From Oppression to Empowerment: Our Eye-opening Trip to Ghana

In this episode of the “Church on the Block” podcast, Pastor Phil, DJ Ruckus and Visual Artist, Hayman Cross III, discuss their recent trip to Ghana and the importance of exploring African heritage and culture. They share their personal experiences and reflections on the trip, including the impact it had on their identity as African Americans. The hosts also discuss the commercialization of Christianity and the responsibility of spiritual leaders to help their communities. They encourage listeners to visit Ghana and learn about their roots and history. The episode is the first in a series of Black History episodes. 

Join Church on the Block Sunday mornings at 10 est. | 9 cst. on Holy Culture Radio, Sirius XM, Channel 154. Do you have questions about African theology or epistemology? Follow our hosts, Pastor Phil, Pastah J, and DJ Ruckus on Twitter and join the conversation. We want to hear from you.

From Oppression to Empowerment: Our Trip to Ghana
Pastor Phil and DJ Ruckus in Ghana

From Oppression to Empowerment: Ghana Trip Timestamps

Black History Lessons [00:00:29] The hosts introduce the Black History program and talk about the importance of exploring African heritage and culture.

The Trip to Ghana [00:02:55] The hosts discuss their recent trip to Ghana, the experiences they had, and the importance of going back to Africa.

Personal Journey to Africa [00:04:02] DJ Ruckus shares his personal mission to visit as many countries in Africa as possible and explore his roots as an African-American.

Going to Africa [00:05:34] Hayman Cross III talks about his desire to go to Africa and how the opportunity to go with like-minded people was significant.

Reclaiming Identity [00:07:27] Hayman Cross III and DJ Ruckus discuss how going to Ghana allowed them to reclaim their African heritage and identity.

Rewriting the Holidays [00:07:55] DJ Ruckus shares how the trip allowed him to rewrite the holidays after a difficult year of losing his brother.

Celebrating Blackness [00:15:32] The speakers discuss their experience of feeling overwhelmed with happiness and freedom while celebrating blackness in Ghana.

Identity and Roots [00:10:29] The importance of knowing one’s roots and identity, especially in an African American context, is discussed, along with the healing process of connecting with one’s heritage.

No Feeling Like Waking Up in Ghana [00:12:36] The speakers talk about the feeling of waking up in a place where everyone looks like them and feeling like the majority, as opposed to the minority, and how it is a beautiful experience.

Celebration of Blackness [00:16:08] The speakers discuss the feeling of pride and celebration of blackness they experienced on their trip, even in the midst of visiting slave dungeons and hearing heartbreaking history.

Introduction to Ghana [00:17:31] The speakers recommend it as a great first way to experience Africa due to its development, young population, and opportunities.

Connection to Ancestors [00:21:20] The speakers discuss feeling a connection to their ancestors while visiting the dungeons and performing the last bath and first bath rituals. They also discuss the importance of returning to complete what was lost.

Recognizing Self-Worth [00:21:55] Discussion on recognizing African heritage and culture, and how it affirms self-worth and dignity.

Different Levels of Identity [00:25:42] Comparison of the affirmation of identity in Ghana to experiences at Christian conferences, family reunions, and high school reunions.

Freedom to Be Who You Are [00:26:35] Discussion on the freedom to be oneself, without the sense of oppression or judgment experienced in America.

The Feeling of Importance [00:27:36] Hayman Cross III talks about feeling celebrated and important as a black person in Ghana.

Building Together [00:28:06] The hosts discuss the importance of African Americans returning to Ghana to build businesses and work together with Ghanaians.

The Purity of Faith [00:31:03] Pastor Phil talks about the purity of faith in Africa and the negative impact of missionaries bringing a European epistemology of theology to Africa.

The Commercialization of Christianity in Ghana [00:32:47] Discussion on the commercialization of Christianity in Ghana, with billboards and mega-churches, and its impact on African spirituality.

Hurt and Pain in Ghana’s Religious History [00:34:07] The hosts discuss the hurt and pain caused by Christianity in the country’s history, including the approval of slavery by a priest and the building of churches on top of dungeons.

The Weaponization of African Spirituality [00:36:39] The fear of African spirituality being weaponized and creating systems that keep people down, with a discussion on the power and authority of religious figures in Ghana.

The Importance of Responsibility [00:37:36] Speaker 5 discusses the responsibility of spiritual leaders to look after the poor and young people, and the consequences of not doing so.

Avoiding the Trap of Money and Resources [00:39:01] Speaker 5 expresses concern that Ghana may fall into the trap of money and resources, and encourages like-minded people to get involved to prevent this.

Tearing Down and Rebuilding the Church [00:40:06] Speaker 4 and Speaker 3 discuss the need to tear down and rebuild the church, and the importance of meeting people where they are.

Reasons to go to Ghana [00:43:07] The hosts and guests discuss why people should visit Ghana, including experiencing African culture and heritage, and building connections with the people.

Importance of being a global citizen [00:44:09] The speakers emphasize the importance of being a global citizen, especially for African Americans, and encourage listeners to get their passports and explore the world.

Story of mistaken identity [00:46:06] Pastor Phil shares a story of an older woman who mistakenly thought four boys were stealing her car and pulled a gun on them, highlighting the importance of recognizing the purity of situations and trusting in God.

Related Radio Show: CHURCH ON THE BLOCK