"his whole attitude was that of a serene, tortured crucifix"
Extract from
Public DomainExtract from "Voice of Missions" - Credit: Henry McNeal Turner
Shrine to the African Christ
Creative Commons AttributionShrine to the African Christ - Credit: maveric2003

The depiction of Reverend Shegog’s sermon as a tableau vivant of Christ’s Passion brings up interesting questions regarding the depiction of Christ. Though the Bible states that God made humankind in his image, centuries of art rather reflect humanity’s desire to see its own image perfected in that of its saviour. Though the dominant western portrayal of Christ shows him as white-skinned, Ethiopia, on Africa’s east coast, has worshipped a black Jesus since 1 AD. The western areas formerly occupied by the slaves held ancestral belief systems and had not encountered this iconography. Therefore, when they adopted the religion of their new land, they also inherited the image of the white Jesus.  This assumption was challenged by iconoclastic black preachers, such as Henry McNeal Turner, who alarmed the public with his attacks on the received representation.