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Arts and Entertainment

Missouri Pastor’s Race-Relations Viral Video Asks Us All to ‘Start Again’

Alex Bryant and Family
Evangel University

Alex Bryant, a pastor near Kansas City and Evangel University alumnus, knows well the power of message and its impact on church members. Now, he has the attention of people from around the world following his June 8 video expressing his views on race relations.

The father of five, along with his wife, Angie did not speak during the video. Instead, Bryant displayed messages on a series of flip cards with the accompaniment of songs from the Annie soundtrack.

“I’m never at a loss for words, I’m in ministry and I speak for a living, but I just didn’t want to be verbose and just ramble,” he said.

Then comes a well-timed, one-by-one entrance of Bryant’s wife and interracial family.

The video was posted a day after the shooting deaths of five Dallas police officers, which came during a peaceful protest regarding the recent shooting deaths of two black men by officers in Louisiana and Minnesota.

Bryant said he was moved by the song “Who Am I” from the Annie soundtrack on the ride home from his son’s physical therapy appointment. According to Bryant, he listened to it five times on the drive.

“By the time I got to my house I was crying and tears were just coming down my eyes. I was just thinking about who I am and who are we as a nation and why is all this stuff happening,” Bryant said. “I love the lyric ‘I want to start again.”

At that point, Bryant wasn’t sure what he was going to do. He said he had been praying and concentrating on the recent Dallas shootings and race issues, but didn’t know how to make a change.

“I came in the house and told my wife what was on my heart and she saw my tears and said ‘you need to go downstairs and write’ and so I went and just wrote it,” he said. “Really in about ten minutes I came back up and had the idea we were going to make a video.”

Within a few minutes, they had a phone propped up and began to record.

Over the next week, the video had gone viral. As of July 14, it had over 10 million views combined from Facebook and YouTube and over 68,000 shares.

“It’s been an unbelievable response. I’ve probably received two-to-three thousand Facebook email messages from people,” he said.

Bryant said that people from all different cultures, religions and racial backgrounds have reached out to him and his family. Most notably, he said people were touched and moved by the video’s motto of ‘let’s start again.’

“My wife had the idea of putting ‘let’s start again for us’ and the whole point was for our kids and our future,” he said.

Bryant contributes a lot of the video’s success from showing viewers what a loving, interracial family looks like.

“Us being a biracial couple, race is always at the forefront for us, because we see it every day,” he said. “And that’s not a bad thing, what we do and how we process after that is what makes it either good or bad.”

He said he wants people to know it is ok to see race, but that people have to learn to look past it and not let that be what defines us.

Bryant also felt compelled to honor his two cousins who are police officers, a brother-in-law who is a military officer and a late uncle who served as a cop in Florida. His time near St. Louis during the unrest in Ferguson took his passion and commitment for change to the next level.

For Bryant, he wants us all to just start again; for ourselves, our neighbors and the next generation.