In February 2020, It Is Written aired three special programs in honor of Black History Month. Two were new programs, and one was a rebroadcast of last year’s “Black Wall Street,” which won five Telly Awards.
“Black History Month is an important part of the American landscape,” said John Bradshaw, speaker/director of It Is Written. “Last year we began filming programs specifically for Black History Month, realizing we had the opportunity to not only tell important stories from the history of this country, but also to draw powerful biblical principles from these stories.”
In recent years, It Is Written has invested more time and energy into filming inspirational and uplifting programs on location, which has allowed for a greater and more diverse range of storytelling. “These on-location programs give us the opportunity to dig deeper into biblical themes and present Christian principles, taken right from the Bible, with far greater effectiveness,” said Michael Bell, It Is Written media production director.
The Black History Month programs cover important historical civil rights events. “The story of the Black Wall Street in Greenwood, Oklahoma, is barely known, in spite of it being one of the most shocking events in American history,” said Bradshaw. “The story of the Scottsboro Boys once gripped the country, but it’s a story that’s now all but forgotten. It shouldn’t be. The story of what happened in Selma, Alabama, in 1965 is frequently retold and even reenacted, but for many people, it’s history and little more.
“These stories can inform our todays in addition to reminding us of our yesterdays. We’re not only remembering history, but we’re also looking at that history through the lens of the Word of God,” Bradshaw said.
Response to the Programs
Feedback indicates that the programs were well-received from a diverse audience. One viewer wrote, “Thank you so much for your acknowledgment of Black history! Thanks for the courage to share the wrongs of the past!”
“We would like you to know how full of gratitude our hearts are for, not just the It Is Written program, but in particular, the ‘Black Wall Street’ broadcast,” said another viewer. “We were not aware that this event ever took place. That is why we want you to know how thankful we are that you took the time to produce this program. This worldwide ministry is a blessing to us and so many others; it looks into things that most churches don't pay much attention to!”
“Thank you for producing these programs in recognition of the American history, which involves African-Americans and our connection to the mission of Christ,” wrote a third viewer. “When thechurch speaks openly of issues (past and present), we learn how to speak with compassion and Christian love. Thank you again for your ministry!”
“I just watched it on TBN,” another viewer wrote. “It made me cry. I'm from Mexico, and I owe Martin Luther King Jr. and so many others like him and Pastor Reeb [sic] for all they sacrificed so I can now enjoy the freedom I have. God bless all who are still sacrificing so much for others.”
“It’s not just our viewers that have taken notice,” said Michael Bell. “Our peers are also praising our programs for their quality and excellence. Last year, ‘Black Wall Street’ won multiple Telly Awards, including those for writing, editing, and cinematography.”
About the Programs
In 1921, more than 300 people were massacred, thousands were left homeless, and an entire town was destroyed when people turned on their fellow citizens—in the United States of America. Which raises an important question: What kind of person would do that? The answer is surprising. Join Pastor John Bradshaw on location in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as we look at the challenge faced by every person: the sinful heart.
In the 1960s, the civil rights movement made history as Americans took a stand against racial injustice. Join John Bradshaw on location in Selma, Alabama, as he examines the atrocities committed there and the bravery of those who stepped up to do what was right, even when it cost them their lives.
It was a colossal miscarriage of justice: nine young men found guilty of a crime they didn’t commit, and the deciding factor was the color of their skin. Join John Bradshaw in Scottsboro, Alabama, for this story of brutal discrimination, and learn why it's so important to serve a God who is just.
— Cassie Matchim Hernandez is marketing assistant for It Is Written.