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Celebrate The Black Church Experience In North Texas

STUDENTS! Register for the 20201 KERA Oratorical Competition

Watch The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song free online through March 16.

The intimate two-part documentary series The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song, which aired on KERA TV in February, explores how African Americans have worshipped for 400 years — and how those faith traditions have shaped American history.

Watch a film trailer and animated videos from PBS and a Kirk Franklin at-home concert from NPR, recorded in Arlington, Texas.

KERA reflects on the series with even more ways to celebrate and learn about the Black church. Immerse yourself in stories, history, conversations, music and memories from across North Texas:


STUDENT SPEECH CONTEST

Enter The KERA Oratorical Competition

Students ages 16 to 20 are invited to video themselves reciting a speech about how understanding the Black church’s journey is relevant to today’s movements for racial justice. Entries will be accepted between February 17 and March 19. Cash prizes range from $150 to $550.

GO TO CONTEST DETAILS & ENTER

This timeline shares glimpses of African American arrival, congregation establishment and modern growth across the North Texas. You’ll scroll starting in 1847.

GO TO THE TIMELINE

KERA’s award-winning newsroom is publishing a dozen articles throughout the month. Next up, read or listen to our interview with Black Church series producer/director Stacey Holman, and hear a Dallas mother share why she’s raising her son in a Black church.

SEE ALL STORIES

Our arts coverage team is reporting on the impact of gospel music in North Texas. First, learn about an archive at Baylor University that is trying to save older Black gospel recordings, and take a deeper look at the song O Mary Don’t You Weep.

GO TO THE LATEST STORY

Download a toolkit with recipes and dinner conversation prompts. Get a Bible study guide for your church’s discipleship group. Take a guided tour of music from the documentary. And download a coloring packet of women who were significant to both the church and civil rights.

GO TO THE GUIDES

Enjoy a selection of gospel music from KERA FM’s sister station, KXT 91.7.


LISTEN ON SPOTIFY

VIRTUAL DISCUSSION

Praise & Protest

Dr. Evelyn L. Parker, Dr. Michael Waters and Pastor William T. Glynn joined moderator Bob Ray Sanders, —former Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist and KERA TV reporter — to discuss the impact of the Black church in North Texas.

WATCH THE CONVERSATION

FRIENDS OF KERA’S BLACK CHURCHES PROJECT

Our Community Partners

We appreciate our community partners who have worked with us on this project. They are committed to spreading justice, knowledge and hope throughout North Texas.

NAACP Fort Worth Tarrant County Branch
National Council of Churches
Paul Quinn College
Perkins School of Theology, SMU

— FROM PBS —

CLIPS & ANIMATED VIDEOS

WATCH AN EXTENDED CLIP

The Black Church Trailer

Part I of this moving series by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., airing February 16, explores the roots of African American religion. Part II, airing February 17, traces how the Black church expanded to address social inequality and minister to those in need. Read more about the film.

WATCH MORE FILM CLIPS

CORNERSTONES: FOUNDING VOICES OF THE BLACK CHURCH

Animated Black Church Shorts

How could a nation embrace the Christian Gospel and Constitution that were so clearly anti-slavery and still justify slavery? Watch Part 1 of WETA National Digital’s animated series exploring the key historical figures that made the Black church possible in America. Read more about the videos.

WATCH THE REST OF THE SERIES

— FROM NPR —

NPR TINY DESK VIDEO

“I know you’re at home right now, in your draws, listening to some Jesus music. It’s ok. Jesus loves you in your draws!” For three decades, Kirk Franklin has been widely regarded for revolutionizing gospel. Listen to his remote NPR Tiny Desk concert, recorded at Uncle Jessie’s Kitchen, a studio in downtown Arlington — right in the heart of North Texas..

READ THE TINY DESK ARTICLE


MORE RESOURCES

▸ Explore U.S. racial justice and Black history with our collection of PBS documentaries and programs.

▸ PBS also has a collection of resources to help parents discuss race and racism with children.

View KERA’s statement of commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

Major corporate support for THE BLACK CHURCH: THIS IS OUR STORY, THIS IS OUR SONG is provided by Johnson & Johnson. Major support is also provided by Lilly Endowment Inc., Ford Foundation, and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers.