Episode 126: Interview with Kyona Robinson Pt. 1
— Read on thevalleyofgrace.com/2021/09/14/episode-126-an-interview-with-author-tv-personality-kyona-robinson-part-1/
The White Man’s Religion
Over the years I’ve met a lot black people who’ve questioned my reasoning for being Christian. They think Christianity is the “whiteman” religion. The origin of Christianity is a little more complicated than that! You have to know the past to understand the present so let’s start with the past.
Birth of Christ
Christianity is founded on the ministry of Jesus Christ. Jesus the Nazarene, Emmanuel God among us, born of a virgin, Mary and fathered by the Holy Spirit. Christanity begin and spread throughout the Roman Empire during the reign of Pointious Pilate. The message of Christ is a message of hope and redemption. Followers believe he is the promised Messiah prophesied by the old testament prophet Isiah. Shortly after the birth of Christ his mother Mary and natural father Joseph fled to Egypt for fear of Jesus’ life and then to Nazareth (Matthew 2:14).
Birth of Jesus’s Minstry
Matthew introduced John the Baptist whose mother is Elizabeth, Elizabeth was the older cousin of Mary. Both Mary and Elizabeth were pregnant at the same time John is a few months older than Jesus. John had followers and his ministry was the precursor to the ministry of Jesus. John lived off the land eating wild locust and honey and preached of repentance. Jesus’ ministry began when he was baptised in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. Jesus’ ministry was approximately three years during the three year time frame he was called, a teacher and Rabbi and had 12 disciples Matthew being one.
People were unimpressed with Jesus; he wasn’t flashy or royalty. He was humble, with great power able to heal the sick, raise the dead and had a large following. The Pharisees rejected Jesus’ teachings. Jesus was the son of a carpenter seen as an ordinary man who had the power to heal people, offer forgiveness of sins and cast out demons. He was seen as a rebel and a troublemaker. He spoke about matters concerning the hearts of his followers; he never knew earthly riches yet he spoke about riches in heaven. He was tempted by the evil one and later crucified on the cross where he died and was placed in a tomb. On the third day he rose and revealed himself to many people including his followers.
The Birth of Christanity
Jesus’ disciples minus Judas who betrayed him for thirty shekels of silver and later killed himself out of guilt and shame went out into the world to share the teachings of Jesus Christ. It wasn’t easy, this was a new religion and the teachings were different from that of its time. Initially Chrisanity was seen as a sect of Judaism and the Roman emperor at the time Caesar Augustus was ok with Christianity as long as it did not spread and stayed small and manageable. But Christanity took off new converts who were feeding the poor, sharing Jesus’s teachings and that became a threat to the Roman Empire. The disciples and new converts were being slaughtered for their beliefs. Paul of Tarsus, you know the one who had the conversion on Damascus road, the one whose name changed from Saul to Paul. Paul was one of Caesar’s loyal servants who killed Chritians and after his conversion and repentance he became an apostle of Jesus Christ and traveled spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, a gospel of hope and salvation to both Jew and Gentile.
Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire which included the continent of Africa. Christanity existed on the continent of Africa centuries before the Transalantic slave trade. Not all Africans were Christan but not all Africans were introduced to Chrsitanity from slave owners. We can’t assume African slaves were docile; it’s quite offensive. I believe those who didn’t believe or chose to practice didn’t. Being physically present in church doesn’t mean your heart is. I’ve met people who grew up in Church, forced to go and when they got older and or moved out on their own they have no relationship with the church some of them are not believers in Christ and or tend to lean more towards eastern religions.
Birth of White Jesus
In many parts of the world primarily in Europe Jesus was depicted as a man of color. There’s no photograph or official portrait of the Messiah so over the years people painted him based on their image and likeness. It’s about power and control. The white man appears more powerful if the image of Christ is that of a white man. Overtime Jesus was white washed and his hair was changed to blonde and eyes blue. In the 1940’s Warner Sallman painted “The head of Christ ” that became the American Mascot for Jesus Christ. This image of Jesus’ head was hung in every bible believing household both black and white and everything in between. People have used Christanity and other religious groups, cults, etc to control and divide groups of people and nations. Christanity was forced onto Native Americans and unbelieving Africans. It’s not Christanity that’s the problem, it’s the people who use it to exploit others. In the Middle Ages the Catholic Church sold indulgences which were certificates to ultimately increase your chance of going to heaven.
Indulgences had nothing to do with tithing and parishioners were also allowed to buy indulgences for family members. Again people have exploited Christanity for personal and political gain and unfortunately that trend has continued to the present day.
Christanity is not the white man’s religion, it’s not about race at all. It’s actually pretty exciting when you sit and study the word. You have to disconnect yourself from all the distractions around you and bad experiences within the church community. Awkward experiences aside, my Pastor or whoever I fellowship with isn’t my savior and should not influence my relationship with the Messiah. I understand that people are flawed and that’s between them and the father. Whatever you choose to believe, believe it independently from what’s going on around you. This is true for anything that you chose to do in life.
