Jesus is so often shown as a white person that it comes as a shock when he is shown with black skin. This powerful image from the Carribean shows us Jesus as he relates to the issues of racism and oppression in the world today.
This image of Jesus as a black person comes from the Caribbean and from people whose ancestors were taken there as slaves from Africa. For them, picturing Jesus as a white person, looking like the traders and owners who enslaved them, is offensive, to say the least.
Instead, Jesus is shown as a Rasta, belonging to the popular culture of the Caribbean, and he appears as the one who liberates the people from their oppression and poverty.
This powerful face of Jesus is an image of Christian resistance against racism and injustice. It shows us Jesus as the one who spoke out against prejudice and who overturned the tables of the corrupt traders of his time – and who does the same in our time, too.
It’s the opposite of “gentle Jesus, meek and mild”. This is Jesus alive and angry about the way class, race and gender are used to destroy people’s lives. This is Jesus who said, “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!”
What do you think of this picture of Jesus? What does it “say” to you? Pay a visit to our community boards by clicking here, and talk with others about the pictures you and they have found interesting or helpful.
Black and Asian people have developed unique interpretations of the gospel of Jesus based on their particular cultures, histories and experience. One only needs to visit a Black Pentecostal church or Asian Christian fellowship and listen to the worship and preaching to realise that there is a distinctive Christian tradition at work. Black theology makes the Black Christian experience the starting point for exploring theology. One of its central concerns is, ‘how does our non Western heritage, colonial past and syncretised cultures influence our understanding of the meaning of God in the world today?’
Robert Beckford, author of “Jesus is Dread”
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Christians have been making images of Jesus since the early centuries of the church. In this section, we look at pictures of the face of Christ – some of them centuries old, some of them from today.
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