During the days of Moses there was undeniable black presence in the biblical world. After the people of Israel had completed their prophetic captivity in Egypt, God brought them out through Moses. This was to be a major paradigm shift, the success of which will greatly determine the future purpose of the Jewish Nation.
Now at this time Moses register his ignorance of the direction to the Promised Land and appeals to Hobab to direct them to the Promised Land.
29. Now Moses said to Hobab the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses father-in-law.”We are setting out for the place of which the Lord said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will treat you well; for the Lord has promised good things to Israel.”
30 And he said to him’ I will not go, but I will depart to my own land and to my relatives.”
31. So Moses said, “please do not leave, inasmuch as you know how we are to camp in the wilderness, and you can be our eyes.
32. And it shall be, if you go with us indeed it shall be that whatever good the Lord will do to us, the same we will do to you.
33. So they departed from the mountain of the Lord on a journey of three days; and the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord went before them for the three days’ journey to search out a resting-place for them. (Numbers 10:29-32 NKJV)
Hobab was a son of Jethro, a Medianite priest. The Medianites were cushites or blacks and descendants of Abraham with his wife keturah (Genesis 25:1-4; Habakkuk 3:7; Numbers 12:1).
Moses knew too well and confronted Hobab (a black) as having knowledge of the direction to the Promised Land.
Moses promised Hobab to include him as joint–heir to all the inheritance God had promised to bestow on the Jews.
In Judges 4:11 Hobab and his descendants are given portion of the land of Israel and are living right in the great prophetic land of promise. That means Hobab consented and guided Moses and Joshua to possess the Promised Land.
Now Heber the Kenite, of the children of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, had separated himself from the Kenites and pitched his tent near the terbinth tree at Zaanaim, which is beside Kedesh.
However, Sisera had fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jaabin king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. (Judges 4:11,17 NKJV)
It should be noted that the Jews left Egypt as one amalgamated people of mixed multitudes including good number of blacks or cushites. Joseph married the Eyptian Asenath, the daughter of potipher, priest of the city of On or Heliopolis. From this union two children were born, Ephraim and Manassen (Genesis 41:45, 50-52). These sons of Joseph became ancestors of the tribes of Israel bearing their names; two explicitly back tribes. Whiles in Egypt the Israelites intermarried with the native Egyptians (blacks) which accounted for the growth in their population. Moses had married zipporah “the Cushite,” and their sons were Gershon and Eliezer (Exodus 18:1-3).All this mixed multitude of people bears one name “the children of Israel.”
TO HIM MUCH IS GIVEN MUCH IS REQUIRED
The prime purpose for the establishment of the nation of Israel was for her to be a blessing to the Nations of the world. God had promised the father of the Nation of Israel, Abraham, that out of him the families of the earth shall be blessed.
1. Now the Lord had said to Abram’
Get out of your country
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you
2. I will make you a great nation’
I will bless you
And make your name great
And you shall be a blessing
3.I will bless those who bless you
And I will curse him who curses you
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
In otherwords Jews have been destined to contribute to the spiritual, political, scientific, technological, social, educational, cultural, moral and emotional development of all humanity.
If blacks have shared in the territorial blessing of the Israelites, the spiritual truth makes it inevitable for us to share in the global responsibilities of the nation of Israel too.
…For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:48 NKJV)
…And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.’(Acts 20:35 NKJV)
And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.
“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32 NKJV).
Whenever there is a prophecy on a person or nation Satan orchestrate circumstances to abort the prophecy but God uses these circumstances to fulfil His purpose (destiny) for the person or nation.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28 NKJV).
This is exactly what has happened to the Jews and blacks. Below are a few illustrations:
The Jews became slaves in Egypt.
Black’s were made slaves in different Nations.
God delivered Israel from slavery through a man (Moses) he called
God delivered blacks from slavery through Christians he called
Israel suffered alienation from their land until their nation was reborn on 14th May 1948.
Blacks also suffered identity crisis through slavery, colonization, imperialism, apartheid and racism until black peoples and nations gain their independence.
Nevertheless the middle East have not known peace because supposed greater governmental powers have interest at stake. In the same vain black peoples and nations have still not known peace. They are still bombarded with racism by supposedly powerful bodes which exact influence on them and control their economies. (During the recent celebration of the 75th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther, a news broadcast affirm that segregation have resurfaced in America and there was awakening call on blacks to live out the dream of Martin Luther on daily basis just like Jews are also encouraged daily to keep alive their dream of living on their land.)
