PBS and WETA Announce New Documentary Series from Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., ‘The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song’, to Air February 16 and 23, 2021 at 9:00 p.m. ET
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 and Bishop Vashti McKenzie are among those featured.
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 McKenzie and more
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (JULY 28, 2020): Today at the Virtual PBS Press Tour, PBS and WETA announced THE BLACK CHURCH: THIS IS OUR STORY, THIS IS OUR SONG will 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.
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.
PART ONE – Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 9:00 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings)
PART TWO – Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 9:00 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings)