BLACK MADONNA ( The black Virgin Mary )
Till date, the Black Madonna still remains one of the most debated and controversial religious monuments and icons. Found standing firm and strong in the premises of the majority of Catholic churches across the Latin America and Europe, the Black Madonna is a physical illustration of the Virgin Mary with a pronounced dark skin, and it comes with a pretty complicated history and many probable connotations.
A good number of white racist authorities and quite a lot of their faithfuls without the white skin share the sentiment that Virgin Mary is not black. However, there are so many images – more than a hundred and fifty of them found throughout Europe and at several major shrines portray the Madonna as black. The most popular of them happens to be the statue of Notre Dame du Pilier found in Chartres cathedral. They have come up with very popular arguments with captions like “why a black faced virgin?” Some of them argued that the black colouration is as a result of several reasons. For instance, sculptures that have existed for a long time can have a color change with exposure to several external factors. Some say that a patina of carbon soot is the reason for the color change, and some termed it an accident of art. On another account, records have it that Mary may have lived in Ephesus, and it is a known fact that Greek artists often illustrated the moon goddess, Artemis of Ephesus, as black, for many painters in Rome once in a while colored their own huntress, Diana of Ephesus black. This is probably for the superstitious reason that females with black skin from history had the reputation of being more potent miracle workers. Considerably, the early worshippers of the Virgin Mary had the sentiment that a black face Sculpture would bring them better luck.
The arguments raised above is a typical kind of exegesis used by lazy, ignorant racist authorities. They easily but falsely attribute things of significance to Europeans and stylishly evade giving credit to Africans and blacks generally.
History has it that at the Council of Ephesus in 431AD, Mary, who was a non-african but not necessarily white skinned, was declared Mother of God. The aftermath of this was that the adorable Black Madonna and child were “whitened” in the minds of these racist authorities. This till today stands as a major turning point in the history of our ever majestic and blessed Black Madonna.
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