PBS’s ‘The Black Church’ From Henry Louis Gates Jr., Celebrates Stories of Worship & Faith

The Black Church Jennifer Hudson Henry Louis Gates
Courtesy of McGee Media

This Black History Month, PBS shines a light on Black spirituality in the two-part documentary The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song.

Airing on February 16 and 17, the docuseries from executive producer Henry Louis Gates Jr., traces the 400-year history of the Black church in America. Throughout the show’s four-hour run, the curtain on the Black church’s role in African American survival, resilience, and more will be pulled back with the help of some famous faces, including Oprah Winfrey, John Legend, and Jennifer Hudson.

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Along with sharing stories of worship and faith, The Black Church will revisit the traditions that were taken from Africa to the New World and look at how they influence the form of Christianity that’s being practiced today.

The celebs are joined by members of the Black church, such as Bishop Michael Curry who famously spoke at Meghan Markle and Prince Harry‘s wedding, Yolanda Adams, Pastor Shirley Caesar, BeBeWinans and Reverend Al Sharpton. It’s through their interviews that viewers will be transported by songs, preaching styles, and beliefs that drew African Americans to the front lines of change.

the black church pbs

(Credit: PBS)

“Our series is a riveting and systematic exploration of the myriad ways in which African Americans have worshipped God in their own images, and continue to do so today, from the plantation and prayer houses, to camp meetings and store-front structures, to mosques and mega-churches,” said Dr. Gates in a statement released by PBS to the press.

“This is the story and song our ancestors bequeathed to us, and it comes at a time in our country when the very things they struggled and died for — faith and freedom, justice and equality, democracy and grace — all are on the line. No social institution in the Black community is more central and important than the Black church.”

The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song, Premieres Tuesday, February 16, 9/8c, PBS (Check your local listings)