Advocacy

Black History Month resources

Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery’s Ninety Years Birthday Celebration at the Atlanta Symphony Hall, October 9, 2011 included a birthday song by Stevie Wonder. Next to Rev. Lowery is his wife of 60 years, Evelyn Lowery. A UMNS photo by Kathleen Barry. Used with permission.
Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery’s Ninety Years Birthday Celebration at the Atlanta Symphony Hall, October 9, 2011 included a birthday song by Stevie Wonder. Next to Rev. Lowery is his wife of 60 years, Evelyn Lowery. A UMNS photo by Kathleen Barry. Used with permission.

February is Black History Month. The Media Center has books and DVDs for adults and children related to black history in the United Methodist Church and in our larger culture. Engaging with these resources helps us to understand more about where we came from and what work there is still to do to improve our connection.

Request these resources

You may borrow any of these resources for use at your church or at home. We can mail them to you! Simply fill out the Resource Request Form, or contact the Media Center with any questions. The NC Conference Media Center is open to anyone involved with the North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, free of charge.

Devotional

DVDs

  • We’ve Come This Far By Faith: A History of Black Methodism in the Southeastern Jurisdiction. A 30-minute documentary from the African American Methodist Heritage Center that tells the history of Black Methodism in our jurisdiction.

  • Black Methodism: Legacy of Faith Revival. This 30-minute documentary focuses on several related and pivotal events in the life and history of the Methodist church: the end of the racially segregated Central Jurisdiction in 1967; the founding of Black Methodists for Church Renewal in 1967; the birth through merger of The United Methodist Church in 1968; and the establishment of the General Commission on Religion and Race in 1968.

  • Justice or Just Us? The Biblical Call to Confront Racism. This four-week video curriculum is based on a sermon series and anti-racism commitment at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. Pastors Rob Fuquay, Nicole Caldwell-Gross, and Jevon Caldwell-Gross help you acknowledge the reality of racism in our world today, as well as our Christian responsibility to oppose it as individuals and together as the church.

  • Blood Done Sign My Name. This 2-hour film brings to life the book of the same name by Timothy B. Tyson, son of Rev. Vernon Tyson. They tell the true story of a racially-motivated murder in Oxford, NC and the efforts of Rev. Tyson and a local teacher to seek justice for this crime.

  • Briars in the Cottonpatch: The Story of Koinonia Farm. This hour-long movie tells the nearly forgotten story of Koinonia Farm, a small Christian community in Southwest Georgia where whites and blacks chose to live and work together as equals despite the brutal and frightening consequences.

Lenten studies

Books

  • I’m Black. I’m Christian. I’m Methodist. Ten Black women and men explore life through the lens of compelling personal religious narratives. They are people and leaders whose lives are tangible demonstrations of the power of a divine purpose and evidence of what grace really means in face of hardship, disappointment, and determination. Each of the journeys intersect because of three central elements that are the focus of this book. We’re Black. We’re Christians. We’re Methodists.

  • Breaking Barriers: An African American Family & the Methodist Story. On July 19, 1984, Leontine Current Kelly was elected bishop of The United Methodist Church, making her the first African-American woman to become a bishop within a major American religious denomination. Breaking the Barriers recounts the story of her journey and that historic achievement.

  • Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol. Eminent black historian Nell Irvin Painter goes beyond the myths, words, and photographs to uncover the life of a complex woman who was born into slavery and died a legend.

  • The Past Matters: A Chronology of African Americans in the United Methodist Church. A chronology of African Americans in the United Methodist Church compiled and with a forward written by Marilyn Magee Talbert.

  • Singing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land by Joseph E. Lowery. In this book are Dr. Lowery’s most enduring speeches and messages from the past fifty years including Coretta Scott King’s funeral and the benediction given at President Obama’s inauguration. This book, however, is not simply a collection of words. It is the heart of a movement and a call to a new generation to carry the mantle–for all people.

  • The Preacher King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Word That Moved America. This book chronicles Martin Luther King, Jr.’s religious development from his childhood as a “preacher’s kid” in segregated Atlanta to the most influential American orator of the twentieth century.

Children's resources

  • The Beatitudes: From Slavery to Civil Rights. This hardcover picture book for children ages 8 and up uses the Beatitudes as a backdrop for Carole Boston Weatherford’s powerful free-verse poem that traces the African American journey from slavery to civil rights.

  • The Harriet Tubman Story. This animated 30-minute DVD from the Torchlighters series tells the story of Harriet Tubman for children ages 8-12.

  • God’s Trombones: A Trilogy of African American Poems. This 30-minute claymation DVD animates three poems by James Weldon Johnson, “The Creation,” “The Prodigal Son,” and ” Go Down Death.”

More resources

View our African American Resources and Anti-Racism pathfinders for additional resources that may be of use to you during Black History Month or any other time of the year.

United Methodist Communications is also offering free social media graphics to share during Black History Month.

Originally published by the North Carolina Annual Conference Media Center January 25, 2022. Republished with permission by ResourceUMC.org January 27, 2022.