I once read a book by Rabbi Akiva Tatz which explained how Jewish people become religious. What motivates them, what blocks them mentally, what some look for as opposed to others. I wish that he was able to expand this into the Black community. I often wondered what would his research results say.
My guess is that BF are a very spiritual bunch. No matter what, or who, even if the person is a self proclaimed athiest, I suspect they'd have some sort of drive towards helping the world, or saving x, y, or z. or some cloaked spiritual drive in the guise of physically helping someone or something.
In history, since the time of slavery, you can read about how Harriet Tubman, for example, did what she did because she felt God was guiding her through voices. Or how people felt vindicated through the Bible. Or even just for sustaining themselves, how so many sang spiritual songs from the Old Testament events.
I am willing to bet that even before they were introduced to the Bible, BF were a spiritual bunch. If anyone can direct me as to where I can read about that era, I'd be so grateful!
At any rate, one beautiful thing that I must say I love about BF spirituality, is they way we hum. Throughout the day, I remember my mother humming away. You'd think there were no problems. I remember a black lady who was getting ready to give birth, how she hummed and hummed through the pain.
A few days ago, I almost fell off my chair with laughter as a Jewish lady came to me and said she wanted to share a secret with me and a bunch of other girls. She said, "my teacher taught me the secret of getting through the day!" Everyone hunched closer to hear this big secret. What was this secret? She says, "she says she hums!"
I smiled and looked down. Oh if only BF knew the beauty that they have. I'm not just talking what degree they have, how they look in the mirror. But these things that are so basic that it doesn't even get counted as beauty.
Having a psalm at the tip of your lips can uplift one's spirit so high! Humming a pleasant tune can give the heart so much energy. Its almost like an antidote to depression.
There is a part of Judaism that focuses on joy. (there are like so many different words for the many different types of joy one can feel: Gila, rina, ditza, hedvah, simcha, sasson, etc) And those who really push this part (The Breslovers) of Judaism, advocate humming!
But we have that already!