( ENSPIRE She Did That ) Creators of ‘Truth’s Table’ Reframe Ideas for Black Women
ENSPIRE Contributor: Ava Girardi
Ekemini Uwan and Dr. Christina Edmondson, creators of the book ‘Truth’s Table,’ are making waves in their careers as award-winning podcast hosts and authors as they share essential discussions on topics such as colorism, activism, relationships, and singleness.
2021 marked ‘Truth’s Table impact on its community by being named the Best Black Religion/Spirituality Podcast by The Black Podcasting Awards. One host, Ekemini Uwan, is a theologian. Her previous writings were published in many publications such as The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post Black Voices, and Christianity Today. Within her writings, Uwan uses her strong background in theology to discuss and bring awareness to racism, racial injustice, and white supremacy. For her work, Uwan also earned the IMPACT Award in 2021 from The Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience. Also, Christianity Today named her “10 New or Lesser-Known Female Theologians Worth Knowing.” She has also appeared on MSNBC and quoted on NPR and CNN for her passion for theology, cultural, and social issues.
Co-author Dr.Christina Edmonson has a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Tennessee State University. Along with her Ph.D. She received an MS Degree from the University of Rochester in Family Therapy and a Sociology Degree from Hampton University. With her educational background, she sparks crucial conversations on mental health, leadership development, and anti-racism. As a Certified Cultural Intelligence facilitator and mental health therapist, churches contact her to discuss these critical issues and topics. She has recently served as the Dean for Intercultural Student Development at Calvin University and has featured her writings in many publications. One can find some of her written pieces on Essnece.com, Gospel Today Magazine, and YourBlackWorld.com.
In their podcast, ‘Truth’s Table,’ they lead meaningful discussions on politics, culture, race, and gender intertwined with Christan theology. Their podcast has been ranked in Apple’s Top 200 Religion and Spirituality podcasts and was featured in the New York Times as one of their recommended “Race Related” podcasts. Along with these achievements, publications such as The Huffington Post have written articles about ‘Truth’s Table’ and the vital conversations they host in their podcast and books.
ENSPIRE Magazine spoke with Ekemini Uwan on how ‘Truth’s Table’ began, her interest in theology, and the challenges while writing the book and creating the podcast:
How and when did you partner up to create ‘Truth’s Table,’ and what sparked your idea to make this book and podcasts?
Back in 2016, a producer friend suggested that Christina, Michelle, and I do a podcast. After we thought about it and prayed about it, we created the name, the format, and the content of the podcast. The book came about when an editor at Penguin Randomhouse reached out to me. She was a fan of ‘Truth’s Table’ podcast and thought the book would allow us to expand upon the ideas we talk about on the show.
What first interested you in theology? Was it something you were involved with in school or with your family?
I was raised in the church, and my grandma always read her Bible every day without fail. It was rare for me to see my grandma without her Bible in her hand. She is the first theologian I learned from, so the seed was planted early in my life. But I also saw the dangerous impact that bad theology and false teaching has on people and the way they view God. I had friends who were entangled with cults, and after leaving those cults, it impacted their own relationship and perspective on God. So I wanted to learn how to do theology that is faithful to the Word of God, accessible and inviting to those who have been harmed by false teachers and false theology.
Were there any challenges you faced while creating your book?
Yes, it was hard to write this book at the height of the pandemic. This book requires a lot of vulnerability, and it is always risky to share your interior life with the public.
Could you describe a little more about what kinds of topics you feature in your podcast and book?
When we started our podcast, we wanted to dig deep – we wanted to confront challenging topics and questions that many in our generation are wrestling with when it comes to the Christian faith. For the book, we chose issues that explore intersectionality and how we navigate faith as Black women in light of the complexities of our country today. I wrote about colorism, decolonizing the faith, singleness among Black women, Pan-Africanism, and Blackness as the image of God.
ENSPIRE also spoke with ‘Truth’s Table’ other author and Ekemini Uwan’s partner, Dr. Christina Edmondson, who discussed partnerships with companies, the positive impact of ‘Truth’s Table,’ and upcoming stories:
Do you have any partnerships with other organizations and companies? If not, do you plan to do so eventually?
As an entity (‘Truth’s Table’) and individually, we maintain partnerships and supportive relationships with other Black-led ministries and organizations like the Witness Foundation and Jude 3. As an academic, being connected to academic institutions for accountability and sharpening is very important, so I maintain affiliation with Calvin Institute for Christian Worship and Racial Justice and Unity Center. On a local level, I am a member of the NAACP and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
How does ‘Truth’s Table’ impact Black women and their Christian faith?
We have received feedback that ‘Truth’s Table’ has been a source of encouragement and community for many. Our listeners are diverse in their experiences of the Christian faith and religion and include a substantial Pan-African representation. We know the show has inspired other podcasters and women to pursue theological education. We always have a private Facebook group with over 1,000 Black women learning together.
Could you discuss any upcoming stories? When will the new seasons for ‘Truth’s Table’ be released, and could you mention some topics you will discuss?
This current season ends this Fall 2022. It is full of exciting interviews and topics that don’t shy away from necessary lament and unhinged joy. We kicked off this season discussing the State of the Black Church, featuring some of the most influential preachers and musicians in the country. Our book took center stage as we offered an episode on each chapter to supplement the reading. As always, we have a host of compelling interviews from internationally acclaimed musicians to insightful thought leaders discussing topics like mental health.
Through the diverse backgrounds of both Uwan and Edmondson, they are having significant conversations about issues that need to be addressed within their podcast of ‘Truth’s Table’ book. They are building the community of Black women and allowing them to examine politics, race, gender, and other topics from a Christan point of view. While listening to the podcasts and reading the book, women can dive deeper into their inner faith and search for a more freeing liberation by reading the various essays and stories that involve theology and spirituality.
Check out ‘Truth’s Table’ site here.
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