Posts Tagged ‘African American Church’

Black-ish and Our Cultural Wasteland

October 18, 2014

blackish photo

Black-ish is a new comedy series starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross that debuted as the number one comedy show recently on ABC. The single-camera comedy centers on an upper-middle-class African-American family who struggles with racial issues as they live in a predominately White community.

While I applaud the show for tackling racial issues, I do have some issues about its portrayal of the Black Family. In the show’s premiere episode, the teenage son is envious of his peers who have Bar Mitzvahs and so his father addresses his son’s issue by giving him a “Bro Mitzvah.” This includes the father and son wearing matching Adidas suits, with Run DMC glasses and gold chains.

What gets me here is that the show is supposed to be breaking racial stereotypes but instead it perpetuates them with the assumption that to be Black means that you’re into Hip Hop and Basketball.   Furthermore, what really disturbs me is that in this show and other portrayals of the Black family, there is no mention of God or the central role that the church plays in Black family life.  This is troublesome, because it has been the church that has sustained the African American family down through the centuries, and the church is key to keeping our families together and ensuring that our children’s future is bright.

However, this seems to be the norm. Our nation is becoming a cultural wasteland.  On another immensely popular TV show, Scandal, the African American star, Olivia Pope has regular “booty calls” (the word used on the show) with the President and another man who is not her husband.  I just pray that Ms. Pope’s example is not one that our young people — or seasoned saints for that matter — will follow.

I’m not necessarily saying that we need to bring the Cosby Show back, but what I am saying is that as people of faith we need to carefully decipher our entertainment choices.  We must distinguish between what is decent and what is trash, and teach our young people to do the same. We must seek to bless the Lord at all times and to let his praise continually be in our mouths and this includes doing so in our television and other entertainment choices.

Pastor Kip Banks, Sr.


“Cadillac is Back”

June 29, 2013


Recently, I traveled to the Detroit Renaissance Center, the site of the fast approaching 2013 PNBC Annual Meeting.  The “Rencen,” as it’s popularly known, in addition to housing a Marriott Hotel, dinning and shopping, is also the corporate home of General Motors.

While at the center, I stopped at a café’, grabbed a cup of coffee and a free automotive paper that was on a newsstand, and I saw a headline that grabbed my attention.  The headline said “Cadillac is Back.” The story went on to describe how over the past 4-months the Cadillac brand has outsold all other luxury automobiles including Mercedes, Lexus, BMW, Lincoln and Audi.

The article celebrated the genius of Cadillac’s engineers and how the brand has kept true to its roots, but has been updated with cutting-edge technology.  As I pondered the story, and thought about the historic relationship of Cadillacs and African American preachers, God spoke to me and said, just as Cadillac has come back, “The Progressive National Baptist Convention is coming back.” 

What also played into this revelation is the fact that the Renaissance Center sits prominently on the Detroit River and historically and biblically rivers represent restoration, renewal, and revival.  Indeed, Paul and Silas in the 16th Chapter of the book of Acts went down by the riverside because there down by the riverside was a known place of prayer.  Also during the days of slavery, African Americans would steal away and go down by the riverside, to a place of prayer, restoration and revival, and this is exactly what is going to be happening in Detroit, prayer, restoration, and revival.

PNBC President, Dr. Carroll A. Baltimore, Sr. has designated the first hour of each day at our Detroit Annual Session as the “Harold A. Carter, Sr. Hour of Prayer” and restoration, renewal and revival always begins with prayer. The Convention will kick-off on Sunday evening with a Gospel extravaganza including the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, Bishop Marvin Winans and Grammy Winning Gospel Artists Dorinda Clark Cole among others.  The concert venue seats about 2,000 persons and the concert is only $20, so you better get your tickets while they last.

On Monday, our First Ladies will be treated to a special first lady’s spa, and on Monday afternoon we’ll take the Gospel to the streets with our “Silver Lining of Hope” Stop the Gun Violence crusade. 

On Tuesday, the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. will preach and we will hold a special discussion of recent challenges to the Voting Rights Act.  We will also hear from a host of inspirational preachers including Dr. Fredrick Haynes, III and Dr. Jeremiah Wright. Each day will be a day of restoration and revival including a host of dynamic classes.

I am excited about our upcoming annual meeting in Detroit and I pray that you are as well. The deadline to make your reservations is July 11, so make them now while you have time.  I look forward to see you in Detroit and remember just like Cadillac, PNBC is coming back!

Peace, Power and Progress, Pastor Kip Banks, Sr.