Discussion Guides: Black Church History & Culture

Go straight to the guides

This collection of guides is inspired by the two-part PBS documentary The Black Church: This Is My Story, This Is My Song by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. You can watch this series online free through March 16, 2021, and with a KERA Passport member benefit after.

You can find additional features related to the series, such as KERA News stories and animated videos, at kera.org/blackchurch.

After being kidnapped and transported across the Middle Passage to the New World, Africans improvised ways to keep their faith traditions alive.

For 400 years, African Americans have been translating those traditions into a form of Christianity that’s truly unique — and a redemptive force for a nation whose original sin was the enslavement of their ancestors.

Today, discover new ways to celebrate your Black church memories, learn more about Black church history, or lead group discussions about the Black church experience with these conversation and activity guides. They explore food, music, scripture and key women in the Black church and Civil Rights Movement.

Ages: Middle school through adult ages will enjoy all discussions and insights in these guides. Children will enjoy the coloring packet and the food guide’s dinner table discussions.
Information source: PBS
Format: These guides are PDF files. The coloring packet requires a printer.

Jump to:   Bible study guide   |   Guide to food & the church   |   Guide to music & the church   |   Women & the church coloring packet


Bible Study Guide

This guide includes a gratitude statement or prayer, scriptures and discussion questions on four themes explored in the Black Church series: hope, sanctuary, community engagement and perseverance. This guide is great for church leaders and small Bible study groups.



Guide To Food & The Black Church

Explore the significance and history of food in the Black church with this Dine & Dish guide. You’ll find conversation starters that will transform a virtual cooking session with your friends, or your family’s dinner table, into a meaningful discussion. This guide also includes recipes for carrot and yam soufflé and smothered pork chops from noted chef Kwame Onwuachi and singer-chef Kelis.



Guide To Music & The Black Church

Music is woven into the very fabric of the Black church. Use this guide to gain insights and history into the songs on this Spotify playlist. (You can open the whole playlist right here. If you don’t have a Spotify account, you can create one for free.)

Also, listen to the gospel-inspired playlist from our sister station, KXT 91.7 FM.



Give Color To Women From Black Church History

Women have always been the lifeblood of both the Black church and the Civil Rights Movement. In this packet you’ll get six significant women to color while reading about their contributions: Ella Baker, Dorothy Height, Claudette Colvin, Mahalia Jackson, Dorothy Cotton and Prathia Hall. This packet also includes discussion starters about Black women, the church and civil rights. Download and print this packet for a fun time of coloring and learning, for adults and kids alike.



▸ 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.