Lent of Liberation
By Cheri L Mills
This 40 day Devotional goes beyond the institution of slavery with the intimate memories of runaway slaves. These documented accounts of their escape from freedom are linked to biblical text, scriptures, and uplifting songs. The stories that appear within the devotional are heart wrenching but, they present Black America’s past and present injustices and exclusion.
The author dives into the time of the “Black Holocaust. The “Black Holocaust” are misfortunes of enslavement, Black codes, share cropping, Jim Crow laws, lynchings, police brutality, redlining and mass incarceration. A very profound quote stated, “that because Blacks were targeted for special mistreatment, then Blacks should be targeted for special treatment.” In oppression slavery brought profit to America with 3.2 million slaves bringing in approximately $1.2 billion in market value. The author asks the reader, “can there be justice without reparations?” My answer to that is an absolute no because there is a debt owed for an economy being built on our backs.
These devotionals speaks tremendously about despair and finding hope. Slaves experienced great despair because of their masters and their mistresses idolatrous , sadistic, unruly and cruel systems and practices; with a mustard seed of faith and undying hope they ran to their freedom even though at times it meant leaving their families behind. It is unimaginable to understand this faith, hope and consistent belief that there is a God that slaves possessed because of the poorly-painted image of Christ that they were consistently being shown. Many were Methodist, Evangelicals and other denominations but governed their lives upon ownership of slaves, brutality and cruel and unusual punishment. This was not authentic Christianity.
I thoroughly enjoyed this daily devotional of the intimate stories of multiple slaves’ journey to their freedom. Although a daily reminder of Black America’s constant struggle and injustices encountered, the author gave the reader confidence in the idea that times will get better for us. I feel the questions after each devotional serves as a complex observation of the true state of the country we live in and a dialogue with one’s self about who they are and who they can be. For me the personal stories from real experiences and the facts of black oppression served as an educational read, but the author’s true audience was White people. The need for change was exposed. I recommend this forty day devotional to all readers, no matter the race.