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Religion and Africans in the Diaspora

by Ayanna
September 19, 2003

If we would look more critically at the way Africans in the Diaspora, view and practice religion, issues like this would not hurt so much to recognize and discuss.

With us, religion has never really been one way, we never really internalized our religion as one single thing that had a set context but recognized the multiplicity of creation. I remember stories of my great grandmother. She was spiritual Baptist so mainly Christian, however she also sighted much truth in Orisha and had her shrines in the house, yet she also had pictures of Selassie in the living room.

Now she was never herself as Orisha or Rasta but she saw herself as Baptist, however in her own way she was able to recognize the truths of all three. she did not have the education that would have allowed her to understand what she was doing, but she was following instinct, and knowing that there was something right about this way of believing.

A cursory glance may see this as confused but in her own way she had a fuller understanding of religion and creation by being able to internalize all three. She may indeed be a typical example, especially in the Caribbean where Africans had to 'mix and match' for want of a better term, to practice their original spiritual beliefs. This may also be as a result of what you stated as the fact that Africans saw their religion as part of everyday life and were religious in all aspects of their life.

If one lives like this it is easy to take bits of truth from different sources and find a way to make them reflect the fullness of existence.

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