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THE STORY OF "OLD BLACK JOE"

Started by Reformer, Fri Jan 12, 2024 - 13:16:25

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Reformer

The Ballad Of
"OLD BLACK JOE"
         
I so clearly recall that as a youngster in the Appalachian Mountains of Eastern Kentucky, there was an old folk song that made its rounds among mountaineer hillbillies called "Old Black Joe." Even as a young boy growing up in poverty, it touched my emotions—and even more so today since I have mellowed out with age.
 
    The song depicted an old black Negro slave who was on the border of being transported to the celestial world of departed spirits—an old worn-out slave who sang his own funeral ditty prior to his funeral. The chorus contains this flavor:
 
"I'm coming, I'm coming,
for my head is bending low;
I hear those gentle voices calling,
Old Black Joe."
     
I found myself singing this chorus recently. I'm long past those hillbilly days, but I often think of all the "Old Black Joes" who died in poverty, suffered injustices, forced to work from sun-up till sun-down, mistreated, abused, raped, and whipped by white men who claimed they believed in liberty and justice for all—all, that is, except the "Old Black Joes." These were the white men who founded this country upon the principle of "liberty and justice for all." Shame on us—shame, shame, double shame.
 
    I hold no doubt in my heart but that Paradise is populated with thousands upon thousands of "Old Black Joes" who were forced to live a life of slavery. They are no longer slaves of men but servants—slaves—of God [Rom. 6:22]. Being slaves of God is a beauty and freedom portrayed at its fullest, for He is compassionate, loving, merciful, and tolerant.
 
    The "Old Black Joes" are no longer black—or white, or yellow. Just as the angels carry no particular color, the "Old Black Joes" are no longer identified by the pigment of their skin or by their racial background. Instead, their "lowly bodies have been transformed to be like His glorious body"   [Phil. 3:21]. The first verse of the song, "Old Black Joe," is as captivating as the chorus—simple and emotional.

"Gone are the days when my heart was young and gay,
Gone are my friends from the cotton fields away;
Gone from the earth to a better land I know,
I hear those gentle voices calling, Old Black Joe."
     
Who were the "gentle voices calling"? Were they the "Old Black Joes" who had gone on before? Maybe. Or the angels who, with sweet melodies and tranquil voices, were beckoning him to come home? Perhaps. We, too—some day, somewhere, somehow, will be called to come home, a journey to another domain somewhere in God's eternal Paradise. Like Old Black Joe, we will be welcomed with open arms and sweet-sounding, soothing voices.
 
    But there's another side to this story—a modern-day version that is not as warm and inviting as "Old Black Joe." A large constituent of today's black population has evolved into rebellious behavior and seem to be pursuing a similar route their white slave-masters took against them a few generations ago.
 
    But lest I lose you and you recognize a resemblance of racism in my remarks, listen up. Not only has a large portion of  the black community, particularly the young offspring, turned insubordinate and uncontrollable, so has a large portion of the juvenile white community. When cultures change, one of two attitudes or routes is adopted—optimism or pessimism—or, positive or negative. Our nation's two major races, black and white, have turned against what is morally reasonable, legitimate, and appropriate.
 
    We are beginning to see the "handwriting on the wall" as a once great nation. As Adam and Eve fell when they took the wrong route, we as a nation will eventually fall unless our God intervenes.

Texas Conservative

Nowadays, they refer to him as "Old Joe of Color."

Jaime

But as Joe said, "If you don't for me, you ain't black."

Reformer

Quote from: Texas Conservative on Fri Jan 12, 2024 - 14:24:11Nowadays, they refer to him as "Old Joe of Color."

Yes, and that could revolve around racism. If not racism, at least inappropriate.

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