Below is an edited transcript of a roundtable discussion on the future of black churches in America. Speakers include Reverend Otis Moss III, Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago; Reverend Eboni K. Marshall, Abyssinian Baptist Church, New York; Josef Sorett, Columbia University; Anthea Butler, University of Pennsylvania; Eddie Glaude, Princeton University; Fredrick C. Harris, Columbia University; Obery Hendricks, Jr., Columbia University.
Josef Sorett: Fred has set us up quite well for a discussion on the life and death of the black church, and we will actually proceed in the exact reverse order of the introductions in alphabetical order, if you will. So we’ll turn to Dr. Butler followed by Dr. Glaude, Dr. Hendricks, Rev. Dr. Marshall and Rev. Moss, and we look forward to the conversation.
Beginning in a general sense, allowing each of you to take this in whatever direction you want, we presume that because we are all here, at least in some capacity black churches are living and breathing, doing different sorts of work, would ask for each of you to open up the conversation by identifying and elaborating upon just one thing that you see as a major pressing issue that black churches are currently addressing or need to do a better job of addressing, something that black churches are wrestling with in this current moment.
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