Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Should Easter Be An African American Holiday?

Bernie Hayes Understands
February 24, 2011
BH 404

Holidays often bring families closer together and millions are already planning to celebrate Easter although it will not be observed this year until April 24. I ask this question because often what we celebrate is not the truth and often rooted in lies, erroneous beliefs, legend, falsehood and fallacy.

The National Network for Child Care says some aspects of holiday celebrations may seem innocent or harmless at first, but it is vital that early child care professionals think about the curriculum and how it affects children. Halloween colors, for example, include orange and black. Black is generally not presented in a positive way, but a scary and dark way. What does teaching the color black in this way do to children whose skin is dark, and who are sometimes called black? What does it do to children whose skin is not dark? The effect on the self-concept of all children, whether the teacher's intent is "only Halloween fun" can be intense for children of all ethnicities and colors.

So how does this relate to Easter? Because the day that we celebrate Easter this year, April 24th is because an African Pope set the standard. Yes, a Black Pope designated the period for which the Holy Day would be observed. He was Pope St. Victor I.

Saint Victor was born in Africa and bore a Latin name as most Africans did at that time. Saint Victor was the fifteenth pope and a native of black Africa. He served from 186 A.D. until 197 A.D.
A troublesome controversy over when Easter should be celebrated occurred during the reign of Victor, with the result that Christians observed different days for the most important feast of the year. Victor decreed that Easter should be celebrated on a Sunday

Easter is the oldest and most important Christian festival, marking the end of the fasting season of Lent and the death, on Good Friday and resurrection of Jesus Christ, on Easter Sunday. It has deeper and more complex associations than Christmas.

There are many customs and traditions associated with Easter which, like most other holiday and feast days, are derived from a combination of both Jewish lore and pre-Christian and pagan practices. It is named after Eostre, the goddess of fertility and birth, worshipped by first-century pagans at the vernal equinox, who believed she would bless both their families and their crops. Christian missionaries saw this celebration took place around the time of the resurrection of Christ, so they adopted Easter as a Christian holiday to increase conversion.

However, for many years it has been agreed that Easter falls on the first Sunday after the Full Moon that occurs on or after the Vernal (spring) Equinox (21 March). If the Full Moon falls on a Sunday then Easter is the next Sunday. This means that Easter can fall as early as 22 March or as late as 25 April. Next year it falls on 23 March, the second earliest date possible. Easter last fell on the latest possible date, 25 April in 1943, and will next fall on that date in 2038. However, this year it will fall on 24 April, just one day before this latest possible date. It is the origin of the phrase "moveable feast".

What if our African American family knew that there have been three African Popes of the Catholic Church? Why is it hidden?

Gandhi wrote “and where there is Truth, there is also is knowledge which is true. Where there is no Truth, there also is knowledge which is true. Where there is no Truth, there can be no true knowledge."

And Buddha said “The energy of the Truth is a powerful protection and an energy that sends waves of influence throughout the world and down the ages, unlimited by space or time. Truthfulness is much more than not telling lies.

Without truthfulness there can be no society. Without truthfulness human communication breaks down and distrust, hostility and force take over. Truthfulness is, therefore, of fundamental importance to a harmonious and peaceful society and of fundamental importance to the harmonious and peaceful individuals who constitute that society. There is also a false speech of omission. This is when what we say is strictly true but because of what we leave out it is not the whole truth. In fact, it may even convey a completely wrong impression. And that can be the intention.

So by being honest we create a world of honesty and also by being untruthful we create a world of dishonesty, which is an unpleasant and tiring place to live.”

So when you celebrate Easter this year, with your new suits and dresses, expensive fancy hats and shiny new shoes, remember why that Sunday is special and say thank you to one of our ancestors. Happy Easter!

Please listen the Bernie Hayes radio program Monday through Friday at 7am and 4 pm on WGNU-920 AM, and watch the Bernie Hayes TV program Saturday Night at 10pm and Friday Morning at 9 am on KNLC-TV Ch. 24.

I can be reached by e-mail at: berhay@swbell.net.

Be Ever Wonderful!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The History of Black Hair

You can read this piece, published on February 2, 2011, at the St. Louis American's site.