05 September 2010

Authentically Black and Truly Catholic

Authentically Black and Truly Catholic, by C. Vanessa White (CNN, 5 September 2010)

Black Catholics have a heightened awareness of what W.E.B. Dubois called "double consciousness." This emerges from the tension between one's awareness of self and how others perceive one. Dubois used this term to speak of the experience of black people within the segregated United States. Today, a particular form of double consciousness is experienced by black Catholics: as a religious minority within the broader black Church community, who defend our religious affiliation to our black Protestant brothers and sisters while also confronting discrimination and ignorance from those within our own Catholic churches.

What has helped black Catholics survive in the midst of almost insurmountable odds is a spirituality that bridges both our African-American experience and our Catholic faith.