Matt talks to the senior pastor of St. Paul’s Baptist in Philadelphia about being the first female pastor there, the clash between her Pentecostal background and her religious studies education, and the false choice between good news and lament.
As African Americans faced first slavery and then Jim Crow, they nestled in the black church as a haven. In the 1950s and ’60s, blacks congregated to fight legal oppression. In The Color of Christ, American religion historians Edward Blum and Paul Harvey argue that blacks and whites were once unified under the mantle of Christianity in efforts to combat societal vice and ills. Yet in more recent decades, black religiosity has shifted.
Though many within the black community continue to showcase their religious conservatism, others have slowly drifted away.
Most white Christians, and many middle class racial minority communities, have cut themselves off from any intimate life together with poor black communities that struggle every day with a multiplicity of oppressive obstacles. But a movement is happening all around us.