It's not unusual when we gather at our respective African-American churches to hear ministers offer their condolences, comfort and perspectives to the black community when another black life has been taken. But it is unusual when a white minister stands before one of our congregations and utters the words "Black lives matter."

A white minister did just that when he spoke to a mixed congregation of blacks and whites after the shooting deaths of five police officers and two black men. When he stated:  "Black lives matter", he shared he wasn't discounting the lives of the five white officers who were slain, his white counterparts, or any other people of color, but that he finally understood, after having conversations with a number of black men, why black lives matter.

He now understands that black men are often stopped by police officers more often than white men. He heard the statistics about how often black men experience police brutality, and how many have been shot and killed by police officers. He heard the anger black men feel daily due to racial inequalities in employment and the criminal justice system. And he understands the frustrations that might trigger emotions leading black men to sometimes retaliate against their white brothers.

So I applaud him. I applaud him for having the courage to stand and admit that "black lives matter". I applaud him for using the "black lives matter" hashtag when he responded on his twitter page to the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. I applaud him for challenging other white moderates" to read Dr. King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail"  to inspire them " to move from caution to courage". And I applaud him for making a commitment to do everything as a prominent pastor and leader to help improve the lives of black men in the City of Dallas.

Black lives do matter, and it's my hope that as more of our white brothers understand and embrace this reality, our city and nation will become a better place for all - black, white or blue.

Sharing my perspective,


Jeanine Stokes is a Christian author, speaker and bible-teacher whose mission is to write to inspire and equip others to live a life of faith in every aspect of their lives. To learn more about her ministry, visit her at:


Copyright 2016. JStokes Writing Ministries. All Rights Reserved.

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