The Black Presence in the Bible

The Black Presence in the Bible


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes



Much of Rashidi’s presentation showed first hand the African presence throughout Asia and the rest of the world. “India has the largest concentration of Africans of any place outside of Africa,” explained Rashidi, whose slides included actual photos of people throughout India, Cambodia, and Viet Nam as well as pictures taken of temples and art of black people in Russia, China and Japan. 



Writings of Runoko Rashidi


Introduction to African Civilizations / African Presence in Early Asia / Introduction to the Study of African Classical Civilizations


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The Black Presence in the Bible A Selected Bibliography

 Compiled by Runoko Rashidi

 Dedicated to Dr. Charles Buchanan Copher


According to my understanding of this conference, there is a thesis which defines its nature and purpose.  That thesis is: `The black  religious experience should be included in the curriculums of all Christian theological seminaries.—Dr. Charles B. Copher

Adamo, David Tuesday. The Place of Africa and Africans in the Old Testament and Its Environment. Ann Arbor: UMI Dissertation Information Service, 1986

Adamo, David Tuesday.  Black Women in the Bible. n.p.: n.p., 1987.

Al-Mansour, Khalid Abdullah.  The Destruction of Western Civilization, As Seen Through Islam, Christianity and Judaism. San Francisco: First African Arabian Press, 1982. 

Ammi, Ben.  God, The Black Man and Truth. Chicago: Communicators Press, 1982.

“Artists Portray a Black Christ.” Ebony (April 1971).

Barashango, Ishakamusa.  God, the Bible and the Black Man’s Destiny: A Treasury of Biblical, Historical and Scientific Facts. Washington, D.C.: IVth Dynasty, 1982. 

Barashango, Ishakamusa.  Afrikan Genesis: Amazing Stories of Man’s Beginning. Washington, D.C.: IVth Dynasty, 1991.

Ben-Jochannan, Yosef A.A. African Origins of the Major Western Religions. 1970; rpt. Baltimore: Black Classical Press, 1991.

Ben-Jochannan, Yosef A.A.  A Chronology of the Bible: A Challenge to the Standard Version. New York: Alkebu-lan, 1973.

Ben-Jochannan, Yosef A.A.  The Black Man’s Religion, and Extracts and Comments from the Holy Black Bible. New York: Alkebu-lan, 1974.

Ben-Jochannan, Yosef A.A. We the Black Jews, Witness to the `White Jewish Race’ Myth, 2 Vols. New York: Alkebu-lan, 1983.

Bennett, Robert A., Jr.  “Africa and the Biblical Period.” Harvard Theological Review 64 (1971): 483-500.

“BBB Interviews Dr. Yosef ben-Jochannan” Black Books Bulletin 5, No. 4 (1977): 32-36

“BBB Interview Prince Asiel ben-Israel.” Black Books Bulletin 5, No. 4 (1977): 38-41.

Blyden, Edward Wilmot.  Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race. London: W.B. Whittingham, 1888.

Boyd, Paul C.  The African Origin of Christianity, Vol. 1: A Biblical and Historical Account. London: Karis Press, 1991.

Brown, Tony.  “What Color is Jesus?” Herald-Despatch, 21 Dec 1989: A-4.

Clarke, John Henrik.  “The Boy Who Painted Christ Black.” Brothers and Sisters: Modern Stories by Black Americans. Edited by Arnold Adoff. New York: Dell, 1975: 44-62.

Cleage, Albert B., Jr.  Black Christian Nationalism: New Directions for the Black Church. New York: William Morrow, 1972.

Clegg, Legrand H. II.  “Was Jesus Christ Black?” Sepia (Dec 1980): 10-17.

Copher, Charles B.  “The Black Man in the Biblical World.” Journal of the Interdenominational Theological Center 1, No. 2 (1974): 7-16.

Copher, Charles B.  “Blacks and Jews in Historical Interaction: The Biblical/African Experience.” Journal of the Interdenominational Theological Center 3, No. 1 (1975): 9-16.

Copher, Charles B.  “Egypt and Ethiopia in the Old Testament.” Nile Valley Civilizations: Proceedings of the Nile Valley Conference, Atlanta, Sept. 26-30. Edited by Ivan Van Sertima. New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1984: 163-78.

Copher, Charles B.  “Three Thousand Years of Biblical Interpretation with Reference to Black Peoples.”  Journal of the Interdenominational Theological Center 13, No. 2 (1986): 225-46.

