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CBE Director Taurean J. Webb to Participate in WTTW Screening and Community Conversation “The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song”

January 19, 2021
Taurean J. Webb and Title graphic for The Black Church: A WTTW Screening and Community Conversation

Taurean J. Webb, director of the Center for the Church and the Black Experience and instructor of religion and race at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, will be participating in a community conversation following WTTW’s screening of the new documentary, “The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song.” The online screening and conversation will take place on February 9, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. (CST).

“The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song” comes from executive producer, host and writer Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. The documentary traces the 400-year-old story of the Black church in America. It reveals how Black people have worshipped and, through their spiritual journeys, improvised ways to bring their faith traditions from Africa to the New World, while translating them into a form of Christianity that was not only truly their own, but a redemptive force for a nation whose original sin was found in their ancestors’ enslavement across the Middle Passage.

“The great haunting of chattel slavery was not bondspersons’ inability to know what would happen to them next; instead, it was the deep, deep knowing that absolutely anything could happen to them, at any moment,” said Webb. “Nevertheless, though, our foremothers and forefathers created ways to live and love and grieve and grow and resolve and resist. Still. For Dr. Gates to offer us an opportunity to reflect on how the ancestors made their faith ‘come to life’ is a great gift. And I’m thankful to WTTW for inviting me to join this important community conversation with some of Black Chicagoland’s most consequential religious thinkers.”

Following the screening, Sylvia Ewing, on-air television host for PBS fundraising specials, will moderate an online conversation with Webb and fellow panelists Rev. Dr. Waltrina Middleton of Community Renewal Society, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III of Trinity United Church of Christ, and Rev. Dr. Stephen G. Ray, Jr. of Chicago Theological Seminary.

The online screening and conversation is free to attend but registration is required.

WTTW is the PBS member station in Chicago, committed to creating and presenting unique media content across distinct television and digital channels – WTTW, WTTW Prime, WTTW Create, WTTW World, WTTW PBS Kids 24/7, wttw.com, and the PBS/WTTW video app. Recognized for award-winning journalism and local productions, WTTW presents the very best in public affairs, arts and culture, nature and science, history and documentary, and children’s public media content.