Invite your friends for shared reflection following the two-part PBS series “The Black Church: This is our story, this is our song” by scholar and educator, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The two-part series traces the history of the Black church in America. The reflection the week after the series concludes is an opportunity to share with one another what we learned, and, for those who have worshipped regularly with a US Black church, to tell us how their experience compares to that described in the series. This reflection time is offered as part of Community UCC’s ongoing commitment to having Sacred Conversations on Race and is sponsored by CUCC’s Racial Justice Affinity Google Group. For more information, contact Jane Smith at email@example.com.
The Black Church: This is our story, this is our song
Airs on PBS Tuesday, February 16 and Wednesday, February 17, 9PM
Watch at home
Read more about the series here
Post-series reflection for the community
Thursday, February 25, 7-8PM, on Zoom
If you would like to receive the Zoom information, send your name, phone number, and email address to Jane Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the book
Dr. Gates has also published a book to accompany the series, for those who would like to supplement the documentary.
Read about the book here
Brief description of The Black Church: This is our story, this is our song:
This moving four-hour, two-part series from executive producer, host and writer Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, traces the 400-year-old story of the Black church in America, all the way down to its bedrock role as the site of African American survival and grace, organizing and resilience, thriving and testifying, autonomy and freedom, solidarity and speaking truth to power. The documentary reveals how Black people have worshipped and, through their spiritual journeys, improvised ways to bring their faith traditions from Africa to the New World, while translating them into a form of Christianity that was not only truly their own, but a redemptive force for a nation whose original sin was found in their ancestors’ enslavement across the Middle Passage.
Renowned participants in the series include media executive and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey; singer, songwriter, producer and philanthropist John Legend; singer and actress Jennifer Hudson; Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of The Episcopal Church; gospel legends Yolanda Adams, Pastor Shirley Caesar and BeBe Winans; civil rights leaders Rev.Al Sharpton and Rev. William Barber II; scholar Cornel West; and many more. Through their interviews, viewers will be transported by the songs that speak to one’s soul, by preaching styles that have moved congregations and a nation, and by beliefs and actions that drew African Americans from the violent margins of society to the front lines of change.