Celebrate Black History Month
By Celebrating the Black Church
The Union of Black Episcopalians is pleased to encourage all Episcopalians, especially members of our local UBE Chapters and historically black and/or multiracial churches to watch and reflect upon 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, premieres February 16 and 17, 2021 at 9:00 p.m. ET on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings).
Gates 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.
Resources are available for congregational and individual use to facilitate reflection. Since the establishment of the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas by Absalom Jones in 1792 in the city of Philadelphia, blacks have been a vital part of the life of the Episcopal Church, sometimes challenging the Church’s resistance to respecting the dignity and embracing the inclusion of black people at every level of church governance. It is very appropriate that this weekend, on February 13, we will celebrate the Feast Day of the Rev. Absalom Jones, the first black person to be ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church.
DON’T MISSTHE BLACK CHURCH:
THIS IS OUR STORY, THIS IS OUR SONG
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16 AND
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 9:00 PM, PBS
Click here for Discussion Guide on The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song.
Click here for a Bible Study on The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song.