AfricanPrayerDayThis past Sunday Feb. 7 was the “National Day of Prayer for the African American & African Family.”

On a day that saw Beyonce’s Superbowl fist salute homage to the Black Panthers, Father Frederick Agyeman called on people of African decent, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, to be “free of our own shakles,” especially those caused by the “3Ps — Pride, Prejudice and Presumption…and submit to the transforming word of God.”

Father Agyeman’s message is especially timely given the widespread black narcissism sweeping America today that hasn’t exempted the Office of Black Ministry — which in its mission statement seeks the “eradication of all forms of oppression within the Catholic Church” while encouraging “black self-reliance.”

Notions of “self-reliance” (black or white) and Church as “oppressor” are wrong headed, even pernicious, and should be rooted out rather than supported.

‘Self-sufficiency’ is not truthful.