A painting of a Black person with a long neck and green hair. Their eyes are closed and they are looking up at the sky. They have bright red lips and are in front of a starry sky

Black religious practices have long been tied to liberation movements, and these stories of worship, grief, and prayer trace long histories of Black religion.

Oldways is a nonprofit organization that seeks to reintroduce traditional African, Caribbean, Latin American, and Mediterranean diets to POC communities to combat disproportionately high rates of obesity and comorbidities. Adrian Mosley, an administrator from Johns Hopkins, has combined faith with Oldways’ curriculum to reach a larger portion of the African American community in Baltimore, Maryland. The program connects biblical lessons to cooking traditions from Africa to encourage healthier eating and cooking habits among its participants.

Education, Religion, Foodways

New Community Church of God in Christ (NCCOGIC) located in Waldorf, MD offers a semi-annual clothing drive to provide formal attire and casual clothing. The church provides these free clothes to its predominately Black congregation and the Charles County community.

Religion, Health

Kelly Izdihar Crosby is a black Muslim artist based in Atlanta who challenges societal violence by “waging beauty”. She approaches her work from an almost spiritual perspective influenced by her faith, communicating a visual image of a beautified character. Her work uses bright colors and abstract yet objective images to communicate her experience as a black Muslim woman and to pay homage to the vibrant southern culture she comes from.

Arts, Religion, Protest

Louis Farrakhan convened the Million Man March in October of 1995 in Washington, DC. Hundreds of thousands of Black men gathered on the National Mall in order to discuss the role of Black men in the United States and build a sense of community and political empowerment.

Religion, Protest

Grandma’s Hands is a song about comfort, maternal love, and memory. Bill Withers portrays his love for his grandmother through the imagery of her hands and the actions they performed, bringing the listener into those intimate moments and allowing them to substitute their own grandmother into the picture.

Arts, Health, Religion

Mt Sinai Holy Church purchased a vacant hospital building and converted it into a home for the elderly members of their congregation

Religion, Religion

New Community Church of God in Christ (NCCOGIC) located in Waldorf, MD offers annual food pantry services during the holiday seasons--Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The church provides free meals to its predominately Black congregation, providing food security to low-income families.

Foodways, Religion

Before black people were allowed to have their own places of worship in the US, secluded hush harbors allowed them to come together and worship in private. Hush harbors allowed black people in the antebellum South to combine African and Christian spiritual practices to create uniquely black worship traditions; to remember the forests of the motherland and remember the ancestor spirits. “It was primarily through religious rituals and the carving out of black sacred spaces that enslaved persons were able to affirm self and create a world over against the world proffered by the master for their families.”

Protest, Religion

Delta Jewels: In Search of my Grandmother's Wisdom, written and photographed by Alysia Burton Steele, tells the stories of 50 Black Mississippi church women. Burton wrote the book in part because she did not have a recording of her grandmother’s voice, and she found the wisdom and care and storytelling that she was looking for in the voices of these women. Since the book was published in 2015, some of the women have passed, and Burton Steele has been able to give these women’s stories back to their families, offering their voices and stories to grieving loved ones.

Arts, Religion

A report from the non-profit, Cal-Matters, found that three out of four black boys are not reading at the same level as their peers. The Freedom Schools Program established at Third Baptist Church in San Francisco, CA is working to close that gap. The program curates its materials to appeal more to black boys by depicting black leaders and using books that represent black children. They’ve also added a music component to the summer program to encourage learning.

Education, Religion