Whiteness and create an earth that is worth living for. While greed and capitalism kill the earth and its inhabitants, Black folks sustain it.
I want to be clear that it makes complete sense that Jesus Christ was a person of color. I mean, since Whiteness has existed, it has colonized and capitalized, while communities of color have sought out a world that was kinder and more generous for all of humanity. Communities of color have sought out a more Divine direction for the world that creates, redeems, and sustains again, and again, and again, and again, on into eternity.
For all those believers of the Trinity out there, believe in the inherent goodness of Black people, Black love, Black imagination, and Black care for the universe and humanity.