Satan meant all these events for evil but God undoubtedly allowed it just like the Jews to sharpen the destiny and history of black peoples. The good of the black history is that we have contributed tremendously direct or indirect to the development of every nation on the face of the earth. I call it good news because just like the Jews the importance of the back history is the fulfillment of biblical prophecy.
Below are few of the thousands of stories (Modern and past centuries) of a people who as Johnnetta B. Cole says, were systematically excluded from the mainstream of society whiles Dr. Jessie Carney smith affirms in her book ‘Black firsts', have overcome adversity and emerged triumphant and impacting humanity positively with great achievement.
In 1996 kofi Atta Annan born in 1938 became the first black African to be the secretary general of the United Nations. Annan grew up in the Gold Coast (now Ghana). He received his bachelors’ degree from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1961 and his master’s degree in management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a Sloan Fellow while at M.I.T. Annan became an activist early and took an interest in public service before he studied at Macalester. After graduation, he became administrative and budget officer for the World Health Organization in 1962. He returned to Ghana for two years and became managing director of the Ghana Tourism Control Board. Annan held various positions with the United Nations, including deputy chief of staff services (1976-1980), deputy director of administration and head of personnel for the United Nations High Commissioner for Civil Rights (1980-1983), director of budget in the office of Finance (1984-1987), and undersecretary for peacekeeping (1993-1996). In the last position, he had authority over 80,000 troops and sent them to the appropriate sites to maintain order when needed. Annan became the natural choice to fill the secretary general’s post when United Nations secretary-general Boutros-Ghali left office. Source: Contemporary Black Biography, vol.15, and pp.9-13.
SECRETARY OF STATE
In 2001 Colin Powell became the first black Secretary of State. President-elect George W. Bush tapped him for the post in December, as he began to select members of his Cabinet. A retired four-star general in the U.S. Army, Powell had held other top-level posts in the federal government. He was the first black national security advisor in 1987 and the first black to head the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1989. The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell was born in the Harlem section of New York City. He graduated from City College of the City University of New York (B.S 1958), George Washington University (M.B.A.1971), and the National War College (1976). A member of the ROTC while in college, he entered the army after graduation as a second lieutenant. He had wide experience in the military, serving as military adviser in Vietnam, battalion executive officer and division operations officer, battalion commander in South Korea, and in various other positions in Coloralo, Kansas and West Germany. By 1989 he had become commander-in-chief of the U.S. Force Command at Fort McPherson, Georgia. In 1989 he was promoted to general and he was also named chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washimgton, D.C. In the latter position, Powell successfully oversaw operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield. In 1993 he retired from the military and was given a colorful send-off at Fort Meyer, Virginia that was broadcast nationally. At that time he was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction, the nation’s highest civilian award. After retirement Powell joined the lecture circuit, served on a number of boards, and also chaired President Bill Clinton’s volunteer program, Summit for America’s Future. The program aimed to improve children’s lives. He returned to government servce in 200, when he became secretary of state.
Sources: Contemporary Black Biography, vol. 1, pp. 195-98; smith, Notable Back American Men, pp. 958-61; Nashville Tennessean, 18 December 2000.
In 1983 Michael Jackson’s album ‘Thriller’ was the first to produce five top singles “The Girl is Mine,” “Billie Jean,” “Beat It,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’,” and “Human Nature.” In 1981 the Guinness Book of Records certified Thriller, for which Jackson (born in 1958) won eight Gammy Awards, as the best-selling album to date. Guinness also cited Jackson for winning the most awards (seven) at the American Music Awards in 1984. Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana, into a musical family. The Jackson brothers-Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael-became known as The Jackson Five and received their first big break at Harlem’s Apollo Theater in 1968. They caught the attention of Motown and its president Barry Gordy and in 1969 made their debut album, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson Five. Michael Jackson began his solo career by acting in the 1977 movie The Wiz. His enormous record sales and success in concerts earned him the title “King of Pop.”
Source: Jet 81(November 18, 1991): 60; who’s Who among Black Americans, 14th ed., p.660; Smith, Notable Black American Men, pp. 605-07.
Oprah Winfrey born in 1954 became the first black woman to host a nationally syndicated weekday talk show in 1986, The Oprah Winfrey Show. She started her career at WTVF, a CBS local affiliate in Nashville, Tennessee, (where in 1971 she was the first woman co-anchor) and later moved to Chicago. In 1984 Winfrey took over A.M Chicago, which aired opposite Phil Donahue, and later expanded to the one-hour television show. She formed Harpo production, which enabled her to develop her own projects, and in 1989 bought her own television and movie production studio. She is the first black woman in television and film to own her own production company.
Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississipi. For a while she lived with her mother in Milwaukee, then which her father in Nashville. She enrolled at Tennessee State University with an academic scholarship from the local Elks and also worked as a news announcer for WVOL, a local black-owned and-operated station. WLAC, a major radio station in Nasville, hired her and later she moved to WLAC-TV (now WTVF). She left Nashville shortly before graduation, and it was not until 1988 when she delivered the commencement address at TSU that she was awarded he a bachelor’s degree. Oprah’s Book Club and on-air reading club that ran from 1996 to 2002 aided in promoting reading nationwide. In 1997 Winfrey launched Oprah’s Angel Network that encouraged people to help other who are in need. In addition to her television show, she has appeared in a number of films, including The Color Purple, and Beloved. Her television Movies includes The Women on Brewster Place. Wth Hearst Magazines, in April 2000 Winfrey introduced The Oprah Magazine, a monthly publication that became the most successful journal launched in recent history.
Sources: Black women in America, vol. 2 pp.1274-76; Contemporary Black Biography, vol. 2 pp. 262-66; Notable Black American Women, pp1273-76l /who’s Who among African Americans, 14th ed., p.1433; “Oprah Winfrey Biography,”
In 1903 Maggie Lena Walker (1865-1934 became the first black woman bank president on July 28, when she founded the Saint Luke Penny Savings Bank in Richmond, Virginia. The bank began as an insurance society in which Walker became active at the time of her marriage in 1886. When she retired due to ill health in 1933, the bank was strong enough to survive the Great Depression, and it is still in existence. The bank had a marked effect on black life in Richmond. Walker urged blacks to save their nickels and dimes, turning them into dollars, and to finance their own homes since white-owned banks would not do so. Walker also became a visible force in other areas. An ardent feminist, she urged women to improve themselves educationally and economically. She fought for women’s suffrage and also worked in voter registration campaigns. She was also an instrument in the formation of the Virginia Lily-Black Republican Party. In March 1902, Walker founded The St. Luke herald, a newspaper that illuminated black concerns and strengthened communication between the community and the Order of St. Luke, a black organization that dealt with the concerns of the race. The daughter of a former slave washerwoman, she became one of the wealthiest and most influential black women of the early twentieth century. Her spacious home in Richmond has been declared a national Historic Landmark.
Sources: Encyclopedia of Black America, pp. 152, 830; Negro Almanac, pp.231, 1394; Smith, Notable Black American /women, pp.1188-93.
In 1993 Condoleezza “Condi” Rice born in 1954 became the youngest and first black chief academic officer at Stanford University on September 1, 1993. Rice served as senior director of Soviet and East European Affairs on the National Security Council from 1991-1993, for President George Bush. For Bush’s son, President George W. Bush, she was confirmed as head of the National Security 1Z 46Y 712 03 9440 640 8Council in 2001. Born in segregated Birmingham, Alabama, Rice has risen to prominence and esteem as an academician and an expert in international relations. Her father was a university administrator, and her childhood circumstances were comfortable despite her experiences with segregation. Political science was not her first choice for a college major. Innately music major at the University of Denver, Rice changed her major and graduated in 1974 at age nineteen. A master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame followed in 1975, and she was awarded the doctorate in international studies from the University of Denver in 1981. One of the internships she held while pursuing her doctorate was with the U.S Department of State. After receiving the degree, she taught at Stanford from 1981-1989; her teaching was recognize with an award in 1984. A fellowship in 1987 allowed Rice to serve as a special assistant to the director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, whose assignment was Strategic Nuclear Policy. Rice has an enviable list of scholarly publications and has been called be some on of the “new breed of young black conservatives.”
Source: Contemporary Black Biography, vol. 3 pp. 206-8; Jet 84 (7 June 1993): 22; Smith, Notable black American Women, Book II, pp. 552-54; Who’s Who among African Americans, 14th ed., p.1088.
From April 14,1906, the preaching of William Joseph Seymour (1880-1922) at the Azusa Street Mission in Los Angeles began on e major strand in the diffusion of the Pentecostal movement amount both blacks and whites. The first widely influential revival to emphasize the centrality of speaking in tongues as evidence of baptism in the Holy Spirit, it drew both blacks and whites. In 1908 G.B. Cashwell introduced the practice he had learned from Seymour to the predominantly white Church of God, USA.
Source: Baer and singer, African-American religion in the Twentieth Century, pp. 180-181; Black apostles, pp. 213-215;Directory of African American Religious Bodies pp. 250-51.
