2020 Dove Awards Promotes Unity, Diversity, and Racial Reconciliation After Last Year’s Boycott from Kirk Franklin and Other Black Christian Artists

(L to R) Jenn Johnson, Tauren Wells, Jekalyn Carr and Christine D’ Clario onstage after filming their performance for the 2020 Dove Awards at TBN Studios on September 17, 2020 in Hendersonville, Tennessee. | Photo by Don Claussen/Trap The Light Photography for Dove Awards

Dove Awards 2020 kicked off with a message of unity and racial reconciliation after facing criticism over last year’s program. 

Following the 2019 Dove Awards, Kirk Franklin announced that he was boycotting Trinity Broadcasting Network, the Gospel Music Association, the Dove Awards, and any organization affiliated with the event until they addressed issues of diversity. This boycott came about after TBN, which broadcasts the awards show every year, removed parts of Franklin’s 2016 and 2019 Dove Awards acceptance speeches, both of which, he said, advocated for racial justice.

This year’s show represented diversity and unity with its theme “Carry the Change.”

The 51st annual GMA Dove Awards kicked off with a declaration from various popular Christian and gospel artists, including: for King & Country, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Matthew West, Travis Greene, Danny Gokey, Tauren Wells, Zach Williams, Steven Curtis Chapman, Natalie Grant, Mandisa, Mali Music, Jeremy Camp, Kari Jobe, and Christine D’Clario, among others.

In their joint statement, which began with several scriptures that call on Christians to be the light of the dark world, the performers said: “Let there be light. The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear?”

“Jesus said it, ‘I am the light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. Therefore, let us live as children of light. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.’ Carry the change,” the artists proclaimed.

The collective voices then began to recite, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which is being referred to as the black national anthem.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jeannie Law