Centering Black Catholics, Reimagining American Catholicism

Notre Dame Cressler Poster 03-22-2018 previewI recently had the privilege to lecture at the University of Notre Dame on the 50th anniversary of the birth of the Black Catholic Movement in April 1968. The lecture, “Centering Black Catholics, Reimagining American Catholicism,” was sponsored by the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism. The Cushwa Center supported some of the dissertation research that eventually became my book Authentically Black and Truly Catholic, so it was especially cool to come full circle, as it were.

You can actually watch a recording of my April lecture on YouTube, here. I also just published a revised and condensed version of my lecture at Zocalo Public Square, here.

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Religion News Service video-intro

Interested in a brief intro to my book Authentically Black and Truly Catholic: The Rise of Black Catholicism in the Great Migration (2017)? Check out my short video for Religion News Service! If you post comments and questions, I’ll write replies and answers.

Interview w/ Emma Green of The Atlantic

2. Eckert Communion

When I tell people that I study black Catholics, most kind of blink their eyes and go, “What?” We assume Catholicism is European in its essence, and that black people are Protestants. But the majority of black Christians in the Western hemisphere are actually Catholic, and the majority of Catholics in the Western hemisphere and the Americas are not white.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of chatting with Emma Green of The Atlantic about my book and the history of Black Catholics in the United States. Check it out!

Authentically Black and Truly Catholic

IMG_3406I am excited to say that my first book, Authentically Black and Truly Catholic: The Rise of Black Catholicism in the Great Migrations (NYU Press, 2017), is officially out in the world. It’s a real book!!! You can purchase it at nyupress.com and preorder it on Amazon.com (ships November 14). This is the culmination of the better part of a decade’s worth of reading, research, writing, and revising. But it started in conversations with Black Catholic Chicagoans themselves. And so, it is dedicated to all the Black people who made and continue to make Catholic Chicago. If you get a chance to read it, I hope you enjoy it, I hope you learn something, and please, let me know what you think. You can reach me, as always, on Twitter @mjcressler or by email at cresslermj@cofc.edu.