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Colored Television: American Religion Gone Global

Colored Television: American Religion Gone Global

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Colored Television: American Religion Gone Global

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402 pagine
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Dec 16, 2015
ISBN:
9780804797009
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The presence of women and African Americans not simply as viewers, but also as televangelists and station owners in their own right has dramatically changed the face of American religious broadcasting in recent decades. Colored Television looks at the influence of these ministries beyond the United States, where complex gospels of prosperity and gospels of sexual redemption mutually inform one another while offering hopeful yet socially contested narratives of personal uplift. As an ethnography, Colored Television illuminates the phenomenal international success of American TV preachers like T.D. Jakes, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, and Juanita Bynum. Focusing particularly on Jamaica and the Caribbean, it also explores why the genre has resonated so powerfully around the world. Investigating the roles of producers, consumers, and distributors, Marla Frederick takes a unique look at the ministries, the communities they enter, and the global markets of competition that buffer them.

Pubblicato:
Dec 16, 2015
ISBN:
9780804797009
Formato:
Libro

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Colored Television - Marla Frederick

Stanford University Press

Stanford, California

© 2016 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University. All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system without the prior written permission of Stanford University Press.

Printed in the United States of America on acid-free, archival-quality paper

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available upon request.

ISBN 978-0-8047-9094-9 (cloth)

ISBN 978-0-8047-9698-9 (paper)

ISBN 978-0-8047-9700-9 (electronic)

Typeset by Bruce Lundquist in 10/14 Minion Pro

COLORED TELEVISION

AMERICAN RELIGION GONE GLOBAL

MARLA F. FREDERICK

STANFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

STANFORD, CALIFORNIA

John L. Jackson Jr., David Kyuman Kim, Editors

To the memory of all the missionaries, church mothers and fathers, philanthropists and trailblazers who sacrificed their time and financial resources to build Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), to educate generations of America’s young, gifted and black.

CONTENTS

Preface: Why Colored Television?

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. Jamaica, Land We Love

2. Religious Dandyism: Prosperity and Performance in Black Televangelism

3. Relative Prosperity: Lived Religion in the Dying Field

4. Female Televangelists and the Gospel of Sexual Redemption

5. Redeeming Sexuality

6. Distributing the Message: Globalization and the Spread of Black Televangelism

Conclusion: Voices of the Next Generation

Notes

Bibliography

Index

PREFACE

Why Colored Television?

People of color have been involved in religious broadcasting from early twentieth-century race records and live radio broadcasts to contemporary television shows and Internet podcasts. In the past two decades, however, African American religious broadcasters have become central to the making of religion in America and throughout the world. Black American televangelists such as T. D. Jakes and Creflo Dollar, with their savvy media ministries, sprawling congregations, and charismatic genius, have become household names, especially among Pentecostals and Charismatics across the global North and South. And while Juanita Bynum no longer enjoys the prominence she once had, her being the first African American female televangelist to garner national and international attention is significant.

In addition to these evangelists, people of African, Latin American, and Asian descent have worldwide followings as pastors and television personalities. Nigeria’s Enoch Adejare Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), William Kumuyi of Deeper Life Bible Church, and David Oyedepo of Winners’ Chapel (Living Faith Church Worldwide), as well as Ghana’s Mensa Otabil of the International Central Gospel Church and N. Duncan Williams of Action Chapel International, pastor five of the largest churches in Africa and have regularly broadcast television programs. Chris Oyakhilome, pastor of Believers’ LoveWorld Ministries (a.k.a. Christ Embassy), is also among the most popular televised ministers in Nigeria. He owns LoveWorld TV Network, which is reportedly the first Christian network in Africa to offer twenty-four-hour broadcasting to the rest of the world.¹

In Seoul, South Korea, David Yonggi Cho serves as pastor emeritus of the largest church in the world, Yoido Full Gospel Church, with over one million members. A television studio was built in 1981 to help expand his ministry. Bishop Edir Macedo of the Universal Church in Brazil owns not only a church with branches in Latin America, Africa, and Asia but also a media conglomerate that runs Brazil’s second-largest television network, Rede Record de Televisão, placing him on a list of Forbes magazine’s billionaires.² Religious broadcasting has thus changed dramatically from the days of white American Protestant male predominance.³

While the list of televangelists reflects one type of diversity, the increased presence of non-Western distributors of religious broadcasting, such as LOVE TV and Mercy and Truth Ministries in Jamaica and View Africa Network in South Africa, reflect another shift in the history of religious broadcasting. As scholars have well documented, the rise in Christian influence is coming from beyond the West.Colored Television presents this change as a context for taking seriously the influence that African American televangelists have within and outside the United States, particularly in the Caribbean.

The word colored harks back to a period in America’s history when signs placed above bathroom doors and water fountains signaled the social exclusion of an entire population of Americans. Colored speaks of a time when black people en masse were hindered in the pursuit of wealth and not allowed the dignity of full citizenship that make for the American dream. And it calls attention to the images of black people on television as maids, cooks, and farmhands, people all too often poor, uneducated, and excluded from the social mainstream. I want to build on readers’ discomfort with the terminology to explain how colored also signals something new in a multicultural and aggressively global society.

