Month: September 2019

A Finger Raised Through Time And Space

I love cultures. I love thinking about cultures. Our church’s small group lessons for this term have made me think about it even more.

In Ghana hubby and I saw something that made us go ”Wow!” 😮. I don’t know if anyone else has ever noticed it. What I am about to tell you isn’t on the internet anywhere else that I can find.

If you have been around African American church culture you have seen folks raise the index finger of their right hand as they leave to use the restroom or whatever.

It’s even in the urban dictionary (linked below).

Snopes lists as “undetermined” the theory that it comes from the days of slavery and people asking to be excused.

Well, I can tell you I DON’T know the actual origin of it. But I DO know it goes at least all the way back to Ghana (in West Africa). Multiple times during the classes there, if a student needed to leave they would do the exact same thing. None of these people had ever been to America, and none of them had ancestors who were American. Chances are very high that many or most of them had ancestors who lost family members to slavery to “The New World” and have DNA in common with folks in those African American churches.

If anyone out there has a anthropology (or is that sociology) PhD to earn, I’m sure there are other commonalities as well that are just waiting to be dug out.