I am a called Minister, but I am a born activist. While I wholeheartedly embrace my role as a proclaimer of God’s sacred word and text, I am equally driven by a relentless commitment to right wrongs, uphold justice, and be a voice for the voiceless.
As we reﬂect on Jesus’ life, it is obvious that He was a radical social activist who fought for justice and the common good. Contrary to the docile and humble visionary traditionally portrayed by the church, Jesus was a fierce and outspoken critic of the status quo. He openly denounced Pharisees and dined with prostitutes. He overturned the tables in the corrupt Sanhedrin-run temple. He was crucified between two thieves.
I am raised in the tradition of Jesus, Dr. King, and Malcolm X. Each day that I am blessed to wake and walk, my spirit burns to bend the arc of the moral universe a litle more towards justice. I pray for the strength to be a vessel of hope for the hopeless and to be the voice of the voiceless.
Whether it is addressing police brutality in the inner city or food insecurity in a rural outpost, there is so much that we must fight for and many injustices that we must stand against.
In an era where the impact of the Black church is diminishing more and more, I am compelled to lead and to push believers to think critically about the central message of our faith and whether or not we are actually practicing what we preach.
At our best, the church provides a sense of community, unity, power, and significance in the face of personal suﬀerings and persistent systemic challenges. It is not the home for the cultivation of Black religious expression, but also our social and cultural expressions. As an activist, I seek to lessen the divide between the spiritual and the secular so that we can pursue justice and equity cooperatively as a united people.
Dr. Jamal H. Bryant