A Slaveholder Lie Still Circulates In 21st Century America

Slaveholder propaganda is still circulating in America in the 21st Century, even in the black community. Here are three examples:

1) A few years ago a black man I had never met stopped his beautiful pick-up truck beside me as I was standing on Natchez Street in Franklin, Tennessee. Almost the first thing he said to me was, “You know, we black people are under a curse.” “What?” I asked. “Oh yeah,” he said. “God cursed us in the Bible.” This guy looked prosperous and was very intelligent and articulate. And yet he debated with me (a white guy) for twenty minutes, that blacks were cursed by God in the Bible.

2) A white church I formerly attended once had a Somali guest preacher and choir. The first thing this African man said when he stood to preach was something like this: “You know, we black people are under God’s curse.”

3) A prominent black preacher, who is a friend of mine, gave me a copy of a book he wrote. In that book he states over and over again that all black people have a Biblical curse on them.

Where did these folks get the idea that blacks are cursed? It is nothing more than slaveholder propaganda. As white Americans imported Africans for slavery, they felt compelled to justify their wicked behavior and turned to the Bible. By distorting and twisting Genesis chapter 9, verses 20-27, they developed the so-called “curse of Ham.”

Slave holders proclaimed that the descendants of Ham were the Africans and that they all shared in the curse and were supposed to be enslaved by other races. Let’s set the record straight! In his book, The Black Man–Cursed or Blessed?” COGIC author, Scott A. Bradley says: “I began to read these scriptures in Genesis Chapter 9 and through much prayer and study I find that there is no such curse of races as we have been told for centuries.”

If you read this passage you will see that Noah got drunk one day and was physically exposed in his tent. One of his sons, Ham, came in and “saw the nakedness of his father,” and told his two brothers. The brothers, Shem and Japeth, backed into Noah’s tent and covered his nakedness. When Noah came to from his drunkenness he realized “what his younger son had done unto him.” 

Then Noah said: “Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.” Please notice that a hung-over Noah spoke this “curse” and not God. Also note that the “curse” was on an individual, Canaan (Ham’s youngest son), and not on Ham nor on any of Ham’s descendants besides his youngest son, Canaan. Bradly points out that “Noah did not have three races of sons.” Indeed, there is absolutely no mention of race or color or black people in this passage, yet it was used for 250 years as an attempt to Biblically justify the enslavement of Africans.

No one knows for sure, who today are Ham’s descendants. But whoever they are, they are not cursed. The best explanation I have ever found for this passage is that after Noah woke up from his drunkenness, he realized that Ham had molested him. Then when he said: “Cursed be Canaan,” he was describing Canaan’s situation more than cursing him. (Notice he did not say “I curse Cannan,” but instead stated that Canaan was cursed.)

If Noah had wanted to speak a curse on someone wouldn’t he have cursed Ham, the person who did the act, rather than the innocent son? Canaan was probably still a child and would be living with a father who was a molester and that is a cursed situation for any child.

This passage in no way either states or implies that God put a curse on black people! How can it? It never mentions color! A hung-over Noah, not God, is the one who says “cursed.” The statement is directed at one person only, Canaan, and not toward any group or race of people!

The list of Shem, Ham, and Japeth’s descendants that follows this chapter never mention either race or a curse on a particular group of Noah’s descendants. Bradley says: “From the sons of Noah came the table of nations, not the table of races as some believe.”

Conclusion: The “curse of Ham being on black people” is a complete and total falsehood. Truth is, there is very strong evidence that the founders of ancient Egyptian civilization were black. If so, then the foundation of western civilization was established by blacks.

It is sad that the falsehood of the “curse of Ham” still lingers in America. Yet it was officially preached by “the church” and officially taught by the government from 1619, when the first black slaves arrived, until the 1960’s when “church” and state took away their official support of this falsehood. After 350 years of propaganda, it is not easily gotten over.

I encourage you to examine this passage of scripture for yourself. Set aside what you have been taught and read it as it is. Does it say “God cursed black people?” Be honest. Then read “John 3:16.” There you will see that God so loved the world (the people, not the real estate) that He gave Jesus for us all! Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight!

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About Steve Simms

I like to look and think outside the box. I have written two books: Mindrobics: How To Be Happy For The Rest Of Your Life and Your Sperm Won--Experiencing Your Value As A Championship Human Being. In college I encountered Jesus Christ and I have been passionate about trying to get to know Him better ever since. My wife and I lead a non-traditional church in Nashville based on open participation and Spirit-led sharing. We long to see the power and passion of the early church come to life in our time.
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9 Responses to A Slaveholder Lie Still Circulates In 21st Century America

  1. I’m wondering if the conclusion that Noah was “molested” instead of what is recorded in God’s Word being the whole of the story is what I have often heard preachers call “theological inference,” that being their explanation when they don’t believe what the Bible says, or was there some other valid reason for this explanation.

    • Steve Simms says:

      Thanks for the comment, Cheryl, and for reading my blog. It is obvious from reading the passage that something inappropriate was done by Ham to Noah. Forutnately, the Bible spares us the details. As I said in the blog, the passage says that Ham “saw the nakedness of his father,” and that Noah found out “what his younger son had done unto him.”

      • Caleb Newell says:

        I would stick with what the Bible explicitly states and leave out personal inferences. What was inappropriate was that he saw his fathers nakedness, then exposed it to others, without concern for his father. The other brothers chose not to look upon him, and to cover him.

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  7. Mary Noriega says:

    Moses 7: 7-8. the curse as a blackness of skin.
    Abraham 1: 21-25 states egyptians descended from one of Hams daughters and were Canaanites.
    One could suppose that the statement “a servant of servants” could be prophetic, not a curse.

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