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Black History Month: JSU Concert Chorale helps MPB tell story of the Black church

Jackson State University’s Concert Chorale recently presented a spiritual rendition of  “Lord, How Come We Here” during a Black History Month celebration of “The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song.” The online presentation was co-sponsored by MPB and Two Mississippi Museums.

The series spotlighted the black church, which has been described as “an essential space for healing, spiritual reflection and community action.” Organizers say this is especially true as African Americans cope with a pandemic that’s having an unprecedented impact on communities of color along with a rise in racial tensions.

The event was executive-produced by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., who served as host and writer of the documentary. MPB said the documentary traced the 400-year-old story and revealed the broad history and culture of the Black church in America – how people worshipped, improvised their faith traditions from Africa to the New World and translating them into a form of Christianity that was not truly their own.

JSU alum Cherita Brent, an entertainer and comedian, moderated the discussion. Panelists provided local perspectives of the church’s impact today, and they included Bishop Ronnie Crudup of New Horizon Church International; Rev. C.J. Rhodes of Mount Helm Baptist Church; Pamela Junior, director of Two Mississippi Museums; and Lannie Spann McBride, music minister, retired educator and composer.