Amanda Berry Smith: The ‘Washerwoman Evangelist’ of the Holiness Movement

Meet Amanda Berry Smith, an AME preacher, singer, missionary, and orphans' home founder. Since the holiness movement was the focus of my graduate studies, and...

The Musical Theology of Negro Spirituals

"Nobody knows the trouble I see, nobody knows my sorrow." Militant abolitionist Thomas W. Higginson was the commander of the First South Carolina Volunteers, the...

A Former Slave and Abolitionist Gives His Account of a Slave Auction at a...

Mr. Young never was known to flog one of his slaves or sell one. He fed and clothed them well and never overworked...

White and Black Antislavery Movements Wanted Slavery to End, But They Had Major Disagreements...

Will the Lord suffer this people to go on much longer, taking his holy name in vain? Will he not stop them, preachers and...

A Timeline of Black Christianity Before the Civil War

  The first black pastor to lead a white congregation, the start of the AME, and slavery splits American denominations. 1619 Twenty slaves of African descent...

Remembering Richard Allen: Founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church

"The plain and simple gospel suits best for any people." Richard Allen and his associate Absalom Jones were the leaders of the black Methodist community...

How African-American Christianity Got Its Start

Why slaves adopted their oppressor's religion—and transformed it. Peter Randolph, a slave in Prince George County, Virginia, until he was freed in 1847, described the...

Excerpts from Frederick Douglass’ Writings Show His Crusade Against ‘Soul-Destroying Religion’

The abolitionist's faith gave him deeper love for humanity—and greater antipathy for slavery. Frederick Douglass might be called the Barack Obama of the early 19th...

How Many Black People are In the Bible?

Over 25 years ago, I began my freshman year at Wayne State University, in Detroit, Michigan. As a Christian college student, I wanted to...

WATCH: ‘Freedom’s Eve’: A Brief History of Watch Night Services in Black America

Wed, 1862-12-31: On This date in 1862 the first Watch Night Services were celebrated in Back communities in America. The Watch Night service can be traced...

First African Baptist Church of Brunswick, GA, Celebrates 154 Years of Worship and Service

The hallowed halls of First African Baptist Church of Brunswick represent more than a place of worship. The finely crafted building on Amherst Street has...

Black Schoolhouse Built in 1920s Savannah, GA, Spared From Demolition

As a girl in the mid-1950s, Amy Roberts would catch a ride each morning with her neighbors the Johnsons, the couple who ran the...

Henry Louis Gates on How Far Back One Can Trace Their Black Family

Dear Professor Gates: I have a lot of questions regarding my family’s history. With my grandfather’s recent passing, I was compelled to finally write in....

The Viral Photo of a Beaten Slave that Changed America in 1863

On the Fourth of July in 1863 — an Independence Day that dawned with twisted, bloated bodies carpeting the fields and orchards of Gettysburg...

‘Zekiel Saw the Wheel’ Ties African Spiritual Traditions to Christianity

African-Americans have long been among the country’s most fervent Christians, from the choir to the pulpit to the affirming voices from every “amen corner.” Their...

Anglican Bishop: Christians Must Prepare for Martyrdom

A senior Anglican archbishop from the Global South called for the church to be "ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of Christ"...

How Azusa Street Exposed – and Overturned – Racism In the Church

It was the fall of 1906 when G.B. Cashwell, a holiness preacher from Dunn, North Carolina, boarded a train to make a six-day, cross-country...

The Godly Heritage Behind the National Museum of African American History

Thousands of people are expected to attend the grand opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. this...

Historic Black Church in Virginia to Help Dedicate Smithsonian’s African American Museum in D.C.

A historic black church in Virginia will help dedicate the Smithsonian's new African American museum. Williamsburg's First Baptist Church is lending its bell to the...

Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture to Include Material from...

When the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture opens Sept. 24 in Washington, D.C., an exhibit featuring African-American musical history...