Leave LOUD: Jemar Tisby's Story

I've never been this publicly vulnerable about my experiences of racism in white Christian spaces. But it's time...

The person in the picture below seems like someone else who lived in a different lifetime. At this point in my life (2015) I had a growing awareness that my continued commitment to racial justice and my presence in Reformed and evangelical spaces more broadly could not continue.

It has taken me years to get to the point where I am ready to publicly share my experiences of racism in white Christian spaces.

I share details I’ve never uttered in public. My goal is not to be salacious or sensational. My goal is to warn others who are considering entering these spaces, to encourage those on a similar journey, and to speak the truth in love about those who were active or complicit in racism.

Please give this podcast episode a listen. This is my testimony. This is my WITNESS.

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Whew! Listen, family...this is the one.

10 years ago, Jemar Tisby founded this organization with the hope of achieving racial reconciliation in white evangelical spaces. Eventually, after a barrage of attacks, smears, and racial trauma, the organization changed its name, and Jemar left the place that he thought was his home. What happened? What changed? What did he learn? This is the story like you’ve never heard it before. This is Jemar Tisby’s #LeaveLOUD story. The Witness: A Black Christian Collective

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More about the #LeaveLOUD campaign…

In 2018, the New York Times published an article tiled: A Quiet Exodus: Why Black Worshipers Are Leaving White Evangelical Churches that chronicled the plight of Black Christians who quietly exited their churches after their pastors and fellow believers failed to denounce state-sanctioned violence against Black people, white Christian Nationalism, systemic racism, and everyday bigotry. Since that time, things have gotten worse, not better. 

In recent months, we’ve seen a surge of Black leaders and congregants in predominantly white or multiethnic churches and Christian spaces decide that it’s time for them to go. We bear witness to the hurt, harm, and frustration that our siblings have experienced. Enough is enough. It’s time to #LeaveLOUD

To #LeaveLOUD is to tell our stories, to name things for what they are, to take back the dignity we’ve lost while being in institutions that don’t value the fullness of the image of God within us, and to go where we are celebrated and not just tolerated.  

For the next several weeks, we will be sharing stories of Black Christians who have made the decision to #LeaveLOUD. We will also be providing thoughtful analysis, words of wisdom, and resources for those who have already left or who are discerning whether they should #LeaveLOUD. We invite you to share your stories using the hashtag #LeaveLOUD. 

The Witness BCC exists to empower Black Christians to live into the fullness of who God created us to be. You are not alone.

Visit thewitnessbcc.com for more of our stories.