This particular story is a sweet story of coming of age. A girl, while she is growing up, talks about Jesus and what he means to her. The narrator is the descendant of slave. She has grown up with the stories of slavery. Her most memorable stories are those told by her grandmother.
One day the narrator is found kissing Jesus and given a mouthful. Her mother shows her the bible and talks about different commandments inside. The little girl understands the importance of bible. But she makes her own commandments. Every day she replaces one commandments that she thinks is reductant for her to the one that holds more importance to her.
I had to choose one, so I picked “thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” My Wite-Out pen in hand, I blotted out that commandment and taped another over it: “Thou shalt not kiss black Jesus.” It was specific. I was contented. In exchange for the freedom to lie I would no longer kiss Nana’s black Jesus.
One day the mother discovers the bible that the little girl has put white out on and gives her a mouthful.
“The Bible is God’s word,” she said, “and God is His word. That’s like trying to cover up the Lord Himself. You can’t put Wite-Out on God!” “Then they shouldn’t have put God on paper!” I told her.
Years later when the girl grows up she explains her reason of kissing the black jesus.
Kissing that photo meant kissing the best of all men because the best of all men is the one very carefully imagined.
It is a beautiful story of childhood and inspirations.
The story is from the collection called Black Jesus and Other Superheroes.
It can be read Black Jesus on Lithub for free.
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