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Reviewed by Eduardo Aduna for Readers' Favorite
Shahidi Islam, 5 Percenter and a former Christian, draws upon his past experiences to craft a holistic, heavily researched book that shines a light on how Western culture has skewed religious content and used it as a means to maintain the current class and race status quo. Black Divinity: Institutes of the Black Theocracy Shahidi Collection Vol 1 delves into how black people as a whole have been excised from the history and tenets of Christianity and how the Eurocentric perspective on Christ and his teachings have been utilized for imperialism and subjugation in the past and cultural oppression in the present. Shahidi Islam guides readers through the Afrocentric perspective of Christianity and how various philosophies, political influences, and even the author’s varied personal experiences have contributed to the evolving zeitgeist of black theocracy.
The adage that history is written by the winners highlights how past and present historical, theological, and political ideas are shaped by those who have succeeded in culturally subjugating others. In an age where African-Americans are claiming their place in American society after centuries of slavery and class oppression, authors like Shahidi Islam play a vital role in enlightening people on how religion has been used as a tool for subjugation in the past, and how the concept of divinity can in itself be used as a means for empowerment today. Comprehensive in scope and persuasive in its arguments, Black Divinity highlights the richness and continued development of African-American street culture in a book that is as relevant today as it was a decade ago.