Nate Tinner – Black Catholicism
Thank you to Nate Tinner. Your many hours, blood, sweat, and tears are appreciated.
Black Catholicism or African-American Catholicism comprises the people, beliefs, and practices unique to African Americans in the Catholic Church.
There are currently around 3 million Black Catholics in the United States, and about a quarter of them worship in historically-Black parishes, most of which were established during the Jim Crow as a means of racial segregation. Others were established in Black communities and merely reflected the surrounding population, while the most recent crop came about due to population displacement (White Flight) during and after the Great Migration.
Prior to Vatican II, Black Catholics worshipped in Latin as did the rest of the Church, not displaying much difference in terms of liturgy or spiritual patrimony. During the 1950s, however, innovators such as Fr Clarence Rivers began to integrate Negro Spirituals into settings of the Mass; this trend eventually blossomed into the so-called Black Catholic Movement during the larger Black Power zeitgeist of the late 60s and 70s. Some have termed this period the “Black Catholic Revolution” or the “Black Catholic Revolt”.