A little over Two weeks ago, Houston native and Stellar Award winner, Jabari Johnson, lead praise and worship at the official homegoing celebration of George Floyd.
From the beginning of the wrongful death surfacing the internet, Johnson felt passionate about using his voice and platform to speak against police brutality.
“If I gotta be one of the few Christian artists that will step up, say that this is wrong and not only talk about it but actually do something about it- I’m wit it!”
Not only did Jabari show his stance in the current political matter by singing at the services for George Floyd, he also participated in local marches in his city (Houston) and used his influence to continue spreading awareness surrounding racial injustices African Americans continue to face every day.
“We were actually shot with tear gas and let me tell you something, that stuff hurts! I don’t think people understand. But, that’s what I went out there for… I just felt like I had to be there because we heard about Trayvon Martin getting killed, then we saw so many other people lose their life. Then this George Floyd situation just hit me right in the chest because he’s from Houston and I’m from Houston.”
When Jabari was asked to lead praise and worship he was honored. His goal was to sing songs that comforted the family and celebrated Floyd’s life.
“After that I had to take a couple of days off. That’s an experience I wish I didn’t have to go through… We sent him home the right way, great service. But, the truth of the matter is George Floyd should still be alive today… If I could turn back the hands of time, that’s something I wish I did not have to do.”
Jabari expressed his feelings on singing at the funeral services. He felt the experience was numbing and fulfilling at the same time. However, having involvement in protests, current news circulating around, to then seeing Floyd’s body lying in the casket, Jabari took some time for himself to regroup.
“I saw him leave this earth. I saw him take his last breath in a video and then we actually had to go there, sing at the service and see his body… I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t get real for me until I walk up there and saw his body I thought “Man, this is terrible.”
Currently, he is the lead guitarist at The Potter’s House in Dallas under the leadership of Bishop T.D. Jakes.
“It’s a great experience being at the church. Bishop Jakes is a great leader. It’s fun sitting there learning how to be a better man in business and everything.
After years of playing and writing music, in 2015, Jabari released “You Are Holy,” “More of You” and “You’re Good” in 2016.
He’s got a list full of gospel greats who’ve inspired him over the course of his career. Some he’s had the opportunity to meet and work with on a personal level.
“John P. Kee, Shirley Cesar, Carlton Pearson and big-name quartet groups such as Canton Spirituals, Lee Williams and the Spiritual QCs, etc… They really shaped my career, really my sound! I also had the chance to work with Canton Spirituals when I was 12 along with Keith Wonderboy Johnson.”
Additionally, he’s worked with other heavy hitters like Tye Tribet, John P. Kee, and Kirk Franklin.
In 2019, Johnson’s most noted single, “Have Your Way,” won a Stellar Award for Best New Artist. His win was a surprise to him and close friends. Till this day he makes sure to shine his award monthly.
“I didn’t think I was going to win because Phil Thompson was on the ballot, too. My song hasn’t even hit a million views on YouTube and his song is almost at 10! It was an honor.”
Reparations Closer to Becoming Reality with AB3121 Study California
*It appears reparations bill AB3121 is set to be signed by Governor Gavin Newsome later today. Likely among the most prominent recognitions of the need for reparations in American history the bill will set up a commission to study the effects of slavery and Jim Crow on Black Americans in California in groundbreaking ways.
Lead expert Attorney Antonio Moore for testimony in the bills presentation on the California senate floor in August had this to say about the bill,
“Today California stands as a beacon on reparations to ADOS American Descendants of Slavery shining a light on this issue in a way not seen in American history. From slavery during the Gold Rush in the 1850s to redlining in Los Angeles in the 1950s we stand ready to review it all and to acknowledge the consequence of that cost with the commission established by Ab3121. The work Assemblywoman Shirley Weber has done on this bill is monumental.”
Watch the signing live at 5 pm est on YouTube here.
