The Black Church, a phrase we hear often, but don’t realize how much the Black Church has had an influence on the black community. Did you know that the Black Church is the longest standing institution in the community and is a place where visitors can learn much about Black Culture?
Call and response is at the core of traditional practices in Black Churches that represents communal solidarity and was carried through slavery as a West African tradition. Wearing your “Sunday’s Best” is a tradition that played on respectability in the church; it is expected that members always wear their finest to show respect, especially in southern churches.
After slavery was abolished, segregationist prejudices in both the North and especially the South discouraged and prevented, African Americans from worshipping in the same churches as whites.
African-American churches have historically been the centers of communities. They have served as school sites in the early years after the Civil War; provided social welfare services, such as providing for the poor and needy; and have established schools, orphanages and prison ministries. Black churches have developed strong community organizations as a result and provided spiritual and political leadership, especially during times such as the civil rights movement.
The Black church has been and continues to be a support system African-American communities. Black churches have been a great source of information and have established ministries to support the community in many ways politically and socially.
Check out this scholarly article I found that gives a more in depth history of what the Black church has meant to African-Americans for all these years:
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