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Multicultural Experience

Essay by   •  February 28, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,241 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,109 Views

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I attended Mt. Zion Baptist Church which is an African American based church. From the moment I walked in I saw that I was one of maybe four or five white folk in the whole congregation. I was however, not treated any different. There were a few people who kind of had a look on their face like a, "who is that and why is he here," but I could be looking into it too much and it could only be the fact that they had never seen me before and that I was new. The service was based on being thankful for what the Lord has provided for us and how to celebrate his glory. They feel that much worship is done by singing.

Their choir was great. They were very fast and upbeat with a lot of soul and rhythm. It was not your average typical slow church hymn. This made me feel the urge to sing and clap my hands right along and believe me, I did. I really got into it. It was fun and made me feel connected to the rest of the congregation.

There was a variety of clothing being worn throughout the church. Most of the older men were in suits and ties. The older women had on dresses and seemed very proper and sophisticated. Children were wearing anything from a nice shirt and dress slacks to a suit and tie as well, mostly the fathers that had suites has children that had suits. There were also a few people that had on a traditional African- style dress. By this I mean there were some people who had on multi-colored decorum with hats to match: greens, yellows, reds, etc.

While the reverend gave the sermon, he had a lot of questions in which the congregation followed with "YES," and "PRAISE THE LORD!" There were some folks who would call out to Jesus during the sermon or just shout, "AMEN!" I found this to be very interesting. At previous churches that I have been to, everyone has been very quite and sometimes very stone-faced until the service was over and then they would quietly leave and not say a single word. At Mt. Zion everyone showed great enthusiasm which was excellent. It was very heart warming and spoken from the heart.

Another thing that I noticed was the length of the service. I was at the church for probably an hour and a half total. There was a lot of singing and movement involved, especially in the beginning before the sermon. There was a lot of bouncing around and clapping and just really getting into it. The sermon was rather long but not over done. Although there is only so much you can say when it comes to discussing being thankful and showing it, it was not dry or repetitive, at least it did not seem so to me.

It was interesting for me to see that I was not the only Caucasian in the church. There were a few other white folks and I saw one Hispanic couple, the rest were all African American. I knew a lot of the people in the church surprisingly. I work with a handful of them at Juvenile Court Services, and/or just know them as friends/ teammates. I did not tell them why I was there but I think they could kina figure it out. None the less, the experience was very interesting and rather enjoyable. One thing that I can say based on the events that took place is, "Black people have got some SOUL!" The African American society is blessed with rhythm and it really showed here at Mt. Zion.

Another thing that I found interesting was the fact that all of the songs that were sung were set in a 4/4 time measure, meaning there are four beats per measure. While I attended WITCC last fall, I took Music Appreciation. My professor taught us that for African Americans, it is very easy to cope with a 4/4 measure and difficult with 3/3 (three beats per measure such as a Waltz.) He showed us an example of this by having one of the African American students clap along with two different beats, one in 4/4 and then to a Waltz. The Caucasian students found it much easier to be able to stay on beat with the Waltz and more difficult to find the four beats. The African American students were just the opposite. This was VEY INTERESTING

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