Congratulations to #ados for making reparations real. We have never seen anything like this in American History. California Reparations Bill #ab3121 is set to be signed into law today at 5pm est. Thank you to all ADOS chapters involved. WATCH HERE LIVE: https://t.co/VLztCDnEb9 pic.twitter.com/BnozYASkaN
— Antonio Moore (@tonetalks) September 30, 2020
California Reparations Bill pushes forward. “ @Tonetalks Testimony as Lead Expert on the California Reparations Bill” Thank you to all the #ados chapters in CA for your work on this bill. @AdosSacramento @ADOSBayArea @ADOSLosAngeles pic.twitter.com/8UcmB6Mwex
— Antonio Moore (@tonetalks) August 30, 2020
Ben Carson Says Protesters are Being ‘Manipulated’ to Create Chaos (Video)
*There’s been a Ben Carson sighting.
After being off the radar since his RNC speech, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development popped up Thursday evening at the Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C. trying to argue that race is being manipulated this election cycle in order to create chaos and divide Americans.
“In this election season, everything is race. And, obviously, it’s being manipulated along those lines,” he said during an interview with Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins. “Things have changed so incredibly dramatically in this country, but in order to create the kind of chaos that’s necessary to make people want a change, you divide them, you divide them in every way you possibly can: by race, by gender, by age, by income.”
Dr. Carson also said that as a black child growing up in Detroit in the 1950s and 60s, he saw racism “that would curl your hair.”
“You don’t see that kind of stuff anymore,” the retired pediatric neurosurgeon said. “We’ve made so much progress, it’s absolutely astonishing.”
Dr. Carson also appeared to suggest that protesters are beholden to government as opposed to democracy. He said, “Right now we’re looking at people clashing who believe in a system that is of, for, and by the people, and people who believe in a system that is of, for, and by the government. Those are two very different things.”
Watch below, or click here to view on Twitter:
.@secretarycarson on the civil unrest:
“Right now we’re looking at people clashing who believe in a system that is of, for, and by the people, and people who believe in a system that is of, for, and by the government.
Those are two very different things. @secretarycarson #VVS20 pic.twitter.com/m5s9z3nGvs
— FRCAction (@FRCAction) September 25, 2020
Upon This Rock: Archaeologists Are Excavating One of America’s Oldest Black Churches (Video)
*Earlier this month, archaeologists in Colonial Williamsburg broke ground on a project set to unearth the history of First Baptist Church, one of America’s oldest black congregations.
The Virginia house of worship traces its roots to 1776, when a group of enslaved and free black people gathered to pray and sing at Green Springs, a plantation located a few miles outside of the colonial city. At the time, the United States had just declared its independence from Great Britain. African American individuals were forbidden from gathering in large groups, but they defied the law by conducting secret meetings in a brush arbor. According to Michael E. Ruane of the Washington Post, black preacher Reverend Moses was regularly whipped for leading such gatherings.
By 1791, enslaved tavern worker and preacher Gowan Pamphlet had grown the congregation to as many as 500 members, according to historian Linda H. Rowe. The church expanded even further after local white businessman Jesse Cole stumbled upon one of its outdoor services; Cole was reportedly so moved by the meeting that he offered the group use of his carriage house on Nassau Street. By 1828, notes NBC News, the physical church established at the site boasted more than 600 members.
A tornado destroyed this original structure—known as the Baptist Meeting House—in 1834. But a new brick building was constructed in 1856, and in 1863, the congregation was renamed the First Baptist Church. Throughout the 1860s, the church also served as a school for young black students. After Colonial Williamsburg purchased the property in 1955, the congregation relocated to a new building on Scotland Street, where it resides today. The original 19th-century structure was torn down, and the site was paved over.
Now, the church and its Let Freedom Ring Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving the congregation’s history, are leading the charge to investigate the centuries-old site. Their work is all the more important because narratives about African Americans have long been left out of the city’s history, says Let Freedom Ring President Connie Matthews Harshaw.
“There’s a noticeable absence of the story of early African Americans in Williamsburg,” Harshaw tells the Post.
For many years, she adds, the tourist site “basically erased everything that has to do with African Americans.”
In May, archaeologists scanned the area with ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and found encouraging evidence of structures hidden below ground. Excavations are scheduled to last seven weeks and may be extended another year and a half depending on what the researchers discover.
Below, a video about the history of First Baptist Church.
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