Page 24 | Volume 1 | The Leadership Journal of Dallas Baptist University

24 Ducere Est Servire: THE LEADERSHIP JOURNAL OF DALLAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY drew a clear parallel between the Lord’s suffering and humiliation at the hands of Roman soldiers with the suffering and humiliation of Black people in America. Taylor opened with the betrayal and humiliation of Jesus, moved to the humiliation of Blacks, and moved again, back to the suffering of Christ, the primary focus of the text. A second example is in a sermon delivered at Taylor’s home church close to the Christmas holiday. Taylor entitled the message “The Promise in the Manger,” which derived from Luke 2:16. The purpose of the sermon was to magnify and celebrate the promise of a Savior fulfilled in the birth of Christ; and yet, even though Taylor delivered this sermon in 1980, ten years after the close of the Civil Rights era, the way he begins the message is telling of the pressing concern that continued to occupy his mind. The sermon opens with a word about the threat of birth, stating the way a child turns out in his or her later years is sometimes completely contrary to what a parent would have ever imagined when the child was born. Taylor explained, “Remember the various white Southern sheriffs of a bygone day with their vicious dogs, cattle prods, and fire hoses; recall lynch mobs holding up children to watch the torture of another human being. To think of these … having once been babes, sleeping so peacefully and feeding so gently at their mothers’ breast.”28 Next, Taylor moves to the hazard of birth, referring to the real and present dangers that lay waiting for a child in this world. He could have gone in any direction to illustrate his point, but he chose to invoke the horrors of lynching: Speaking of the hazards of birth, I marvel that we know of no time in our black history in this country when there was a movement among black people to not have children, particularly male children. I wonder sometimes if black mothers and fathers could look at a newly born, black male child in early generations without seeing the shadow of the lynch rope, a young body dangling by the neck, or the air sick with the odor of burning flesh. Did you know that between 1865 and 1940, more than four thousand people of color were lynched in this country without benefit of even the mockery of a trial?29