Greetings to those of you who read this Buddhist lecture. There are several reasons why I am writing this lecture. Over the years I have written many Buddhist lectures. I started learning Zen Buddhism in 1970 as a high school student. In 1974 I became a Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist. After being a Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist and reaching my 40th year in 2014 I turned back my Gohonzon (object of worship) . We departed the Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist organization. We formed an organization called the Proud Black Buddhist World Association. This lecture will give you a Black prospective of the Buddhist teachings.
Let me explain to you why I am writing this lecture. On our Proud Black Buddhist website I get this message from “Joy.” I do not wish to embarrass her by sharing her last name. Joy asked me a question from the bottom of her heart. This is her exact email:
I'm so confused when it comes to explaining the gohonzon it seems that SGI worships the gohonzon I'm so distraught when it comes to my faith plus I'm trying to understand the relevance of this particular Buddhist practice and how it helps today.I'm a black woman in North Carolina and there are few people I can ask questions.
When I look at the images and video below it is incredulous. Nichiren Shoshu is moving into the 21st Century with a very slick marketing campaign. Joy comes from the SGI Buddhist organization, they are masters marketing Buddhism. There is no way either the SGI or Nichiren Shoshu will be able to reach a mass conversion. In order for Buddhism to reach the mass of people it must manifest itself in a “cultural paradigm.” In short there must be Buddhist equality in relationship to the African American community we must be the ones who will be the teachers in our communities and not Asians.
This is my friend Alan Billups. Alan is the most articulate English speaking Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist in the world. What you will find in both Nichiren Shoshu and the SGI are brothers in subordinate roles. Neither Nichiren Shoshu or the SGI recognize Black Buddhist scholars or teachers. What you have is a Japanese Template. Buddhism is living and real life. We must teach Buddhism in a way that is inclusive of our history and culture to reach main stream America. Alan and I sort of debated on this issue. Click here to read our debate and Click on Alan's picture to read about his work. You decide the best course.
Click on the above picture and hear experiences of a few Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist. You can join Nichiren Shoshu or the SGI Buddhist organization. We Proud Black Buddhist offer an alternative option to learning Buddhism. This is a very good video. The White Woman on the picture. I filmed her during a visit to Japan in 1997. This is traditional Buddhist teachings. We we offer an African American cultural paradigm.
We at the Proud Black Buddhist World Association teach the Recitation of the "Expedient Means and the Life Span " Chapters of the Lotus Sutra as the fundamental practice of our Nichiren Buddhist Faith.
Imagine how life would be if there was no African American Church. Without the Black Church America would not have its original music; "Negro spirituals." Without the Black Church the world would not have Blues, Jazz, Soul and Rock & Roll. We at the "Proud Black Buddhist World Association" learned our Buddhist faith from the SGI and Nichiren Shoshu. Also the Nichiren Shu Buddhist sect contributed to our growth and development. All of these Buddhist organizations chant the Daimoku and each is worthy of respect. We at the "Proud Black Buddhist Organization" is the World's 1st Black Buddhist "Sangha" we are the Black Buddhist community. While each organization has various traditions we all share a common heritage as Black People and we can come together to chant the same daimoku and recite the same "Lotus Sutra." Buddhism means Peace and Respect, at the "Proud Black Buddhist World Association" we will make all Buddhist proud of us.
Anthony "Amp" Elmore President and founder of the Proud Black Buddhist World Association.
We were Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist for 40 years. We who are members of the Proud Black Buddhist World Association introduce a Nichiren Buddhism that is inclusive of African and African American culture & History.