Music of The Lynching
Go Down Moses is an American Negro Spiritual describing events in the Old Testament (Exodus) in which God commands Moses to demand the release of the Israelites from bondage (slavery) in Egypt. “And the LORD spake unto Moses, go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Let my people go, that they may serve me”.
Rivers of Babylon – a song based on a Biblical psalm, a hymn from the Old Testament, expressing the lamentations of the Israelites (Jewish people) in exile. Many peoples yearn to go ‘home’, or have a homeland. For many this yearning is embedded in folklore and religion.
Rastafarians (who originated in Jamaica) use the term “Babylon” to describe any governmental system which is either oppressive or unjust. “By the rivers of Babylon” refers to living in a repressive society and the longing for freedom, just like the Israelites did in their captivity. Rastafarians also identify as belonging to the tribes of Israel.
It’s a complex history. Black people of the America’s have related to the oppression and history of Jewish people ever since they were ‘converted’ to Christianity. Ironically the Bible was often the only text available and Biblical text used to enable the oppression and control of people of the African diaspora.
Yes – and Still I Rise – Maya Angelou, saying it for me.
Maya Angelou Poem: Still I Rise! In Honor of Black History Month let us remember to Still Rise! Thank you Mother Maya Angelou for your witness and ministry!
Posted by Rev. Derek Terry on Tuesday, 13 February 2018