Are Blacks The Cursed Descendants of Ham?
Queen Charlotte: Black English Queen and Wife Of English King George III (1738-1820)
Oh My God!
This may be the first time that some of you have heard of this topic.
Well welcome aboard this journey into a religious idea that has plagued the minds of certain groups of people over long periods of time, causing them to wreak havoc and scorn upon another group of people for hundreds if not thousands of years. Sadly, some people still believe this idea.
First the text of the curse then my commentary on the text
Noah Gets Drunk And Naked
Genesis chapter 9
20 Noah was the first tiller of the soil. He planted a vineyard; 21 and he drank of the wine, and became drunk, and lay uncovered in his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23 Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it upon both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. 24 When Noah awoke from his wine and knew what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said, "Cursed be Canaan; A slave of slaves shall he be to his brothers." 26 He also said, "Blessed by the Lord my God be Shem; and let Canaan be his slave. God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem; and let Canaan be his slave." (Revised Standard Edition)
Now let’s see what this infamous curse is all about.
Well it appears that Noah got drunk and passed-out naked in his tent (Verse 21). His son Ham saw him lying there drunk asleep and told his brothers about it and they covered him with a garment (Verse 22). So it seems that Noah spoke this curse because he was mad that his son, Ham, saw him naked.
I guess he was pretty uptight about being seen naked by Ham but not about drinking so much that he'd passed-out and was lying there in the nude where anyone could see him, including Shem and Japheth. Ham just happened to see him first.
Now here’s where the story gets interesting.
Noah’s mad at his son, Ham, but he curses his grandson Canaan (Verse 25). He says "Cursed be Canaan; a slave of slaves shall you be to your brothers."
Why is he cursing his innocent grandson Canaan, who's not in this story at all up to this point and who’s only mentioned here in passing? (Verse 22)
And what’s so bad about being seen naked that he’d want to curse anybody anyway, especially his innocent grandson? Ham committed this "horrible" offense so why doesn’t he curse Ham instead?
Noah was drunk; so maybe he intended to curse Ham but mistakenly cursed Canaan. At any rate, the person who initially took the “forbidden” action in relation to Noah was Ham not Canaan.
Some people say that seeing Noah naked wasn't the real reason for his invoking the curse…that the real reason Canaan was cursed was because he sexually molested Noah while he was sleeping. Read the text for yourself folks;
“And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23 Then Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it upon both their shoulders, and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness”. (Verse 22)
Do you see anything in the text about Canaan molesting his grandfather, Noah? Does it seem to you that the real reason for the curse was that Ham saw Noah naked?
If seeing Noah naked wasn't the reason why does the writer emphasize the fact that Ham saw his father's nakedness and Shem and Japheth didn't? Anyway, the innocent Canaan received the curse not, Ham.
Let's move on.
Let’s dissect the historical after shocks of this curse. White supremacists and their sympathizers say that Ham was cursed by God with blackness and as a result, all of Ham’s descendants (Black People) are cursed and are destined to be slaves (A good justification for enslaving Africans during the European slave trade.).
But as you can see by the text, that’s not true. God doesn’t curse anyone Noah does. (Verse 24-25). Noah doesn’t curse Ham he curses his innocent grandson, Canaan, and the text doesn’t say that Ham or Canaan were cursed with blackness.
Noah said in Verse 25, “Canaan shall be a slave of slaves to his brothers” and in Verses 26-27, to his Uncles Shem and Japheth not to white supremacists or any other group.
Now who are these brothers Canaan is cursed to be a slave to?
Get your bibles out, scroll down to Genesis 10, Verse 6 where it lists the sons of Ham; his son’s are listed as Cush, Mizraim, Put and Canaan.
(Mizraim… was the name generally given by the Hebrews to the land of Egypt…) (Easton’s Revised Bible dictionary)
(This probably means that this list of sons is metaphorical or mythological because these are all names of ancient civilizations in Africa; groups of people not individuals).
These are the blacks who (according to the text) are the descendants of Ham, who historically, white racists say were cursed by God with blackness; but, again, as you can see from the text that’s not the case. God doesn’t curse Ham or his sons with blackness, but Noah does curse Canaan.
So Canaan is cursed to be a slave to his brothers Cush, Egypt, and Put? Canaan is cursed to be a slave to the ancestors of the blacks?
Not to mention that if Canaan’s brothers are black…that means Canaan is black…and his father Ham is black...and since Ham, Shem and Japheth all have the same father and mother. It’s logical to conclude that Noah, his wife, Shem and Japheth are black.
