April 27, 2021

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., "The Black Church"

The Black Church was the cultural cauldron that Black people created to combat a system designed in every way to crush their spirit.  Collectively and with enormous effort, they refused to allow that to happen.  And the culture they created was sublime, awesome, majestic, lofty, glorious, and at all points subversive of the larger culture of enslavement that sought to destroy their humanity.   (p. xxiii)

With a language all its own, symbols all its own, the Black Church offered a reprieve from the racist world, a place for African Americans to come together in community to advance their aspirations and to sing out, pray out, and shout out their frustrations. (p. 3)