African-American Religion: A Documentary History Project
Teaching Resources

Recommended Videos

Bahia: Africa in the Americas. University of California Extension Center for Media and Independent Learning, 2176 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704. (510) 642-0460. 37747, #081VHS. A documentary film on African-American culture in the state of Bahia in Brazil, focusing on the religious rituals of Candomble and the realationship of this Yoruba-derived religion to Roman Catholicism. Interviews with scholars of Afro-Brazilian culture include comments by the late Pierre Verger, photograher, scholar, and initiate of Yoruba religion in Africa and Brazil.

Enduring Faith. Daybreak TV Productions, Diocese of Buffalo, 795 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14203–1250. (716) 847-8719; fax: (716) 847-8722. A history of the mission of the Josephites (an English-founded religious community) among black Americans after the Civil War, the ordination of black men to the Catholic priesthood, and the more general struggle of black Catholics with discrimination in the American Catholic Church.

Say Amen, Somebody!  This commercially released documentary examines the lives and music of gospel singer Willie Mae Ford Smith and gospel composer Thomas A. Dorsey, organizer of the national gospel choir conventions. The film depicts the role of the woman gospel singer as a female evangelist, preaching the word by singing and it also depicts the growth of the organized gospel movement nationally. Available at video stores and libraries.

The Performed Word. A one-hour film on the chanted sermon tradition of black preaching, featuring Bishop Cleveland, a Pentecostal pastor in Berkeley, California, and his daughter, a preacher in her own right. Folklorist, Gerald L. Davis, who produced this 1981 film also published a clearly related book, I Got the Word in Me and I Can Sing It, You Know (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985).

Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years 1954 to 1965. PBS Hove Video, PBS 423. Awakenings 1954–1956. Awakenings, the first in this important series of documentary videos on the Civil Rights Movement, depicts the Emmett Till case and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The footage illustrates the rise of the new pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Martin Luther King, Jr., to leadership of the movement in Montgomery and to national prominence.

Copyright © 2006 The Trustees of Amherst College and
African-American Religion: A Documentary History Project
Amherst College #2269, P. O. Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002–5000

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