In 1892 Sarah Boone was the first black person to receive a patent for an ironing board. Her invention was a narrow board with a padded cover and collapsible legs, and improvement over the existing boards that were placed across chairs for support.
Source: Potter and Claytor, African American firsts, p.242
In 1991 Eldrick “Tiger” Woods born in 1975 in cypress, California, became the first black and the youngest person ever to win the U.S. Junior Amateur championship in golf at age fifteen. With his participation in the Los Angeles Open in March 1992, he also became the youngest person ever to play in a professional Golf Association tour event. He became the first two-time winner of the USGA Junior Amateur crown when he successfully defended his title in 1992 at the championship in Milton, Massachusetts. Woods won his third consecutive U.S.Junior Amateur Golf Championship tittle in 1993, at the Waverly Golf Course and County Club, Portland, Oregon. He is the only golfer to win three straight junior amateur titles. Woods also won three Amateur and when he won his first one in 19994. He was the first black and the youngest person ever to do so. He entered Stanford University in 1994 and continued to demonstrate his magic strokes and his overall golf know-how. The interests of wood the golfer soon became paramount, and in 1996 he left Stanford to join the PGA Tour. It did not take long for him to become a household name. He had been on the professional tour less than a year when he won the crown jewel of golf matches-the Masters, held at Augusta, Georgia. He was the youngest ever to win the prestigious event and the first black to win a major professional tournament, and he did it at 18 under par. He was named PGA Player of the year in his first year on the tour. That was just the beginning. He kept on winning, putting together seasons that made him the one to beat in almost every match. Woods’ dominance of the tour was clearly evident by the year 2000. When he won the Mercedes Championship in Hawaii, it was the fifth consecutive championship he had won that season, the first time that had been done since 1953. In July 2000 he became the youngest player to complete golf’s career grand slam: the Masters in 1997, the PGA Championship in1999, the U.S. Open in 2000, and the British Open in the same year. He is one of only five golfers to have completed the golf grand slam. In winning the British Open at 19 under par, he set a record for strokes under par in a major championship.
The Associated Press named him Male Athlete of the Year for the third time in 2000. Twice in 2001 he experience wins at the same golf course, and he was the first player to have three consecutive victories in the NEEC Invitation at the Firestone Country Club(Akron, Ohio). His crowing glory, however, came when he won the Masters championship for the second time in April 2001. This was his fourth major championship in a row, with wins at the U.S. Open (June 19, 2000), the British Open (July 23, 2000), and PGA championship (August 20, 2000) preceding the victory at the Masters. He became the first golfer ever to hold all four major titles at the same time. On his march to the Masters again he became the youngest golfer with thirty wins on the PGA tour and the first to win three straight titles at three tournaments-the Bay Hill Invitational, the Firestone, and the Memorial Tournament. On April 14, 2002, he won the Master’s for a third time; he had back-to –back wins in that tournament as well. He is only the third golfer to reach this milestone. There are very few superlatives that have not been used in describing Woods the golfer, and very few records remaining that he has no set. He made name for himself when he started hitting golf balls at age two, scoring 48 after 9 holes by the time he was three. He has been adding to that name ever since.
Source: Jet 82(31August 1992), p.47; 84 (30 august 1993), p.46; 91 (8 April 1997), pp. 52-59; 92 (10 November1997),p. 46;97 (24 January 2000), p.51; 99 (16 April 2000), p.27; 99 (23 April 2001), pp. 54-60; 100 (18 June 2001), p. 51; NashvilleTannessean (24 August 1994; 18 March 2oo2; 15 April 2002); New York Times (24 July 2000; 15 April2002); USA Weekend (24-26 July 1992); Smith, Notable Black American Men, pp.1252-56.
Its about time that blacks had a high sense of esteem and pledge to ourselves that in whichever nation we find ourselves we shall not succumb to intimidation and bitterness but instead take our destiny into our hands, resist oppression, forge ahead and contribute positively to the development of society. Because all that blacks have gone through is part of our preparation to fulfill our prophetic destiny of being a blessing to our generation in our day, for this is our time.
It is an indisputable fact that without the extraordinary contributions of blacks the world especially the developed nations would not have advanced to the level they are today.
I therefore would like to invite all blacks to join me sing this song:
BLACK MAN ARISE
FOR GOD HAS BLESSED YOU
HIS GLORY IS SHINNING
ALL OVER YOU
REACH OUT AND TOUCH
THE WHOLE WORLD WITH JESUS
FILLED YOU WITH POWER
TO TURN IT AROUND.
By Rev. George Annan