Since we are in black history month, I have posted some comments on the Jesus Saves Social Network in our Sunday school/Bible Study group, Route 66 about the Shulammite Woman in Song of Solomon relative to her race and how she saw herself.
This beautiful woman not only loves her man and isn't afraid to show it, but also she loves herself and the skins she's in. Everytime I read the Song of Solomon in the Bible, I want to say, "Love the Skin You're In!" I think that is a message that gets missed oftentimes, especially when 15 out of 22 black children choose a white doll as more beautiful over a black doll in a 2006 remake of the Clarke Doll Study. In fact, Psalm 139:14 states, "...I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are thy works....!
Here's a portion of what I wrote in reply to Steve Jones' comments to the post "Are You In the Bible?"
"Pastor Jeffrey Johnson of Eastern Star Church in Indianapolis states on page 30 in his book entitled, Song of Solomon, Love, Sex, and Relationships, "You may be wondering what celebrating has to do with Song of Solomon 1:5. Look at how this woman celebrates. She says, 'I am black and beautiful." This is a Shulammite woman, a Black African sister who has checked herself out and said, 'I am fine! I really look good!' She begins to celebrate her identity and God's creativity in her life. You need to do that."
Further Johnson states on page 33 of Song of Solomon, Love, Sex, and Relationships, "The Beloved in this story also recognizes her beauty as a black woman. She says: 'I'm Black and beautiful (NRSV). I love that. Some versions say, 'I'm black but comely' or 'yet lovely.' In the original Hebrew, the translation is not necessarily: 'I am black, but beautiful.' As the New Revised Standard Version translates it, she is not saying 'I am beautiful in spite of my blackness'; instead, she is saying, 'I am beautiful because of my blackness. I am conscious of my beauty, and my beauty lies in my blackness.' This is difficult to grasp for some of us African Americans because we grew up in a racist nation which tried to convince us that anything black or dark had something wrong with it."
Read the Song of Songs, the Song of Solomon and I think you will agree with makers of Oil of O'Lay when they say, "Love the skin you're in!"
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Remember, it is not Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, nor New Age that saves. Jesus saves!