LISTEN: The Plantation System, Part 7; Negro Religion in the City, Part 4 (The History of Black Americans and the Black Church #55 with Daniel Whyte III)

Welcome to episode #55 of the The History of Black Americans and the Black Church podcast.

Our Scripture Verse for today is Hebrews 10:24-25 which reads: “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

Our History of Black Americans and the Black Church quote for today is from Martin Luther King Jr. He said, “It is our job as ministers to bring the church back to the center of the human race. But we can only bring the church back to the center of the human race when we bring Christ back to the center of the church.”

In this podcast, we are using as our texts: From Slavery to Freedom, by John Hope Franklin, The Negro Church in America by E. Franklin Frazier, and The Black Church In The U.S. by William A. Banks.

Our first topic for today is titled “The Plantation System, Part 7” from the book, “From Slavery to Freedom” by John Hope Franklin.

Slaves were being constantly exported from the islands, especially from the British islands. In an effort to capture the slave trade with foreign islands, British traders first brought slaves to some British island and then quietly reexported them to Cuba, Puerto Rico, or some other foreign island. While it is not possible to estimate the number of Africans transported to Cuba from the British islands, it is quite clear that this was Cuba’s most important source of slaves. Jamaica alone sent more than 10,000 there in 1756. Of the 90,331 Africans imported into the British West Indies between 1784 and 1787, some 19,964 were reexported; but it is not possible to determine whether they went to French, Spanish, or Portuguese markets, to other British islands, or to the mainland.

As the prosperity of the West Indies declined in the early eighteenth century and as the attention of Europe became focused on the continent of North America, more slaves were doubtless exported from the islands to the mainland. The demand for slaves in the mainland colonies was steadily increasing, and a decided preference for slaves from the islands was manifested. In 1764 several shipments of slaves were made from the West Indies to South Carolina. They came from St. Christopher, Antigua, Barbados, and even Havana. Although the islands could not satisfy the growing demand for slaves on the mainland, they sent some of their surplus yearly, as the records amply testify. Indeed, reexportation itself became a lucrative business in which many persons were engaged. On the islands of St. Christopher, Barbados, and Jamaica some firms carried on a regular business of reexporting slaves to other islands and to the mainland. In the colonies many firms did business directly with traders on the islands.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.


Our second topic for today is “Negro Religion in the City, Part 4” from “The Negro Church in America” by E. Franklin Frazier.

In the urban environment the entire mental outlook of Negroes was changed. This was especially true with the migrants who went to the large metropolitan centers and industrial cities of the North. In the strange environment the Negro endeavored to explain his new experiences in terms of his traditional outlook on life which was saturated with his religion and the image of the world provided by his knowledge of the Bible. This is shown vividly in the letters which the migrants sent home to their families, often through the pastor of the church to which they belonged in the South. In one letter a migrant to Pittsburgh undertook to describe the marvel of the gigantic blazing steel furnaces by writing that they were just like what would happen on Judgment Day. But the new experiences could not be contained in the traditional ways of thinking about the world. Even the illiterate migrants could not remain unaffected by the new ideas and above all the new ways of behaving in the urban environment. They were impressed by the new status in which they found themselves. They marveled at the fact that their children went to school with white children and the white teachers addressed them as Mister and Mistress. They saw Negroes in unaccustomed roles as policemen and firemen and in positions of trust and authority and that Negroes could vote as white men did. Through these experiences they acquired a new conception of Negroes and of themselves.

If the Lord tarries His Coming and we live, we will continue looking at this topic in our next episode.

Let’s have a word of prayer.

In closing, allow me to say that like many of you, I grew up in a very religious and church-going family, and during that time, I often heard the phrase “Being Saved.” Now, much of what the church people whom I grew up around said “being saved” was I now know is wrong according to the Bible. For example, joining the church, being baptized, doing good things, or being a good person does not mean you are saved. I wrote an article about this matter titled “On ‘Being Saved’ in Black America” which is available for you to read free of charge on our website, Right now, I want to share with you very briefly what the Bible says “being saved” really is.

First, understand that you need to be saved because you are a sinner. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, understand that a horrible punishment eternal Hell awaits those who are not saved. In Matthew 25:41, Jesus Christ said that God will say to those who are not saved, “depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Third, realize that God loves you very much and wants to save you from Hell. John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you want to be saved from Hell and be guaranteed a home in Heaven, simply believe in Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose from the dead for your sins, and then call upon the Lord in prayer and ask Him to save your soul. And believe me, He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you do that today, then you can truly sing in the words of the Old Negro spiritual: Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty I’m free at last.

Until next time, may God richly bless you.