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Black Evangelicals Oppose Image-Whitewashing in White Evangelical Politics and the Media

Highlights a non-partisan statement published online by the National Black Evangelical Association (NBEA) addressing issues related to identifying and advocating the values of authentic Black Evangelicals in the current political milieu.

The National Black Evangelical Association (NBEA) has published “Certified Black Evangelicals: ‘We are ‘Evangelical’ and Political, But Not Whitenized’”—a cultural and biblical statement advocating for Evangelicals of African descent. Composed by the organization’s president, the Reverend Dr. Walter Arthur McCray (Chicago), the statement is a non-partisan protest of the image-whitewashing of African-American Evangelicals by Evangelical whites in the current political climate and the media.  Certified Black Evangelicals may be read online and downloaded in its entirety at www.The-NBEA.org.  NBEA released its position in advance of its 53rd-year convention, “Cush Cries Out! Christ Answers!” to be held in Chicago, April 20-23, 2016.

Statement Highlights: In the tumult and turmoil of the current inflammatory political climate, NBEA believes that authentic Black Evangelicals are pressed to define themselves and refuse the regressive definitions of their white counterparts. They feel aggrieved over how conservative and “color-blind,” anti-Black-progress white Evangelicals portray Evangelical African-American voters. The media often ignores them or blanketly follows their white counterparts’ misleading definition of Evangelicalism. True Evangelical Blacks resist being subsumed by reporters and pundits under the culturally insensitive perspectives of (white) Evangelical political creatures and leaders.

In contrast to the majority of white Evangelicals, NBEA President McCray argues that “certified” Black Evangelicals have a unique distinction. The true-to-color-and-consciousness members of this collective includes intentional “Black Evangelicals” by name, and many incipient evangelicals in traditional black churches. Being “pro-Black” and “pro-Cross” are two primary and defining characteristics of the group. For the most part, this collective has not been whitenized by their association with white evangelicalism. Authentic Evangelicals of African descent are not assimilated or controlled by their white counterparts.

Based on theological understanding and cultural values, the NBEA contends that the certified collective of African-American Evangelical voters often make very different choices than Evangelical whites. These and similar reasons motivate the associates of NBEA to call on the media to make appropriate distinctions between Black Evangelicals and white Evangelicals, and the voting politics of each racial Christian group. Further, the NBEA statement challenges white Evangelical candidates, politicians, leaders, and organizations to demonstrate their “evangelical” faith by adopting biblical pro-Christ values geared toward rectifying America’s racial problem and economically benefiting the nation’s poor.

About NBEA: The National Black Evangelical Association was formed in 1963 as a not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 organization with an intentional focus of ministry to the black community. Headquartered in Chicago, its mission is to gather “Black Evangelicals in Koinonia (Fellowship) to the Glory of God.” The organization’s motto is “Unity In Diversity Without Enforced Conformity.”

NBEA’s Chicago Convention (April 20-23): International, national and local leaders will gather to testify and strategize on how Christ answers the cries of Cushite descendants (i.e., black) people in the nation and the world. The four-day meeting will take place at the Chicago Marriott Midway (6520 S. Cicero), and will feature a variety of workshops, panels, plenary sessions, book displays and exhibits, luncheons, and a Friday memorial banquet. The NBEA convention has FREE ADMISSION/ REGISTRATION, and all meetings are open to the public. Meal functions are optional, for a modest cost. Registration is required.

To Register –   http://www.the-nbea.org/events/nbea-2015-convention-registration/

Phone –           (312) 733-1516

Email –              http://www.the-nbea.org/contact/

Mailing –          NBEA, P.O. Box 4311, Chicago, IL 60680

Website –         www.The-NBEA.org

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