Thursday, January 11, 2007

When black people have no couth...

by Paula Neal Mooney

My mother raised me to have couth.

(If you don't know what "couth" means, that might be a tip-off that you're lacking a little bit of it.)

Mommy's definition of the kind of black folks who lacked couth were the ones who might:

* Walk down city streets eating and talking "loud and wrong"

* Go out in public with curlers in hair

* Use words like "gooder," the cringing "his-self" and phrases like "I be going..."

The list of uncouth-like crimes goes on and on. I thank my mother tremendously for being the kind of woman who taught me manners and correct English.

The Lord has used my uber-couthness to take me far businesswise and in my personal life...

...but yet and still, I realized that having all this couth at times has turned me into the type of elitist "uppity Negro" that blacks accuse other blacks of becoming.

This comes to light in part because of my previous post about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in which I wrote that no man had affected such a dramatic change since.

I, like George W. admitted about himself last night, confess that I was wrong.

After tearing myself away from MyBlogLog.com long enough to catch Bishop TD Jakes' message called "Get Off the Porch" last night on TiVo, I realized that the Bishop is another man acting as a mighty Christ-conduit in this day and age thru his powerful messages for all races.

But I didn't get into Bishop TD Jakes at first.

Raised in the quiet Episcopalian parish of St. Edmunds Elementary School, I was taught that you shouldn't even clap in church.

So it was a bit jarring to my sophisticated soul when I first joined The House of the Lord here in Akron, Ohio, and sat in the presence of all these loud black folks who all looked like people I'd seen before.

The deja vu told me it was my home.

Anyhoo, I knelt down on that mauve ledge around 1999, let "Jesus Take the Wheel," and soon thereafter I caught Bishop TD Jakes on TV.

This time, instead of dismissing him as some loud preacher, I listened to his message about the woman with the issue of blood being me, leaking our hurt all over the place.

I started jamming to the Pentecostal-type fast music playing.


I might have even done a little holy handclap, but nothing like the Satan-stomping dance and jog -- very uncouth-like, Mommy might say, but very powerful warfare -- I just did around my house upon watching this clip from a man being used just as mightily by God as He used MLK.

I couldn't find a "Get Off the Porch" preview on YouTube -- hit me up webheads, will y'all? -- but check up on this:


God is good, ain't He? All the time!

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2 comments:

Tisha! said...

The Bishop is one powerful preacher Paula!

I grew up as a Pentecostal/Evangelical and there were some very "uncouth" moments but when you're passionate about something who cares!

Lisa Coultrup said...

Recall too, we are told to "make a joyful noise" to the Lord, and "rejoice" :-) I was raised as a Roman Catholic ( there were times I thought my moms church was filled with dead people it was so staid) now I get to shout, clap and Rejoice with the likes of Pastor Dollar, Joyce , and the local pastor of a church near me! I want and desire to let the Lord know I am filled with loudness, just for him.
Thanks for posting this, I was having a moment and you fixed me right up with your comments.
Rock on Paula :-)

Paula Neal Mooney