During the wave of protests and uprisings against anti-Black police brutality and racism in the late spring and early summer of 2020, people around the country reached out to folks like me who have been doing racial justice work for years. It has been an exhausting season of phone calls, podcasts, Zoom meetings, and writing, but I am grateful for the renewed interested in racial justice and the opportunity to contribute to those conversations.
Below you will find a list of my latest work. Much of it pertains to the specific circumstances around the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, but much of it is timeless in its application. Please feel free to listen, read, or watch and pass along these resources to others.
- “Why History Matters” on That Sounds Fun – Annie F. Downs let her friend, Mike Kelsey, a Black pastor in the Washington DC area take over her podcast for several episodes. I was blessed to be one of the folks Mike selected for an interview. Conscious of a largely white audience, this podcast is a good explainer for basic terms and common errors in the realm of racial justice.
- “The History of Juneteenth and How We Should Commemorate it Today” – Minnesota has been the focus of national attention since a white police officer murdered George Floyd in Minneapolis. So when I got the opportunity to join host Angela Davis for an interview on Juneteenth, I leapt at the chance. As a historian-in-training, I was humbled to be a guest along with award-winning historian, Daina Ramey Berry who wrote A Black Women’s History of the United States.
- “Racial Justice and the Color of Compromise” on Outpost Theology – Hosted by Dr. Josh McNall, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, we talk about the killing of George Floyd. It is interesting to compare this conversation at the start of the protests to interviews I did later.
- “Historians Talk about Flag Change” on SuperTalk Radio – This is Mississippi’s conservative talk radio show. It’s not a place where I would typically accept an invitation to speak because they hosts and callers so deeply disagree with my fundamental views about racial justice. But I got to be a guest along with my friend Dr. Otis Pickett, who teaches history at Mississippi College. We came on the show in 2017 to talk about the flag and we came back in 2020 on the cusp of the real possibility of a flag change in Mississippi. It was a mostly cordial conversation, which is what concerns me. Can we get past the veneer of civility to talk about deeper racial issues?
- “Black Voices Matter: with Jemar Tisby and Tyler Burns and special guest host national reporter Adelle Banks” on Beliefs podcast – The Religion News Service is one of my favorite outlets to write for, and in the midst of protests and uprisings they invited me and Tyler on their podcast for an interview. This was fun and meaningful because Tyler and I do not usually get to speak together. Adelle Banks is a stellar religion reporter and she asks great questions here.
- “513: Jemar Tisby- The Color of Compromise” on the Bad Christian podcast – Matt and Toby are super-fun to talk and listen to; their southern accents make me feel like I’m talking with friends on my back porch in the Delta. Now you can join in the conversation without the humidity and the mosquitoes!
- “Jemar Tisby Speaks with John Fugelsang on Current Unrest” on “Tell Me Everything” – This is the second time I’ve spoken with John Fugelsang on his show. The first time I was in the cell phone lot at an airport with a jacket over my head to muffle the sound of planes overhead. This time, I was at home and it’s a good thing because we talked about some heavy stuff. John asks penetrating questions and gets to the core of critical issues.
- “Jemar Tisby, author of The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism” on the “Midday Fix” by WGN – I cannot express how gratifying it was to be a guest on my hometown news station. I grew up in the Chicagoland area watching WGN almost every day. Little known fact, I was on WGN as a freshman in high school talking with Allison Payne about winning a writing contest, if anyone can find that clip let me know! #Throwback.
- “Free to Be…A Juneteenth Event” by The Witness, a Black Christian Collective – I am so proud of our team at The Witness for pulling off a full day of virtual events in commemoration of Juneteenth. You’ll hear music, comedy, and a couple podcasts by me and Tyler. This is how Juneteenth should be celebrated each year!
- “Juneteenth: Demanding True Emancipation” – The incredible Lisa Sharon Harper pulled this event together within a week and put me in august company. Dr. Iva Carruthers of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Alphonso David of the Human Rights Campaign, and Linda Sarsour of the Women’s March. We had a diversity of perspectives, but shared a passion for racial justice.
- “The Bible Is Better Than You Think w/ Guest Jemar Tisby” – Joshua Pease reached out to me randomly after one of his Facebook posts about quoting selected Black voices that agree with your conservative viewpoints went viral. Joshua is a pastor and this conversation went really deep and got more personal than I expected. Lots more of my bio revealed in this interview than most.
- “Notes on Racism, Justice & the Gospel” on the Veritas Forum – I have long admired the list of guests on the Veritas Forum, so I was so excited for this conversation. I loved meeting the host, Aurora Ling, who did a fantastic job despite some technical difficulties. You’ll be interested in the Q&A at the end and the Q&A I continued moments later on Instagram Live.
- “Black Lives Matter: Is the Church Complicit?” hosted by the Greenbelt Festival – This is surely one of my favorite panels because I got to converse with Black Christians from the UK. We have so much in common and yet still so much to learn from one another. Chine, the host, did an excellent job of hearing from all of us and asking insightful questions.
Written Articles and Interviews
- “The Familial Language of Black Grief” on The Atlantic – During these protests and uprisings I noticed that speaker after speaker used the language of family to describe their grief at the murders of Black people. These human beings were like brothers, mothers, sons and daughters. So I got to write about it in one of my favorite publications, The Atlantic. “Black people feel the pain and loss of Black life as if it were our very own blood that had been brutalized–because it easily could have been.”
- “How to Talk to Your Kids about Race” by Mel Magazine – I got to contribute a few thoughts to this important article. You’ll be interested in remarks from others including a psychology professor and activist.