Why Jeremiah 11:11 Is Relevant To Black America (‘Us’)

Outline

I. Parrallel between Jeremiah 11:11 and black America.

II. Other Black Artists who incorporated the story of Jeremiah 11:11 in their art (Bob Marley, Lauren Hill, Kendrick Lamar. Nas, Krs One, Chingy)

III. Why Jeremiah represents Red/Adelaide (The Main Character)

The Parrallel between Jeremiah 11:11 and black America.

In the movie “Us”, the Bible verse Jeremiah 11:11 is a theme. I decided to simply look up the verse and it’s context in the Bible. The verse reads,

Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.

This verse is talking about God’s punishment towards the Nation of Israel. God made a covenant with the Nation of Israel and they turned away from God and started worshiping idols, therefore he had to punish them. One of the punishments, which is mentioned later in the book of Jeremiah, was for them to be stripped of their heritage and enslaved in a strange land.

“And thou, even thyself shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee, and I will cause thine enemies in let go of your enemies in the land which you do not know” (Jeremiah 17:4)

What does all of this have to do with with Black America? Black people were also stripped of their heritage and enslaved in a strange land.

The verse Jordan Peele is referencing, is talking about the Kingdom that African Americans and those transported all over the world during the slave trade, came from. No, the Kingdom is not called Wakanda, it is called Judah. The Nation of Israel was divided into two parts, the Northern and Southern Kingdom. The Southern Kingdom, which is called the Kingdom of Judah, is where Black people come from. (DNA evidence will be provided)

In 70 AD, Europeans invaded Israel causing the Israelites to flee into Africa.

In his book ,The Great Roman-Jewish War: 66 — 70, the Roman historian, Flavius Josephus, stated over thousands of years ago,that the Israelites migrated into Africa. He writes:

General Vaspasian and his son Caesar Titus fought against the Jews. Millions of Jews fled into Africa, among other places, fleeing from Roman persecution and starvation during the siege.”

Below is a 1747 map of Africa, created by an English cartographer named Edward Bowen(1693 or 1694–1767). This map, shows specifically where the ancestors of many African Americans come from. Notice that the region of Africa that is labeled the “Slave Coast”, is also labeled the Kingdom of Juda.

You can view the map on the link below to the site for the Library of Congress.

The Kingdom of Juda was in what is now called, Benin. According to the Washington Post, it was once West Africa’s largest slave port.

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In the 1870’s, a French public research university called, the University of Montepellier, put out a book(below)on geography, that stated:

Whydah (Fidah, Hwedah, Ouida, Judah, or Ajuda) is a old city frequented since the 16th century by the Portuguese slavers, who gave it its name. It’s inhabitants were said to be this Judaic, “and they were indeed considered as a remnant of scattered tribes of Israel”

In 1876 a French geographer named, Élisée Reclus , wrote in his book called, “The Earth and Its Inhabitants” (below) :

“The Dahomey territory, guarded by the important town of Glehuech, Known to Europeans by various names of Fida, Heredah, Whydah, Wida. The old writers called it Juda, and it’s inhabitants were said to be Jews.”

In 1820 an English traveler named James Gray published his book “An account of Timbuctoo and Housa”, where he wrote:

This place is reported to be inhabited by one of the lost tribes of Israel, possibly an emigration from the tribe of Judah. Yahooda, in African Arabic, signifies Judah. Yahoodee signifies Jew. It is not impossible, that many of the lost tribes of Israel may be found dispersed in the interior regions of Africa, when we shall become better acquainted with that Continent; it is certain, that some of the nations that possessed the country eastward of Palestine when the Israelites were a favoured nation, have emigrated to Africa.”

-El Hage Abd Salam Shabeeny collected and formatted by James Gray Jackson: An Account of Timbuctoo & Housa (1820)

DNA evidence actually proves that black people’s ancestors come from Israel originally. In 2016 a genetic study called, the Genetic Structure of the World’s First Farmers, led by a Professor from the Department of Genetics of Harvard University showed that the same DNA (E1b1A) that African Americans, Blacks in Latin America and the Caribbean, many blacks still in Africa, as other well as other black people around the world, is traced back to Israel. Keep in mind, Africa is home to the biggest genetic diversity in the world, so not every African has the E1B1A genetic code.

In a separate study back in the 1990’s, a black Hebrew tribe called the Lemba, that resides in Zimbabwe, had their DNA tested in a study done by The Center for Genetic Anthropology at University College London.

Members of the Lemba Tribe (Photo Cred PBS Cicada Films).

The DNA test confirmed, that the Lemba, had the same DNA sequences as the Israelite priests, that many believe to be the descendants of Aaron, the older brother of Moses. The results from the study means that the Lemba tribe share the same DNA as the ancient Israelites. A DNA study done on Sephardic Jews, by Family Tree DNA, showed that the DNA sequences that are found in predominately Sub Saharan Africans and African Americans, were present during the “formation of the Ancient Israelites.”

The DNA evidence, historical evidence, and anthropological evidence as well as the Atlantic Slave Trade confirms the prophecies of Jeremiah 11:11. The Bible also mentions that Judah would be “dispersed to the four corners of the earth (Isaiah 11:12) and also would be enslaved and mistreated in a foreign land for 400 years (Genesis 15:13) . After the 400 years was up, God would destroy the nation that enslaved and mistreated the Israelites, then the Israelites would return back to their homeland. African Americans arrived in America in 1619, 400 years later is 2019. Coincidence?

Jordan Peele has not been the only black artist in recent years, to incorporate the story of Jeremiah through art. In 2017, Kendrick Lamar released his album “Damn”. This album won a Grammy for album of the year and earned him a pullitzer prize. One of the concepts of this album was the story of Jeremiah.

On the song “Yah” off the album he raps

I’m a Israelite, don’t call me Black no mo’

That word is only a color, it ain’t facts no mo’

My cousin called, my cousin Carl Duckworth

Said know my worth

And Deuteronomy say that we all been cursed

Yah is short for Yahweh which is a Hebrew (language the Israelites spoke) pronunciation for God.

The book of Deuteronomy details the same judgment and punishment towards the Nation of Israel. Jeremiah is just a continuation of the judgement of the Nation of Israel.

In the 70’s Bob Marley named one of his albums and songs, Exodus, which is the name of the book in the Bible in which the Ancient Israelites escape from slavery.

In 2013, the rapper Chingy released a song called King Judah, discussing the connection between black people and the Israelites as well. It’s not as catchy as “Right Thurr” but definitely more meaningful.

In 2002 Nas rapped “We the lost the children of Israel in this western world region” in his song “Revolutionary Warfare”.

In 1989, Krs One also rapped about the connection between the Israelites and black people as well in his song “Why is that”.

Lauryn Hill made a song called Zion which is another name for Israel and a made song called “Oh Jerusalem”, which is in Israel.

Why Jeremiah Represents Red/Adelaide

I came across an article by the site Esquire, that pointed out that Jeremiah represented Red, which makes a lot of sense. Jeremiah was a prophet who was sent to warn his people. Because of his divine gifts he was the only one conscious of his people’s condition, similar to Red who was the only person who could speak which led her to be the only one who could lead a revolution. She also believes in divine judgment like Jeremiah , due to the fact that she said her suffering in captivity was God “testing” her and the others.

In conclusion, we don’t know for sure why Jordan Peele included Jeremiah 11:11 in the movie. Either way I just felt that if millions of black people are going to be talking about Jeremiah 11:11 we should at least know the passage is referring to to our ancestors, our heritage, our history, and our culture.

Honorable Mention: “Red’s” husband’s name is Abraham. Abraham was the name of the father of the Ancient Israelite nation.