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Slavery and Religion

After Elizabeth: The spiritual implications of imperial succession

By Lisa Sharon Harper — September 15, 2022
(RNS) — What is the hope in this moment of transition?
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Excavation of graves begins at site of colonial Black church

By Ben Finley — July 19, 2022
(AP) - If human remains are found in the plots that are being targeted, DNA tests and analyses of bones will be conducted, said Jack Gary, Colonial Williamsburg’s director of archaeology.

The Martinican bèlè dance – a celebration of land, spirit and liberation

By Camee Maddox-Wingfield — June 27, 2022
(The Conversation) — After years of marginalization, the bèlè dance has been embraced by a growing community who see it as a form of social and spiritual healing.

A pioneering Shabbat service marks a new way to observe Jewish Juneteenth

By Yonat Shimron — June 19, 2022
(RNS) —The Juneteenth Kabbalat Shabbat was the first Jewish service organized and led by Jews of color to mark the annual celebration of freedom that is now a federal holiday.

Descendants of enslaved people join dig on former Jesuit plantation

By Renée Roden — July 9, 2021
(RNS) — Vickie White Nelson, 49, has deep roots in southern Maryland. Her ancestor, Regis Gough, was enslaved there on a plantation owned by Jesuits.

James Forbes’ ode to Juneteenth calls on Americans to embrace the promise of freedom

By Yonat Shimron — June 18, 2021
(RNS) — The retired pastor's spoken word is not simply a paean to freedom. It’s a call to all Americans to face the reality of the nation’s history and the unfinished work of Juneteenth.

Michael Twitty’s ‘kosher soul’ cuisine offers an updated story of liberation

By Yonat Shimron — March 26, 2021
(RNS) — The Jewish culinary historian encourages people to celebrate their braided cultures. "Tradition is what you make," he says. His Passover Plate will look different from the one most Jews use.

Black Christians, don’t demonize African spirituality

By Darnise Martin — January 5, 2021
(RNS) — African elements give life to many churches, but outside of a Christian context, they are described as pagan and harmful.

Southern Baptist seminary presidents nix critical race theory

By Yonat Shimron — December 1, 2020
(RNS) — The seminary presidents may be reacting to factions within Southern Baptist circles that have complained the denomination is drifting to the left.

Alabama Southern Baptist pastor resigns after speaking at party for a KKK leader

By Yonat Shimron — July 30, 2020
(RNS) — Will Dismukes, who is also a Republican state representative, resigned from his church after offering an invocation at a birthday party honoring a Confederate general who was also the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

‘More than individual sin’ — Black pastors urge evangelicals to admit systemic racism

By Yonat Shimron — July 2, 2020
(RNS) — While liberal Christians have embraced the idea of social or collective sin, especially when it comes to racism, white evangelicals have typically resisted such notions as unbiblical. A Black Southern Baptist pastor is now calling them out on it.

Al Mohler, Southern Baptist leader, says he was ‘stupid’ to defend slavery in 1998 CNN interview

By Jonathan Merritt — May 15, 2020
(RNS) — The Rev. Al Mohler, longtime Southern Baptist leader, repudiated past comments defending slavery, calling them ‘stupid,’ says he is ashamed of seminary title with a link to slaveholder.

From New York to Alabama, blacks worshipped in own spaces before slavery’s end

By Adelle M. Banks — August 1, 2019
NEW YORK (RNS) — As the nation marks the 400th anniversary of the forced arrival of Africans in Virginia, a Harlem church joins others that have represented the enduring faith of slaves, free blacks and their descendants.
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