Copher, Charles B.  “Bible Characteristics, Events, Places and Images Remembered and Celebrated in Black Worship.” Journal of Interdenominational Theological Center 14, Nos. 1-2 (1986-87): 75-86.

Copher, Charles B.  Black Biblical Studies: An Anthology of Charles B. Copher (Biblical and Theological Issues on the Black Presence in the Bible). Chicago: Black Light Fellowship, 1993  

Darkwah, Doris.  “The Role of Africa in the Rise of Judaism.” Black Books Bulletin 5, No. 4 (1977): 6-11.

Dillard, William Larue.  Biblical Ancestry Voyage: Revealing Facts of Significant Black Characters. Foreword by O.C. Jones. Morristown: Aaron Press, 1989.

Drake, J.G. St. Clair.  “The Black Experience in Medieval European Christendom.” Section in Black Folk Here and There: An Essay in History and Anthropology, Vol. 2. Los Angeles: Center for Afro-American Studies, UCLA, 1990: 185-202.

Drake, J.G. St. Clair.  “Blackness in the Christian Synthesis of Judaic and Greco-Roman Traditions.” Section in BBlack Folk Here and There: An Essay in History and Anthropology, Vol. 2. Los Angeles:  Center for Afro-American Studies, UCLA, 1990: 203-26.  

Dunston, Alfred G., Jr. The Black Man in the Old Testament and its World. Philadelphia: Dorrance & Co., 1974.

Felder, Cain Hope. Troubling Biblical Waters: Race, Class, and Family. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1989.  

Finch, Charles S.  Echoes of the Old Darkland: Themes from the African Eden. Decatur: Khenti, Inc., 1991.

Fuller, Hoyt W.  “An Interview: The Original Hebrew Israelite Nation.” Black World 24, No. 7 (1975): 62-85.

Hansberry, William Leo.  “Historical Facts Challenge Notion that Christianity is the Religion of the West.”  Ebony (Jan 1965).

Hayne, Joseph Elias.  The Negro in Sacred History, Or, Ham and His Immediate Descendants. Charleston: Hayne, 1887

Holly, Alonzo Potter.  God and the Negro: Synopsis of God and the Negro of the Biblical Record or the Race of Ham. Foreword by William V. Tunnell. Nashville: National Baptist Publishing Board, 1937.

Hyman, MarkBlacks Who Died for Jesus: A History Book. Philadelphia: Corrective Black History Books, 1983.

Jackson, John G.  Introduction to African Civilizations. Replica Books, 2001.

Jackson, John. G. “Egypt and Christianity.” Egypt Revisited. Edited by Ivan Van Sertima. New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1982: 65-80.

Jackson, John G.  Was Jesus Christ A Negro? and The African Origin of the Myths and Legends of the Garden of Eden. Chicago: MASS, Inc., 1984.

Jackson, John GChristianity Before Christ. Austin: American Atheist Press, 1985.

Jackson, John GPagan Origins of the Christ Myth. American Atheist Press, 1989.

Johnson, John L. The Black Biblical Heritage: Four Thousand Years of Black Biblical History. Rev. ed. Nashville: Winston-Derek, 1993.

McCray, Walter Arthur.  The Black Presence in the Bible: Discovering the Black and African Identity of Biblical Persons and Nations. Chicago: Black Light Fellowship, 1990.

McCray, Walter Arthur.  The Black Presence in the Bible and the Table of Nations Genesis 10:1-32 with Emphasis on the Hamitic Genealogical Line from a Black Perspective. Chicago: Black Light Fellowship, 1990.

McKissic, William Dwight, SrBeyond Roots: In Search of Blacks in the Bible. Foreword by Anthony T. Evans. Wenoah, NJ: Renaissance Productions, 1990.

McKissic, William Dwight, Sr., and Anthony T. Evans.  Beyond Roots II, If Anybody Ask You Who I Am: A Deeper Look at Blacks in the Bible. Foreword by Roland G. Hardy, Jr. Wenonah, NJ: Renaissance Productions, 1994.

Moseley, William.  What Color Was Jesus? Introductions by Frank M. Reid III and Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. Chicago: African American Images, 1987.

One-Hundred Amazing Facts on the African Presence in the Bible. Nashville: Winston-Derek, 1992.

Paris, Hilu.  “Africa and the Bible.” Appendix to Black Christian Nationalism: New Directions for the Black Church, Albert B. Cleage, Jr. New York: Morrow, 1972: 275-81.

