The Witness is a black Christian collective that engages issues of religion, race, justice, and culture from a biblical perspective. We are changing the way Christians engage the church and the world by challenging them to think and act according to the holistic message of Christ. We consciously draw on the expansive black church tradition to address matters of personal faith while also speaking to issues of public righteousness. We believe that the Christian message applies not only to our eternity but also to our present-day circumstances and lived reality.
Can I Get A Witness?
The Witness hearkens back to the black preaching tradition in which a person might ask, “Can I get a witness?” It is a participatory method of proclamation in which both the words and the moment itself are part of worship. In the same way, we seek not simply to express thoughts but to draw forth a soulful response. The Witness also speaks to the work of God in the Jesus Christ. The message of the Bible is that salvation belongs to the Lord and that God has offered it through Immanuel, “God with us.” The Witness, therefore, gives people the space to testify about who God is and what God is doing in their own lives because of their faith in Jesus Christ.
We offer articles that stimulate the mind and stir the heart. We give commentary on current events, music, movies, literature, the church, relationships, and more. While we welcome anyone to engage our content, we particularly seek to serve people of African descent in America. In contrast to other outlets that may give attention to black issues as a “special” topic, such concerns are a consistent focus of The Witness.
The Black Church Tradition
Black history begins long before contact with North America, but black people have had a unique experience in America due to the country’s past and present conception of race and human worth. At the same time, black women and men have demonstrated a remarkable resiliency and even joy in the face of crushing outward circumstances. In this regard, the black church stands out as the one community in which an oppressed people could consistently find dignity, identity, and significance.
We recall the prophetic vision of the black church that nurtured her believers while also calling the nation to live out its creed of liberty and justice for all. So we highlight believers in the tradition of Lemuel Haynes, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Maria W. Stewart, Richard Allen, Charles Price Jones, Charles Harrison Mason, Nannie Helen Burroughs, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Mary Mcleod Bethune, Fannie Lou Hamer, Gardner C. Taylor, J. Deotis Roberts, John Perkins, and many others. We declare that the historic faith is still good enough for us in this new era, and express a religion that provides a full-orbed message of evangelism and activism.
Although we intentionally serve black people, specificity does not mean exclusivity. Our writers come from a variety of racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. Any topic is up for discussion, and we often have different perspectives on the same issues. We are not the voice for black Christians, but a microphone to amplify voices that often go unheard.
We invite you to be part of this diverse collective addressing the core concerns of black people from a Christian frame.