Download The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song Audiobook

The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song Audiobook, by Henry Louis Gates Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Henry Louis Gates Narrator: Dominic Hoffman Publisher: Penguin Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2021 ISBN: 9780593402115
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From the New York Times-bestselling author of Stony the Road and one of our most important voices on the African-American experience, a powerful new history of the Black church in America as the Black community's abiding rock and its fortress. The companion book to the upcoming PBS series. For the young Henry Louis Gates, Jr., growing up in a small, segregated West Virginia town, the church was his family and his community's true center of gravity. Within those walls, voices were lifted up in song to call forth the best in each other, and to comfort each other when times were at their worst. In this book, his tender and magisterial reckoning with the meaning of the Black church in American history, Gates takes us from his own experience onto a journey across more than four hundred years and spanning the entire country. At road's end, we emerge with a new understanding of the centrality of the Black church to the American story--as a cultural and political force, as the center of resistance to slavery and white supremacy, as an unparalleled incubator of talent, and as a crucible for working through the community's most important issues, down to today. In a country that has historically afforded its citizens from the African diaspora tragically few safe spaces, the Black church has always been more than a sanctuary; it's been a place to nourish the deepest human needs and dreams of the African-American community. This fact was never lost on white supremacists: from the earliest days of slavery, when enslaved people were allowed to worship at all, their meeting houses were subject to surveillance, and often destruction. So it continued, long after slavery's formal eradication; church burnings and church bombings by the Ku Klux Klan and others have always been a hallmark of the violent effort to suppress the struggle for equality for the African-American community. The past often isn't even past--Dylann Roof committed his slaughter in Charleston's Emanuel AME Church 193 years after the church was first burned down by whites following a thwarted slave rebellion. But as Gates brilliantly shows, the Black church has never been only one thing. Its story lies at the vital center of the civil rights movement, and produced many of its leaders, from the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. on, but at the same time there have always been churches and sects that eschewed a more activist stance, even eschewed worldly political engagement altogether. That tension can be felt all the way to the Black Lives Matter movement and the work of today. Still and all, as a source of strength and a force for change, the Black church is at the center of the action at every stage of the American story, as this enthralling history makes vividly clear. *This audiobook includes a PDF of the Appendix and Acknowledgments from the book. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Blending research, interviews with scholars, and insights from his own life…[The Black Church] is as comprehensive as it is celebratory.”

    Time

  • “Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesse Jackson, Barbara Hale, recently-elected Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock: all spring to life as spiritual visionaries and carpenters of the arc of justice.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “In Gates’s telling, the Black church shines bright even as the nation itself moves uncertainly through the gloaming, seeking justice on earth—as it is in heaven.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Meticulous research and interviews…Powerful, poignant, and ultimately celebratory.’”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “[An] invaluable illumination of the many ways the Black church has been an ongoing epicenter of inspiration and action.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice of the Week
  • #1 Amazon bestseller
  • An Amazon Editor’s Top Pick
  • New York Times bestseller

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About the Author

Dion Graham is an award-winning narrator named a “Golden Voice” by AudioFile magazine. He has been a recipient of the prestigious Audie Award numerous times, as well as Earphones Awards, the Publishers Weekly Listen Up Awards, IBPA Ben Franklin Awards, and the ALA Odyssey Award. He was nominated in 2015 for a Voice Arts Award for Outstanding Narration. He is also a critically acclaimed actor who he has performed on Broadway, off Broadway, internationally, in films, and in several hit television series. He is a graduate of Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, with an MFA degree in acting.

About the Narrator

Dominic Hoffman, winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards for narration, is a Los Angeles–based actor of stage, screen, and television. He has appeared in such television shows as The Shield, NYPD Blue, and The Jamie Foxx Show. He attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art as well as the American Conservatory Theater.