Person-Lynn, Kwaku.  “The Nicene Conference: Foundations of the Bible.” Los Angeles Sentinel, 17 Jan 1991: A-8.

Person-Lynn, Kwaku.  “Original Jews Were Black.” Los Angeles Sentinel, 4 April 1991: A-8.

Poinsett, Alex.  “The Quest for a Black Christ.” Ebony (March 1969).

Rhoades, F.S.  Black Characters and References of the Holy Bible. New York: Vantage Press, 1980.

Saakana, Amon Saba, ed.  The Afrikan Origins of the Major World Religions. London: Karnak House, 1988.

Scobie, Edward.  “African Popes.” African Presence in Early Europe. Edited by Ivan Sertima. New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 96-107.

Walsh, Martin de Porres. The Ancient Black Christians. San Francisco: Julian Richardson, 1969.  

Watley, William D. The African Presence in the Bible: Gospel Sermons Rooted in History. Judson Press, 2000,

Watterman, Kathy Ann.  “In Search of Black Characters in the Bible.” Los Angeles Times, 28 Nov 1989: E11.

Watts, Daud Mailk.  The Black Presence in the Lands of the Bible. Washington, D.C.: Afro-Vision, 1990.

Williams, Larry Obadele, and Moses L. Buie.  Africans in Biblical Heritage and Historiography: A Research Source Guide. Atlanta: Ipet Isut, 1989.

Windsor, Rudolph R.  From Babylon to Timbuktu: A History of the Ancient Black Races Including the Black Hebrews. New York: Exposition Press.

Make liberal use also of The Global African Presence 

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The Eyes of Willie McGee

 A Tragedy of Race, Sex, and Secrets in the Jim Crow South

By Alex Heard

The Slave Ship

By Marcus Rediker

*   *   *   *   *’s 25 Best Selling Books

For July 1st through August 31st 2011  


#1 – Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark #2 – Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree #3 – Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane #4 – Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper #5 – Stackin’ Paper 2 Genesis’ Payback by Joy King #6 – Thug Lovin’ (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark #7 – When I Get Where I’m Going by Cheryl Robinson #8 – Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby #9 – The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 – Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

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#15 – Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 – The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 – Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 – Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 – Stackin’ Paper by Joy King

#20 – Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 – The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 – Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 – Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 – I Dreamt I Was in Heaven – The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 – Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable #2 – Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans #3 – Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane #4 – Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper #5 – Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant #6 – Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey #7 – The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight #8 – The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing #9 – The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 – John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 – Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 –The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 – The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 – The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 – Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can’t Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 – Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 – Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 – A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 – John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 – Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 – Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 – 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino #23 – Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul by Tom Lagana #24 – 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 – Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.” Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.—WashingtonPost

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Incognegro: A Memoir of Exile and Apartheid

By  Frank B. Wilderson, III

Wilderson, a professor, writer and filmmaker from the Midwest, presents a gripping account of his role in the downfall of South African apartheid as one of only two black Americans in the African National Congress (ANC). After marrying a South African law student, Wilderson reluctantly returns with her to South Africa in the early 1990s, where he teaches Johannesburg and Soweto students, and soon joins the military wing of the ANC. Wilderson’s stinging portrait of Nelson Mandela as a petulant elder eager to accommodate his white countrymen will jolt readers who’ve accepted the reverential treatment usually accorded him. After the assassination of Mandela’s rival, South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani, Mandela’s regime deems Wilderson’s public questions a threat to national security; soon, having lost his stomach for the cause, he returns to America. Wilderson has a distinct, powerful voice and a strong story that shuffles between the indignities of Johannesburg life and his early years in Minneapolis, the precocious child of academics who barely tolerate his emerging political consciousness. Wilderson’s observations about love within and across the color line and cultural divides are as provocative as his politics; despite some distracting digressions, this is a riveting memoir of apartheid’s last days.—Publishers Weekly

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /

George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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update 26 December 2011




Home Black Librarians  Transitional Writings on Africa   

Related files:   African Libraries Project  Runoko Rashidi       The Black Presence in the Bible: A Selected Bibliography  Delany and Blyden  Tribute to Ivan Van Sertima  Runoko in Budapest‏   Niger and the National Museum   

Photos of Global African Presence  Runoko in Papua New Guinea   Runoko Rashidi Speaks in Nigeria  Those Missing Noses in Kemet Sculpture    African Genesis Media Group    Nomads of Niger

An African Gathering in Senegal

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