Until next time…
The time is now! This is the season to pursue your dreams and to rediscover yourself. Most people are floating through life without purpose. Do you really know who you are and where you’re going? Set a plan, act on it and consider how it may affect your family, faith, finances etc. There’s no one way of doing things, trust your instincts and do your research!
Until next time…
Playing Dress Up
Most little girls play dress up and put on their mother’s heels, make up and like to feel like a princess. All our story books are filled with stories of romance. The sweet innocent princess is rescued by the handsome charming prince. As the story goes, Snow White was under a spell and it took “true loves kiss” to wake her! As children, we think romance and beauty is what we see on tv. A fair skin young lady is seen as beautiful and women of color are portrayed as sassy. When I was younger I remember seeing black women dancing around in videos in a very sexual way. The music was vulgar and the women appeared aggressive. Fast forward twenty something years later and not too much has changed. Black women are seen as aggressive and are unappreciated.
As a kid I thought beauty was fashion and makeup. I never considered the complexion of someone’s skin, social economic status etc as beauty. If your dress was nice and handbag was pretty I thought that that was beauty. As an adult I see beauty in everything. I see beauty in nature and in art! I want to know how other black women feel about beauty and how black women are perceived in society. I decided to sit with Brandi Turner to get her take on beauty.
The Many Images of Black Women
As Brandi mentioned there are many different shades of black women. Which is a good thing! This idea that lighter skin black women are somehow more attractive than darker skin black women is a LIE! The lie continues to live because of how black women are portrayed in society and media. Remember the story of Snow White she was seen as sweet and innocent and needed to be rescued. She spoke softly and had fair skin. There are women that are that way, however, when you’re not why are you seen as loud, angry or obnoxious? As black women society tends to go a step further and if we don’t take on that image we are seen as aggressive, rebellious and angry!
I was raised by a single mother and I’m now a single parent. Obviously, no one plans to be a single parent, however, things happen. There are fewer black women married than any other race. Black men are more likely to date outside their race.
We’re not all single mothers there are plenty of successful black married couples. Meet Tamica Webb, she has been married to Peter for almost five years they have one son and a week ago she graduated from Columbia College and she’s’ my younger cousin! Tamica and I sat down and talked about her perception of beauty as a black woman.
Society plays a major role in the way we view beauty! I see beauty in everything. It’s so much more than the outer appearance of person. I’m so bored with videos, movies and all the images around us that try to push their beauty standards on to us.
You never see a full-figured women as the love interest in a movie as if full figured women aren’t being pursued! Why does the blonde have to play dumb? Stop buying into the hype. I’m over it! I love beauty and fashion just like the next person but I buy what I like and if what I like just so happens to be on trend…well that’s even better!
I decided in 2020 to be open about my mental health disorder: Bipolar Disorder.
I recently took on a second seasonal job for the holiday. I was overly excited (manic) I was like a little kid running around excited on Christmas morning. I really enjoyed the IDEA of having the job. I worked at a retail store that I shopped frequently prior to being an employee. I specifically wanted to work this home decor store. I provided my availability and they gave me just that! My managers were cool my co-workers instantly became like a little family even the customers were cool!
After a couple weeks of working the commute the scheduling everything became too much. The job felt like a burden!
I also made adjustments to my meds so my emotions were all over the place I didn’t know if I wanted to sing a joyous hymn or ball up and cry in my bed all day. Getting up in the mornings to start my regular work day took all the energy and prayers I could muster up at 6 am.
I know how to fake it until I’m up again! That’s what I’ve always done! Having a Bipolar disorder means you have extreme highs known as manic episodes and you have lows. A manic episode can lead you on a flight out of the country to “find yourself” without a dollar in your account to fund the rest of the trip.
And when you’re low you sometimes can’t move out the bed. It’s not a completely hopeless situation because there’s meds that keep you balance! But when you make changes to your meds in the middle of a lifestyle change such as getting a new job or a second job etc it can be overwhelming! It can feel like the wind has been knocked out of you!
It was Saturday morning and I had to be at work that afternoon I laid in bed all morning like I was paralyzed. The mere idea of getting dressed and having to talk to people all day was just too much.
I didn’t even have the energy to call off. I promised myself I would do it later in the evening. My manager called twice and left very concerned messages and there I laid almost 40 and I was hiding under the covers. I just couldn’t handle explaining what was happening and I felt so guilty!
I believe she would’ve truly understood. But it was too much for me at the time! I tried to find an email or some way to communicate privately what was happening! I don’t mind sharing but sometimes it’s hard to introduce your real self to people! It’s been a week today and I’m back to somewhat of some normalcy and preparing for Christmas!
I’ll see you guys in 2020. Happy holidays to all and to all a good night!
Until next time…