Black Perspectives, the award-winning blog of the African American Intellectual History Society, is collaborating with the Pew Research Center to host an online forum on the theme of “Black religious affiliation.” Organized in consultation with Kelsey Beveridge of the Pew Research Center, this online forum will put into historical context recent data compiled by the Pew Research Center on Black religion and Black life in America. The online forum begins on Thursday, February 10, and concludes on Thursday, February 17. The forum will include essays from Sherman Jackson, Kijan Bloomfield, Jemar Tisby, Vaughn Booker, Nicole Myers Turner, and James Padilioni.
During the online forum, Black Perspectives will publish new blog posts every day at 6:00 AM EST. Please follow Black Perspectives (@) and AAIHS (@on Twitter, like AAIHS on Facebook, or subscribe to our blog for updates. By subscribing to Black Perspectives, each new post will automatically be delivered to your inbox during the week of the roundtable.
About the Participants
Sherman A. Jackson is the Distinguished Professor and King Faisal Chair in Islamic Thought and Culture, as well as Professor of Religion and American Studies and Ethnicity, at the University of Southern California. Dr. Jackson has written extensively on the intersection of Islam and race. His previous books include Islam and the Blackamerican: Looking Towards the Third Resurrection (2005), Islam and the Problem of Black Suffering (2009), and his most recent book, Initiative to Stop the Violence: Sadat’s Assassins and the Renunciation of Political Violence (2015).
Kijan Bloomfield is the editor and founder of the Lived Africana Religion in the Time of COVID-19 (LARC), a digital humanities project. She earned a Ph.D. in religion, with a certificate in African American Studies, from Princeton University in 2018. Currently, Dr. Bloomfield is working on an ethnographic book on the religious views and traditions of residents in Kingston, Jamaica. Her teaching and scholarship focus on Black religion in the Caribbean. Follow her on Twitter @KijanB.
Jemar Tisby is a historian of race and religion in American life. He has written several books, including The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church’s Complicity in Racism (2019) and How to Fight Racism: Courageous Christianity and the Journey Toward Racial Justice (2021). Dr. Tisby holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Mississippi. While at Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi, Dr. Jemar Tisby founded the Reformed African American Network, which later became known as The Witness: A Black Christian Collective. Follow him on Twitter @JemarTisby.
Vaughn Booker is an Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies, as well as Assistant Professor of Religion, at Dartmouth University. His first book, Lift Every Voice and Swing: Black Musicians and Religious Culture in the Jazz Century (2020), was a finalist for the 2021 Religion and the Arts Book Award, sponsored by the American Academy of Religion. Dr. Booker is currently at work on a book on the irreverent side of African American religion.
Nicole Myers Turner is Assistant Professor of Religious History at Yale University. In 2020 her book, Soul Liberty: The Evolution of Black Religious Politics in Postemancipation Virginia was published. The book argues for the need to understand how Black Americans used the church to deeply consider questions of freedom in the 19th century. Dr. Turner received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and an MDiv. From Union Theological Seminary. She Tweets from @NicoMyTurn.
James Padilioni is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Swarthmore College. His teaching and research foreground the ritual cultures and plantation lifeworlds of the African Diaspora, including magico-religious, ecstatic, and pharmacopic traditions, Afro-Latinx and Afro-American folk Catholicism, Black queer performance, and critical race theory. He is writing a book entitled ‘Black Gnosis: San Martín de Porres, the African Diaspora, and the Problem of Knowledge. Follow him on Twitter @ApontesGhost.permission.