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The Black Church

This is our story. This is our song.


People worshiping at a church service

About The Film

 Now Streaming

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., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, that 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.

A production of McGee Media, Inkwell Media and WETA Washington, D.C, in association with Get Lifted. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is writer, host, and executive producer. Dyllan McGee is executive producer. John Legend, Ty Stiklorius and Mike Jackson are executive producers for Get Lifted Co. John F. Wilson is executive producer in charge for WETA. Bill Gardner is executive in charge for PBS. Stacey L. Holman is series producer and director. Shayla Harris and Christopher Bryson are producer/directors. Deborah C. Porfido is supervising producer. Kevin Burke is producer. Robert L. Yacyshyn is line producer. Christine Fall is archival producer.


Episode 1

Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the roots of African American religion.

Episode 2

Discover how the Black church expanded to address social inequality.

Illustration from the interactive

Animated Series

Cornerstones: Founding Voices of the Black Church

Read The Book

Book Cover of The Black Church by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

The Black Church is a powerful new history from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the New York Times-bestselling author of Stony the Road and one of our most important voices on the African-American experience. Available February 16 wherever books, eBooks, and audiobooks are sold.

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DVD Cover of PBS The Black Church series

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