The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #104255   Message #2133549
Posted By: Janie
25-Aug-07 - 07:49 PM
Thread Name: Bible School songs
Subject: RE: Folklore: Bible School songs
In addition to many of the above songs, we also sang "Ezekiel Saw A Wheel." (I'm thinking there were other rounds we were taught. If they come to mind I'll post them.), "This Little Light of Mine", and of course, "Yes, Jesus Loves Me."

We also sang and were taught "Jesus Loves the Little Children." The message was very clear and simple. Jesus valued all people the same, regardless of race or culture, and we should do our best to follow His example. In the 1950's, when the overt teaching of racism was acceptable throughout the dominant, white, culture, it was a good, proper, and fairly rare thing for a child to receive at least one clear message that racism was wrong. It is still a good idea to teach that. Perhaps the language is dated. But the message is not, and it seems to me that it would be a shame for the song to be deemed inappropriate because of what grown-ups choose to read into it. Young children, unless or until someone teaches them differently, understand the terms simply represent different hues of skin color that are characteristic of the several races of the human species. They are quite capable of seeing that nobody has skin that is actually white, black, red or yellow. And let's face it, inserting the 'correct names' to the races and cultures to replace the use of skin color doesn't scan very well.

Or perhaps it is a song that is still useful and valuable to teach to white kids, but, because of the connotations the use of the terms white, black, yellow or red may have within Asian, African American and/or Native American cultural communities (based on the historical experience of being on the receiving end of racism), does not offer the same message of universal value of all humans in at least some communitites and congregations, so it would have no useful purpose.    I don't know. I just wonder.

I'm causing some thread drift here so I will stop. Azizi, I'll pm you.