Remember Ham wasn't cursed with blackness. So that means that if his sons are black, he's black, his mother and father are black, and so are his brothers. That’s how absurd this whole thing about blacks being cursed with blackness is. Blacks weren't cursed with black skin.
Dark Skin Is A Blessing
Actually, having black skin was a blessing for Africans rather than a curse. Dark skin protected Africans and other dark skin people from being killed or severely burned by the sun. The melanin content of the skin is what causes dark skin. It’s because of melanin that you get tanned rather than burned when you’re out in the hot sun.
Those with very fair or pale skin have very little or no melanin in their skin, that’s why they can be severely burned or poisoned by exposure to the sun. You could say that those people are cursed because they don’t have dark skin which is just as stupid as saying that those with dark skin are cursed because they don’t have white skin.
I'm surprised by the number of people that don't know about melanin, especially white people. Please those of you who don't know do a search on melanin and get updated and maybe we can start to put an end to some of the stupidity of racism based on skin color.
Let’s trace the descendants of the innocent cursed Canaan.
Go to Genesis 10, Verse15-20 and you’ll see that the descendants of Canaan actually end up populating a large portion of what’s now the Middle East. Canaan was also the name of the “Promised Land” (roughly were present day Israel is now) that Moses led the Children of Israel to. And since the Israelites were the descendants of Canaan’s uncle, Shem, that means they actually fought their own relatives for possession the “Promised Land”.
As I said earlier, if Ham was black, then the whole family of Noah was black, therefore by extension, Moses and the people he led out of Egypt were black. And if you believe that we all descend from Adam and Eve, they were black; which goes along with the current findings of genetic and archeological science that states that, all humans originated in Africa near Ethiopia.
Not to mention that Egypt was also a descendant of Ham, where these children of Israel lived and intermingled for four hundred years. (After intermingling with Egyptians for four hundred years, they had become more Egyptian than Israelite; as the descendants of Africans have become more American than African after living in the United States for a similar length of time)
So if there were any “cursed descendants of Ham.” It looks like they would have to be Canaan’s descendants. But again…the text doesn’t say Canaan’s descendants were cursed just the innocent Canaan (Verse 25-26).
So what happened to the fabled curse on black people?
Unless you’re spiritually myopic, you can see from the text that this whole curse thing has just been ethnic propaganda, used for centuries to justify enslaving Africans and their descendants for economic gain and to help relieve the guilt of white Christians for participating in the slave trade. Generally speaking, this myth has allowed all whites to feel superior to blacks for no other reason than that they are white!
According to the noted African American Historian and anthropologist, J.A Rogers, in his book "Nature Knows No Color Line" certain Jewish Rabbis in the first or second century A.D. taught that Ham was cursed with blackness for engaging in sex on the ark against God’s command. This is another source of historical misinformation that helped create the psychological climate that made it easier for various white Christian cultures to abuse and enslave blacks for social and economic gain.
As Montesquieu, the French political theorist said, “It is impossible for us to suppose these creatures, enslaved Africans, to be men; because allowing them to be men, a suspicion would follow that we ourselves are not Christians.”
In other words Christians wouldn't enslave their fellow man. So Montesquieu and others would rather see the enslaved Africans as not human (not men) in order to "save face" and still see themselves as "good" Christians. (How hypocritical is that?)
The myth that God "cursed" blacks made it easier for white Christians and others to engage in racist behaviors without feeling guilty about it. (Of course not all whites or white Christians accepted this ideology or engaged in those behaviors and many were totally in opposition to any racist ideology)
Blacks must have previously been very powerful and enviously admired in the cultural and religious history of the various white cultures of the world, for so much scorn to have been heaped on them starting in such ancient times.
“What a subject for meditation, just think that the race of black men today our slaves and the object of our scorn, is the very race to which we owe our arts, science and even the use of our speech.” Anthropologist, Count Constatin de Volney (1727-1820).
Some African Americans BelieveThis Myth
Ironically, there are African-Americans, who believe this myth, about blacks being the "Cursed Descendants of Ham" without ever researching it, to see if it's true or not! They never critique nor question if what they believe is true or not. They just accept it as true, because that’s what they’ve been taught.
But that's the way it is with those who are overly religious or closed minded whether they’re black or white. But we should seek to know the truth if want to free our minds of deception and self deception. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” John 8:32
This article is dedicated to those who believed that blacks were the “Cursed Descendants of Ham” based on what they’ve been taught or believed that the Bible said on the subject. Hopefully after reading this article the truth flashed across your Minds like Lightening across a darken sky!
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