The Black Church in America

4 April 2015
This paper discusses the reasons the Black Church is the most stable and dominant institutional sphere in black communities in the United States.

The author illustrates because of many historical factors, religion among black people is the only institutional area that was permitted to develop to any significant degree. During several centuries of slavery other institutions were deemed illegal and remained relatively undeveloped. As the only significant social institution other than the black family, the Black Church has taken on multiple roles and burdens that differ from its white counterpart.
“Black churches have remained overwhelmingly Protestant because blacks have little contact with Roman Catholicism. Some blacks have become Catholics, however, and because other religious orders refused black candidates, two communities of black nuns were founded – the Oblate Sisters of Providence in 1829 and the Holy Family Sisters in 1842. The first black American priest, James Augustine Healy, was ordained in 1854.”
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