When you consider what it means to live a life under the constant rule and regulations of another it stands to reason that only one of two attitudes will be adopted by the one who is being persecuted; submit and risk looking all dignity and self esteem or resist and be beaten, maybe even killed. For many black Americans neither of these choices were acceptable. So they choose a third option; look for help from God.
Now many people have not seen spiritual dependence as a show of strength. But when you have nothing but God to depend on and faith in him causing” all things to work together for your good” there is a strength that begins to rise up inside. It allows you to be persecuted and yet not give up.
Black Americans held on to a faith in God that was not as common in many other persecuted races. When beaten by their white oppressors many would submit to the beatings while singing spiritual hymns. As a matter of fact some of the most famous spiritual hymns were born out of the times of greatest oppression. Amazing Grace was written by a white slave owner who realized only a God of grace could save him for the wretched life he lived as he abused his own slaves.
In the Bible we see Egypt oppressing Israel, beating them and taking advantage of them for many years. When Moses rose up and began speaking deliverance to his people they had been slaves so long they could not imagine being free. That is one of the most negative impacts of prolonged slavery; you lose the ability to dream about a brighter tomorrow.
Paul in Acts 16 was beaten and imprisoned for preaching the gospel even though he was a Roman citizen and such behavior was illegal. Sadly persecution from those in charge can come even when the law says it is illegal. In our country look at how black people were freed from slavery and yet many white people still kept them bound to illegal practices. Even today we have been plagued by white police officers shooting down and killing unarmed black men who were not committing any crimes unless you consider being born black a crime.
How can anyone be blamed for something they had nothing to do with? Being born a woman is a sin? Being born black is a crime? Where in the world did such foolishness come from? Every person born white had absolutely nothing to do with that. Nothing. So how can you penalize when you know its beyond anyone’s control as to how they are born?
Blacks have leaned on God to deal with the unfairness. And God continues to answer. Just as Pharaoh had to lean the hard way that there is only one who can judge so too will many others find that mistreating others for the short term hurts them in the long term.