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The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song


zoey1996
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The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song is a moving four-hour, two-part series from executive producer, host and writer Henry Louis Gates, Jr. It traces the 400-year-old story of the Black church in America.

This was shown on my pbs station as a 6-hour, two part program as part of their annual fundraising event. The actual time is about four hours. I am learning as I watch, and it’s interesting. I’m a member of a mainline Protestant denomination, but have attended Black churches on occasion. I love hearing Black gospel choirs!

I’m interested in hearing what others thought.

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1 hour ago, zoey1996 said:

The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song is a moving four-hour, two-part series from executive producer, host and writer Henry Louis Gates, Jr. It traces the 400-year-old story of the Black church in America.

This was shown on my pbs station as a 6-hour, two part program as part of their annual fundraising event. The actual time is about four hours. I am learning as I watch, and it’s interesting. I’m a member of a mainline Protestant denomination, but have attended Black churches on occasion. I love hearing Black gospel choirs!

I’m interested in hearing what others thought.

I am assuming this program is about Black Protestant churches and not Black Catholicism in the USA? I ask because if you are black and Catholic in the USA you are stepped in the French Catholic tradition, no matter where in the country you live (at least that has been my experience), but the Black Catholic experience is very different than the Irish Catholic or Italian Catholic experience culturally, at least in Chicago where I am from/live. 

My mother grew up pre-Vatican II and still checks "Catholic" on all of the boxes for surveys etc.

 

This looks so interesting! Thank you for sharing. I will see if I can watch it.

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3 hours ago, Scarlett45 said:

I am assuming this program is about Black Protestant churches and not Black Catholicism in the USA? I ask because if you are black and Catholic in the USA you are stepped in the French Catholic tradition, no matter where in the country you live (at least that has been my experience), but the Black Catholic experience is very different than the Irish Catholic or Italian Catholic experience culturally, at least in Chicago where I am from/live. 

My mother grew up pre-Vatican II and still checks "Catholic" on all of the boxes for surveys etc.

 

This looks so interesting! Thank you for sharing. I will see if I can watch it.

There is brief mention of Black Catholicism. IIRC, Gates said about 5% of Blacks that identify as affiliated with a denomination are Roman Catholic.

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51 minutes ago, zoey1996 said:

There is brief mention of Black Catholicism. IIRC, Gates said about 5% of Blacks that identify as affiliated with a denomination are Roman Catholic.

Only 5% of us really?! I will tell my Mom. You’ve taught me something I didn’t know! I will report back after I’ve seen the special. 

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I just watched this and found it to be very interesting. I've seen several of Gates's other documentaries and this one is similar- it covers a very large topic in an engaging way, with the use of many academic experts as well as active members of Black churches (clergy and laypeople) as talking heads. And you get to see many beautiful churches and hear some great music throughout. John Legend is a co-producer, but he only appears briefly, as does Oprah.

I was particularly interested in the section about the early years of the church's history during slavery, and the various points of conflict between different churches in the community as time went on- along geographic, socioeconomic, and ideological lines. I also appreciated the focus on the contributions of women (in general and with lots of specific examples) in the growth and shaping of the church.

On 3/30/2021 at 2:43 PM, Scarlett45 said:

I am assuming this program is about Black Protestant churches and not Black Catholicism in the USA? I ask because if you are black and Catholic in the USA you are stepped in the French Catholic tradition, no matter where in the country you live (at least that has been my experience), but the Black Catholic experience is very different than the Irish Catholic or Italian Catholic experience culturally, at least in Chicago where I am from/live. 

It definitely focuses on the Protestant churches (I think AME and Baptist get roughly equal time, with a little less focus on Pentecostal), but based on your comment I really want to see something about Black Catholicism now. I was raised Catholic, and would be fascinated to learn about the different traditions. There are two brief mentions of Islam in this, regarding enslaved African Muslims, and the much later Nation of Islam, but they're only passing references.

For anyone interested in this topic, I highly recommend it!

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