Letters to the Editor

Identity: I am not my race; I'm Christian

I was born with a darker hue of skin and raised in the South. Most would describe be as black, African-American, a minority, colored, perhaps the n-word. For most, these descriptions would largely define and determine my destiny.

I was often warned that because I am black I already have two strikes against me; that because I am an African-American minority ‘the man’ would keep me down. I was told I could not separate my skin from my success. Was my destiny doomed because of societal descriptions?

Today, I have discovered my identity. I am not and will not be described or defined by the color of my skin, but by the confirmation of my Savior. Today, I am successful. I am faithfully and passionately in love with my wife and leading my household well. I pastor a predominately caucasian church and am committed to impacting my community and world for Christ. Because I know, love and follow Christ I can joyfully say: “I am not my race; I’m Christian.”

(Johnson is the pastor of Tacoma’s North End Community Church)