Monday, February 20, 2006

Black History Month Meets The Segregation Of Church And State

Lloyd Marcus grew up in an era where faith was all some people had. Certainly it's true today, but this month is set aside to remember the contribution of African slaves, immigrants and their descendants to the melting pot of American history. Due to racism, many elements of this history would be forgotten. Fortunantly, people like Mr. Marcus can help us remember. I work with a man whose wife is of African descent. She is a prolific painter and paints scenes from her childhood out of the images of her memory. This is what Mr. Marcus does as well. Many of the elements are the same between these two artists. One of these common elements is a Christian faith most likely gleaned from some of the more benevolent slave owners.

It is this faith that is the both ancillary and foundational to Mr. Marcus memories. As such, it shows up in his paintings. It is a matter of fact that the faith that slaves shared was the source of community where families were broken up to be sold to different owners. It is a matter of fact that Christians were instrumental in the underground railroad. It is a matter of fact that black communities were cemented together by local churches after the abolition of slavery. It is a matter of fact that churches not only cemented black communities together, but provided a common ground for fellowship between blacks and whites. (Sadly is also been a matter of fact that this has not grown much beyond a cursory relationship among much of Christendom.) It is a matter of fact that there are still those who remember these facts and remember them as integral to the history of America.

It is also at this point where Mr. Marcus has discovered the new bigotry - not of white against black, but of secularists against Christians. Ostensibly it's all about non-establishment, but it turns into a denial of the facts of history to the point where faith in Christ is to be excludeded from any public consideration, including that of history. Officials in Deltona, Florida, a suburb of Orlando and Lloyd Marcus' home town, have banned his paintings from a special Black History Month display at Town Hall. Well, they're not banned here. For your consideration, Lloyd Marcus' controversial art:


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