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Dr. Jamal Bryant talks ending senseless killings in Black community

Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for Steed Media Service

Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for Steed Media Service

Rolling out spoke exclusively to philanthropist, author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur Dr. Jamal Bryant, the pastor and founder of Empowerment Temple AME Church in Baltimore, at the African American Festival in Baltimore on Sunday, July 3. Below is an excerpt from the conversation, as well as video of the interview. Ironic that we had this conversation prior to another law enforcement killing taking place two days later with the execution of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

How can the African American community stop the senseless killings?

I think that we’ve got to learn how to value our own lives and know what our own worth is to the community. The reality is that a whole lot of people don’t believe Black lives matter because we don’t act like it does. If we would find that same level of rage when we kill each other as we do when an officer kills us, then maybe America will take us seriously. So we have got to learn how to value our own lives.

How do we put an end to this vicious cycle?

I think the No. 1 killer of Black America is not drugs, it’s not gang initiations, it’s not gun violence, it’s self-esteem. If we learn how to love ourselves we would turn our communities upside down. The beauty of the Black Panther Party was understanding that they weren’t looking for outside people to do it. They weren’t writing for grants or for nonprofits agencies but learning how to feed our own children, protect our own seniors and educate our community, and to police ourselves. I think when we get to that place, we will be unstoppable.

What are the first steps members of our communities need to take?

The first step to do would be to be the governor of your own house. You don’t need to change your community, change your house. Are you doing homework with your own kids? There’s a new thing out that I want to introduce to Bqlack people, it’s called PTA. If you go to that, if you make sure your own neighborhood is clean, make sure that you are living as a role model in your language and in your lifestyle, it’ll change everything. One block at a time will change Black America forever.

Click continue to view the video.

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12 Comments

  1. Selena on July 6, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Great interview, Derrel! I don’t particularly subscribe to the same respectability politics that Dr. Bryant is preaching, but I understand where that comes from. Police have and will continue to kill and harass black people no matter their class, socioeconomic status or the level of their self-esteem. Racism is deeper and bigger than that.

    • Beverley8541 on July 7, 2016 at 3:45 am

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    • Jazz Johnson on July 7, 2016 at 6:30 am

      Thank you Selena. There are members of law enforcement that are racist and will continue to kill black men. But there are a lot more of us killing each other. We need to value every life in our communities. I have personally witnessed people marching down blocks protesting murders in other places, litterally walking through places where young black men died.

      • Jason on July 8, 2016 at 6:21 pm

        Then you need to get out more.

        • Jazz Johnson on July 9, 2016 at 6:29 am

          Out in Harlem 99% of the days of my life. Only not there when traveling.

  2. Stanley on July 6, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Great interview, but I gotta say. I wish Jamal wouldn’t go to Black on Black crime like that kind of violence doesn’t happen in white communities too. Black on black crime is 90%, white on white crime is 86% and climbing. Overall, frat interview

    • Jazz Johnson on July 7, 2016 at 6:28 am

      I have heard you guys discuss this on the show, but he is right. The CDC statistics show that homicide is the leading killer of young black men. It is the third leading killer of young white men.

    • Jason on July 8, 2016 at 6:20 pm

      Sick of this type of reasoning. Going to “Black on Black” crime gives the White Supremacists an out after they kill us. Notice how they go to the same issue when a Black person is killed? We need to be a little more sophisticated. Also, the small percentage of Blacks killing each other and committing crimes are usually the most depleted of resources/opportunities. What is the excuse for White cops blowing off Black people’s heads?

      • Jazz Johnson on July 9, 2016 at 6:27 am

        You are sick of this type of reasoning? Have you seen the CDC stats on the cause of death for black and Latino men? Homicide. The “small number of blacks killing each other?” Check out Chicago. Over 2,000 people shot this year.

        • Jason on July 9, 2016 at 12:15 pm

          Not saying it is true, but some of you act as if this is a good reason for Whites to kill Blacks and get off. It is oppressive logic. the majority of inner city crime is driven by lack of resources and opportunities. Why don’t we ever hear any criticism of those facts?

          • Jazz Johnson on July 11, 2016 at 1:41 pm

            It is possible to dislike every black homicide, whether it is a white, black, Latino, Asian, or any other race killing a black person. Some people act like it is a competition. I grew up in Harlem when it was really bad. Lack of resouces and opportunities don’t force you to kill people that look like you. Those are choices.



  3. AND THEN THERE WAS ONE!!? on May 29, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    Lovely interview! Keep up the good work derrel.