Attendees were welcomed into the “Why I Sing Amazing Grace: The African American Worship Experience” event with warm sounds of the Martin Luther King Community
Freshman Jordan Canary attended the event for an assignment for a journalism class. Canary said she had never attended an African-American church.
“I didn’t really know what I was expecting,” she said. “I didn’t really know anything about it.”
WTIU’s Shameka Neely moderated the conversation between four panelists from across Indiana. They discussed the importance of distinct music, deep faith and the evolution of black church culture.
Panelist Dennis Laffoon, reverend at the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Bloomington, offered insight about different faiths among black churches.
“I don’t think faith changes from church to church,” he said. “I think churches worship to the beat of a different drum. In a black church, no matter where you go in the nation, there are some traditional things that you are going to experience.”
Panelist Michael Joseph Brown, director of the Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies at Wabash College, said the black church “is resiliently African.”
“Regardless of the structure, we have embraced it and made it our own,” he said.
Although not initially arranged as part of Black History Month, the event has become a signature program.
“It was just a really good experience, being emerged in a different church and a different way of worship,” Canary said. “It is a totally different atmosphere than what I’m accustomed to.”
Want to see the event?
A broadcast of Tuesday’s discussion will air at 5:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. Feb. 26 and at 11 p.m. March 1 on WTIU.
— Morgan Smith
More in Arts
Kinsey Confidential answers a question about eating one's own ejaculate.
Review on "The Cooking Gene" book that addresses culinary, racial history in America.
The same-sex marriage vote in Australia has had a rocky road so far.