The piano was offended

In Gastonia, N.C., members of the Pilgrim Baptist Church dressed up in blackface while pantomiming to traditional music. Of course we have all the expected elements from the members when it was mentioned gee this is offensive.

I am not a racist. Check!

York said he’s not a racist and knows that white actors in black makeup often portrayed racist stereotypes. His church performance didn’t do that, he said.

It was not offensive! Check!

“It was in no way making fun,” Holbrooks [the church pastor] said. “Lord knows we love the old spirituals they sing. That’s why they did it.”

I have black friends. Check!

“I have some real good black friends,” York said.

No intent to offend. Check!

The performance at Pilgrim Baptist Church was meant to honor gospel music history, and was not meant to offend anyone, according to the Rev. Thomas Holbrooks Jr., pastor at the church.

Dumb as a rock. Check!

“A little tiny blonde woman sang Randy Travis. So I guess Randy Travis should be offended,” Teresa Holbrooks [the pastor’s wife] said. “My husband pantomimed playing the piano. So I guess the piano should be offended.”

Oops, that last one is not an official category on the checklist. But it always does seem to be present.

Stories like this one, and Rickshaw Rally and Skits that Teach remind me that racism is ever-present in institutions, including the church. Despite the white man’s burden, it appears that Christianity is geared towards white people. Do you suppose there are any black members in the Pilgrim Baptist Church? (Were there any black Pilgrims?)

I keep hoping one of these days the headline won’t read Black Leaders Critical of Gaston County Church Skit Meant to Honor History but maybe Leaders Apologize for Racism, Steps Taken towards Change.


So much for dialogue

Anybody still looking? The church has changed its name to Anchor Baptist.

7 thoughts on “The piano was offended

  1. I love the last unofficial category. That seems to be the one statement that says they aren’t sorry and don’t care who was offended. This is a pathetic situation but not one likely to change. I know this church well and unfortunately, the pastor and his wife are very charismatic and deceptive. I’m not surprised that this happened and I’m glad the cat is out of the bag.

  2. Amos and Andy are alive and well! Nobody today remembers this hugely funny and hilarious radio show, but I do. These two guys never made fun of the Negro, and you will never find anybody who were offended by those oldtime radio broadcasts. The real racist’s in this case are the black activists trying to stir up racial animosity in our fine city of Charlotte. Great peace have they that love thy law, and NOTHING shall offend them.

  3. Hmm, I think you’re misunderstanding the use of the word “offend” in that bible quote. While it seems you misinterpret it to mean “to irritate or annoy,” the biblical use means “to cause to sin.”

    “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”

  4. Before you start writing in your blog you should probably do a little more homework. Actually there was one black family in the church and I didn’t see you use a quote from them. I do not have the exact quote but it was along the lines that they were not offended. It was in the newspaper if you bothered to read the article. As for the rest of it “D R” is right, I cant believe there is protesting over this. I guess if a white guy had shot those 2 officers in charlotte a while back protests against hate crimes would have broken out. o_O

  5. Sorry A.H. but you don’t know Brother Holbrooks or his lovely wife. I have known them and their testimony for many years. They are neither racists nor are they charismatic. They are simply servants of Christ who know that at the foot of the Cross of Calvary the ground is level. The Pilgrim Baptist Church would surely welcome ALL to come to Christ by way of that Cross.

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