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Bible Verse of the Day

"To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." - Colossians 1:27

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Are you still there?

“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” - Psalm 119:18 (NIV)

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. See the latest print editions of the NIV at Zondervan ChurchSource Bibles.


blackmales-picBy Dr. Jerry L. Buckner
Pastor / Counselor/Theologian

This article first appeared in NRB (National Religious Broadcasters) Magazine.


RELIGIOUS BROADCASTERS in America focus on issues which are pertinent to society, and perhaps none is so urgent as the plight of black Americans. The issues involved, although volatile in nature, can be handled by religious broadcasters with honesty and sensitivity. It is time for these issues to be addressed, because time is running out.

Whatever problems that occur in the suburbs of white America or in white communities ‑ cannot compare with those afflicting the black community. Black males are an endangered species,

The Facts

Sixty percent of all children in the black community are fatherless and without a black male role model in the home. Studies show that 82 percent of all black children born in the ghetto are born out of wedlock. Ninety percent of children in ghetto schools come from broken homes, and they are reared by their mothers, grandmothers, or themselves. Not only is the pregnancy rate among black females higher than that of any other race, but there are more crack babies born to black females.


Ninety percent of children in ghetto schools come from broken homes, and they are reared by their mothers, grandmothers, or themselves.


Even as many lives begin on the wrong track, many others end all too soon because there is more violence among black males than in any other race, according to The Young Black Male: An Endangered Species, by Gail Taylor.

Taylor’s research tells us that black males between the ages of 15 and 24 share an unusually high risk of dying from black‑on‑black crimes and that more than 90 percent of them were murdered by other black youths. By contrast, white males who are 15 to 24 die mainly from car accidents.

The United States ranks first among industrialized nations in homicide rates, with approximately nine homicides per 100,000 people. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, homicide is the leading cause of death for black males ages 15 to 24, at a rate of nearly 102 deaths per 100,000. This data concurs with Taylor’s research. More than 30,000 black males were victims of homicide between 1985 and 1988. This is equal to just over half the number of American war dead during the Vietnam War.


The Symptoms

Homicide is only one symptom of the violence epidemic, which also includes non‑fatal acts of violence such as criminal assault, spouse and child abuse, rape, and victimization of the elderly. Moreover, each act of violence causes psychological damage to families and communities.

According to Taylor’s research, one in four young black men are in jail or on parole. One of her surveys reports that 60 percent of all black males are in serious trouble ‑- half of them in juvenile halls, jails, or prisons, the other half either into drugs and alcohol abuse or unemployed, unskilled, or high school dropouts.


According to the National Center for Health Statistics, homicide is the leading cause of death for black males ages 15 to 24.


These trends are startling, as they should be. Anytime we see such astounding statistics in a segment of our society, we should be startled into action.

For the most part, the white Christian community has kept silent when a struggle exists. Many white ministers who take stands on these issues encounter a backlash in declining budgets, smaller attendance, and letters asking them to resign their positions. Some white ministers risk losing their jobs if they dare preach about prejudice from the pulpit.

Many white religious radio stations don’t deal with black issues, the black family, or the black community. Likewise, a consistent on‑air presence of black Christians is lacking. Many pertinent black issues are put on the back BURNER and never make it to the major radio airwaves.

Many blacks feel radio stations are not making the Scriptures practical and applicable for daily living in the black community As a result, many blacks are turning these stations off.

Black Americans don’t feel their issues are being addressed, nor do they believe they are being ministered to. This same shortcoming occurs in our educational system, as most schools (i.e., white schools) keep the middle class community and values the main focus of classroom discussion.

Black history as well as the history of other people of color should be


Many pertinent black issues are put on the back burner and never make it to the major radio airwaves.


incorporated in every school curriculum in America. It is small wonder blacks feel alienated ‑- their history and contributions are not viewed as valuable information for mainstream America.

White religion in America has been guilty of serving only a middle class orientation; it must be sensitive to the black masses, bringing in black Christian educators to teach how to communicate and relate to the black community more effectively, using etiquette that is geared toward ministering to the black church. One thing is certain: we need to develop an agenda for reaching the black community.


One Cure

One pilot project in Houston stands a’s an example of successful cross culturalism. Several white suburban churches joined some urban black churches and decided to do something about crime in the black community. The churches provided substitute fathers for many of the fatherless black youths in the city. The results were astounding.

Crimes committed by blacks, especially black youths, dropped dramatically Having a father image made a significant impact upon these black youths.


In Houston, several white suburban churches joined urban black churches and decided to do something about crime in the black community. The results were astounding.


What if the Houston project were duplicated in Arbitron’s Top 20 urban centers? What would happen if religious broadcasters used their power to blitz these markets with such a program? Who will be brave enough, visionary enough, and tough enough to tackle the statistics of black America? What would Jesus Christ do?

Although reducing homicide and other violent acts will require changes in social conditions that contribute to violence such as poverty, poor education, and racial and class discrimination, strategies have been identified to prevent homicides.

Whether it be through radio or television, exposing the plight of the black community must be done.

Dr. Martin Luther King jr. once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” He also said, “Either we will work together as brothers, or truly perish together as fools.”


Three E’s of Cultural Sensitivity

*Education, The white church needs to be properly educated on the dynamics of cross‑cultural relations and demographics,

It needs to know the vital statistics of the population. It needs to be educated In order to understand why each community does things differently, it needs to learn about the target population and its point of view In terms of the home, methods of discipline, foods, music, dress style, language and lingo, and the churches they offend.

All groups of people express themselves differently and must be respected for their beliefs. It is important to understand the differences. Religious broadcasters can be Instrumental In bringing these differences out into the open In a positive and constructive way, It’s all right to be different from others.

*Etiquette The white church needs to gain cultural and cross cultural etiquette. In essence, this means learning how to act and behave around other cultural groups, Many white Christians are uneducated about other peoples.

Etiquette Involves respecting one another’s differences. Part of respecting one another’s differences is making an effort to learn exactly what those differences are.

*Evangelism, The white church needs to develop a rationale for commitment to cultural and cross‑cultural evangelism. A professional facilitator or consultant may need to be brought In to develop cultural and cross‑cultural sensitivity and involvement, A retreat would be a good place for this training to take place, As Christians, we must be committed to this agenda,

The Great Commission charges us: ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I hove commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28:19,20 KJV). ‘


Preventing Homicides

Recommendations on how to prevent homicides, from the Office of Minority Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

*Lowering the cultural acceptance of violence as a means to resolve conflict;

*Teaching nonviolent conflict resolution skills;

*Developing a scientific basis for public policies to reduce homicides by gunshot;

*Improving recognition, management, and treatment of victims of violence;

*Linking police, health, and social services responses to violence.

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