I just came back from a powerful time in Oakland, California. I was invited to the city by the Issues4Life Foundation, headed by Walter Hoye, which targets and works directly with Black leaders nationwide to strengthen their stand against abortion and resolve the issues surrounding the moral responsibility of biotechnology in the African-American Community.”
Hoye is a black pastor who has committed his life to fight for the ending of abortion. He caused quite a stir in 2009 when he was sentenced to a 30-day prison stay. A new California law labeled his peaceful witness outside of a local abortion clinic as harassment. He endured the legal trials and prison time with great courage and humility. The day he was released, a abortion clinic in Oakland closed its doors. A sign, I believe, that his intercession was effective.
He is currently using his passion to spread the message of life through the streets of Oakland. The Issues4Life Foundation teamed up with the Radiance Foundation, run by Ryan Bomberger. Together they worked to get 60 billboards placed in minority neighborhoods in Oakland. The billboards show a picture of a precious black baby, with the words “Black & Beautiful” on top and www.toomanyaborted.com underneath.
California could be considered, by its sheer numbers, the nation’s abortion capital. There are a whopping 522 abortion clinics/providers in the state, dwarfing even New York state’s 249 abortuaries (where 60% of all black pregnancies are aborted–more killed than are born alive).
California Congressional District Leader Barbara Lee released a statement that she was deeply offended by the billboards. Members of a pro-choice group called “Trust Black Women” claim the billboards are racist and meant to shame black women. The ironic thing is the billboards have been put up and championed by black pro-life leaders–Leaders who believe the best way to love the black community is to tell them the truth about the issues that are destroying them.
The message that black children are beautiful is essential for us as a people. We have been overwhelmed with negative media images which depict blacks as violent, lazy, delinquent and ignorant. Countless black women are uncomfortable with their hair, skin color, and facial features. Black men are continually targeted, profiled and viewed as second class citizens. We must know we are beautiful and valuable! If we can began to believe unborn children have great worth, than we can believe it for black men and women of all ages.
I am greatly encouraged by this billboard campaign. I pray it would change the way we view ourselves as a race. May we understand the great beauty and destiny that is found in every life.