According to the data collected back in 2007 by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life 87% of African-Americans described themselves as being affiliated with some religious organization or they have some form of spirituality. When someone looks out at the American landscape we see neighborhoods littered with churches, mosques and so forth that house Blacks to engage in whatever religious observances that they adhere to. If we look on the internet and social media we find individuals communicating their religious and spiritual beliefs and practices. Yet when we look at the state of Black America things are still the same. We still suffer for the societal ills that plague the Black collective.
There is a place for religion or spirituality but these things in the models that are being transmitted at present does not generally cater to the material aspect of man and woman. Even though these religious and spiritual institutions have the financial means to make a significant difference for instance there are some that found clothing and food pantries but that does not solve the problem because the person will become hungry once again. It is putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound. It is just tending to one symptom out of many. It does not offer any authentic solution to the root cause.
As the Pew Research data shows us we have a plethora of religious and spiritual people running around but we still have sickness, crime, violence, hunger, single parent households, abortion and domestic abuse. This is not an indictment on Christianity or Islam but all forms of religious and spiritual entities that does very little to solve the problems that Blacks have encountered throughout their time in North America and abroad. Afro-centric religions and forms of spirituality are just as guilty.
Now if religion and spirituality was the only chief means of navigating through life then one would think that the people that frequent these places or those that function as evangelists for these systems on social networks and elsewhere would thrive in the manner of the dominant society and other groups yet these things remain. So religion and spirituality is not the only thing necessary.
Economics is the missing factor. Many of the difficulties the Black collective face comes down to choices. They lack them. When people have wealth, power and influence at their disposal a whole other world opens up. Why commit robbery or sell drugs when you can go out and acquire a job that pays you a living wage? It’s nice to talk about the hereafter, morals or history but once the inner man or woman is nourished and the talking is over you have material needs that needs tending to. Words are not going to satiate you hunger pains or the hunger pains of your loved ones. Religion or spirituality may halt some issues but not all.