Roundtable Discussion of Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s “The Black Church” (9/30/2021)

Thursday, September 30, 2021

8:00 PM EST (7:00 PM CST; 6:00 PM MST; 5:00 PM PST)

Sponsored by American Society of Church History and University of Minnesota
A video introduction to the roundtable by ASCH President-Elect Anthea Butler (University of Pennsylvania, consultant on The Black Church)

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s PBS documentary, The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song, plus its accompanying Penguin Press book, reached an unprecedentedly large audience as it surveyed three-plus centuries of African American and American religious history across the whole of the nation. In this roundtable discussion, five distinguished scholars will reflect on the challenges, successes, and limitations in bringing modern historical scholarship to a broad public audience. What succeeds? What’s difficult to convey? What aspects of the Black church are particularly well represented or insufficiently covered in this historical survey? What tensions exist between scholarly inquiry and successful public history?

This event is sponsored by the American Society of Church History and cosponsored by the University of Minnesota‘s Departments of History, Religious Studies, and African American and African Studies, along with the CLA Office of Public Engagement.


Katharine Gerbner
(University of Minnesota)
Sylvester Johnson
(Virginia Tech)
J. Kameron Carter
(Indiana University)
Dianne Stewart
(Emory University)
Alexis Wells-Oghoghomeh
(Stanford University)

1 Comment

  1. Rev. Dr. James D. Smith III (San Diego) on September 30, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    Thanks to all involved!! I tuned in late due to pastoral ministry commitments,
    but loved Dr. Gate’s production and the discussions here. My doctoral work
    in church history was at Harvard, where Dr. Preston Williams was/is a gem.
    As Bethel Seminary prof emeritus, I teach p/t at three schools & keep learning.
    Praying we all may be “full of grace and truth!”

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