KIXE PBS Announces New Documentary Series
from Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
THE BLACK CHURCH: THIS IS OUR STORY, THIS IS OUR SONG
KIXE PBS February 16 and 17 at 9:00PM Streaming on PBS.org
Two-part series reveals the broad history and culture of the Black church
and explores African American faith communities
on the frontlines of hope and change
Featuring interviews with Oprah Winfrey, John Legend, Jennifer Hudson, Bishop Michael Curry, Cornel West, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Rev. Al Sharpton,
Yolanda Adams, Rev. William Barber II, BeBe Winans,
Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie and more
The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song premieres this Tuesday at 9 PM. 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.
In addition to the broadcast, The Black Church is available to stream, free on PBS.org. The accompanying website features an animated series, a guided playlist, coloring book and bible study. https://www.pbs.org/weta/black-church/activities/
Learning curriculum for grades 8-12 is available at