From acclaimed scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., GOSPEL explores Black spirituality through sermon and song. From the blues to hip-hop, African Americans have been the driving force of sonic innovation for over a century. But, while musical styles come and go, there is one sound that has been a constant source of strength, courage, and wisdom. It is a message that resounds from the pulpit to the choir lofts on any given Sunday—one of good news in bad times: gospel.
Since the time of the sorrow songs, Black sacred music was a cathartic and confidential way to communicate the anger and frustration of living as a Black person in America. Even now, gospel continues to evolve and remains a source of cultural affirmation and sustenance. Over the course of four hours, GOSPEL explores how class, gender, cultural innovations and consumer technologies—such as records, radio, television and the internet—shaped the development of Black preaching and gospel over the centuries.
The story is led by a host of artists and performers like Jekalyn Carr, Twinkie Clark, Donald Lawrence and Dionne Warwick; notable preachers and theologians like Bishop Yvette Flunder, Rev. Frederick D. Haynes III, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III and U.S. Senator Raphael G. Warnock; and esteemed musicologists and scholars like Robert Darden, Braxton D. Shelley, Jonathan Lee Walton, and Dr. Teresa Hairston.
Producer: Shayla Harris, Stacey L. Holman, Chelsea Adewunmi, Kevin Burke, Erich Thielman
Executive Producer: Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Dyllan McGee
Production Company: McGee Media; Inkwell Media; WETA Washington, D.C.
Copyright Year: 2024
Director: Shayla Harris, Stacey L. Holman
Writers: Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 4