The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song
Athens-Clarke County Library
2025 Baxter Street
706 613 3650
Premiere: February 16 and 23, 2021 at 9:00 p.m. ET on PBS stations nationwide (check local listings)
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.
The series features 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.
Please also enjoy these videos from the ACCL Library video archives:
A STORY UNTOLD
”A Story Untold: Black Men and Women in Athens History 40th Anniversary Edition” with Michael Thurmond, Chief Executive Officer of DeKalb County, Georgia.
RICHARD ALLEN, AME FOUNDER
A talk about Richard Allen, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church by his great-great-great-great-grandaughter Yvonne Studevan.
50 YEARS OF SERVICE
A conversation at the East Friendship Baptist Church with Pastor James Hendrick, Minister of Music Brenda Bellinger, & Athens historian Milton Leathers (Part 1 of 4).
VOICES OF TRUTH
A selection of songs by the Athens Voices of Truth Gospel Choir (part 3 of 4).
REV AR KILLIAN
Rev AR Killian Interviewed by his biographer, Earnest Thompson. Rev Killian reminisces about Athens in the 50s and 60s, during the days of segregation in Athens, and his involvement in the era-defining integration of the University of Georgia.
VIVIAN HARSH: A VOICE FROM THE PAST WITH LESSONS FOR TODAY
A talk by ACC Librarian Martha Kapelewski about Vivian G. Harsh, first African American to be a branch manager in the Chicago Public Library System.