Even in recent days one has to acknowledge the continuing struggle for African Americans to fully be embraced by the wider culture. A number of publishers are making serious efforts to raise the tempo of Black voices in the world of mainstream books. One of those publishers has been Byron Williamson, an American Christian publisher and entrepreneur.
Williamson’s calling to lift Black American voices has connected him with a wide range of Christian personalities and gifted communicators, both pastors and celebrities. Time spent with Dr. Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., has been an enormous inspiration.
Highly regarded surgeon, Dr. Ben Carson, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, shaped Williamson’s vision for gifted African American voices in the larger Christian community.
At the passing of Whitney Houston, Williamson recruited her good ‘brother’ and remarkable artist in his own right, BeBe Winans, to pen a very personal tribute biography. His story told the truth about a complicated, funny, generous, and extremely loyal Whitney who knew God’s grace.
As a Christian book publisher for several decades, Williamson has published high profile pastors such as Rudy Rasmus, pastor of the 9,000 member St. John’s United Methodist Church in Houston, who wrote “Love. Period.” And Dr. Kenneth C. Ulmer, who pastors the influential Faithful Central Baptist Bible Church in Los Angeles, who wrote “Passing the Generational Torch,” including a foreword from LL Cool J.
In the world of sports stars, Williamson published Michael Vick’s biography, “Finally Free,” written just after he was released from prison. Byron also published football heroes such as Randall Cunningham, a Most Valuable Player in the NFL and Pro Bowl starter. And Evander Holyfield’s biography, who was a controversial Olympian and heavy-weight professional boxing champion.
Williamson’s conviction is that if all voices are not fairly and fully heard, the remaining voices create little context for full truth.