In this iteration of colored, therefore, I offer the old as a way of looking at, deciphering, and interpreting the new. I employ colored as a way of signaling the dramatic changes that have taken place in the United States over the past forty years, changes that have significantly altered the experiences of viewing and producing television—the triumphs of the civil rights movement, the women’s rights movement, and the opening up of international borders to steady immigration flows. The rapidity of globalization and free-market capitalism have forever unsettled any sense of stasis and familiarity. The predominance of neoliberal discourses, the immediacy of the markets, the split-second transmission of satellite broadcasting, and the realities of what David Harvey astutely theorizes as time-space compression have each contributed to the emergence of this new colored that I explore.

Colored Television: American Religion Gone Global is an attempt to make sense of a phenomenon that has emerged amid the predominantly white male voices of traditional religious broadcasting. Colored Television moves us from static conversations about the benefits and problems of religious broadcasting to a more nuanced discussion of the ways in which black Christian faith is made and unmade both in front of and behind the cameras.

I think of colored here as it relates to this present moment on four levels. Colored is first about the people, the ways in which African Americans and other people in the African Diaspora have become both producers and consumers of religious broadcasting. It is a corrective in many ways to the expansive literature that addresses predominantly white religious broadcasters and audiences. It is not only about the rise in African American male voices but also about the ways in which black and white women are speaking to the concerns of people of African descent—how the gendered power centers in religious broadcasting are shifting. Who would have guessed thirty years ago that the success of a white female evangelist would be based on the entrée given her by a black male televangelist, one to whom she pays public homage as her father in ministry? What does this say about the new politics of race and gender in religious broadcasting in the much ballyhooed postracial age of Obama? How does religious broadcasting effectively shift our understanding of what is meant by black religion?

Second, colored signifies the flamboyance and colorful style of the religious personalities who inhabit the media. At one time dominated by the overwhelmingly drab and structured rituals of mainline Protestantism, religious broadcasting today, black or white, is largely dominated by Pentecostal, Charismatic, Evangelical, and Word of Faith religious communities whose flare for the dramatic make the show as entertaining as it is informative. Furthermore, the historically flamboyant dress style of the televangelists, along with their elaborate stage designs, reframe the sometimes bland and austere style found in more formal religious settings.

Third, colored refers simply to progress in the broader world of electronic media, particularly television. From black-and-white pictures in knob-controlled, antenna-directed, bulky square boxes to sleek, flat-paneled, satellite-transmitted, digitally colored pictures, contemporary television has changed dramatically in both style and quality. And with the emergence of the Internet—YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Streaming Faith—religious broadcasting has also undergone dramatic changes in the twenty-first century.

Finally, and most important, colored refers to the competing and complementary interests that make up religious broadcasting. Colored Television is about the rainbow of interests, personalities, agendas, and outcomes that constitute religious broadcasting in this new multicultural world. It examines markets as competing, even among Christian programmers, as they attempt to expand globally while touting the benefits of localism. Beyond mere audience or content analysis, Colored Television takes a look at the triangulated nature of religious broadcasting, noting the intricate patterns and ruptures found in its making, selling, and consumption.

Colored Television takes us through the complex, changing world of contemporary religious broadcasting. It explores the movement and meaning of American televangelism beyond the United States, where it has experienced some of its greatest growth and most unsettling paradoxes but steady influence. It examines the global influence of women and people of color, as religious leaders and everyday believers, in the making of the contemporary religious world.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Any research project that extends over a period of years accumulates countless debts of gratitude. This project is no different. It has benefited from the wisdom and insight of those who nurtured it in its nascent days to its most formative stages. To all of these copious readers, named and unnamed, thank you!

I am appreciative of the friends and colleagues who read and offered comments on drafts of this project in whole or in part—John L. Jackson, Carolyn Rouse, Jonathan Walton, Wendy Cadge, Peter Cahn, R. Marie Griffith, David Hall, Robin Bernstein, Malika Zeghal, Judith Weisenfeld, and Monica Coleman. Your sharp critiques have given life to this work. In addition, the biweekly community of scholars gathered for the North American Religions Colloquium at Harvard Divinity School provided meaningful feedback during a critical period of this project’s development. An invitation from Judith Casselberry to keynote a conference on women and Pentecostalism figured centrally in my thinking on how to frame the conversation on gender in this book. In the spring of 2014 Jacob Olupona, Simon Coleman, Birgit Meyer, Brian Goldstone, and Jean Comaroff offered useful feedback as respondents and participants in a colloquium on religion and media coordinated by Annalisa Butticci, then a visiting fellow at Harvard Divinity School. Faculty colleagues at Harvard University both in African and African American Studies and the Committee on the Study of Religion consistently create a vibrant scholarly community that sharpens my thinking on all things religious, African American, and Diasporic. In addition, colleagues at Northwestern University, where I spent a rewarding semester as visiting faculty in the Department of African American Studies, embraced my work and helped me push forward new ideas on this subject. A special thanks to Darlene Clark Hine, Robert Orsi, and Larry Murphy.

I received further feedback while participating in various conferences and serving as a visiting lecturer on many different college campuses. I would like to especially thank R. Drew Smith and the Transatlantic Roundtable on Race and Religion for allowing me to participate in such a vibrant community of scholars linking, both theoretically and practically, the concerns of black religionists across the Diaspora. I am grateful to all of the university sponsors who invited me to share my research in the United States, the Caribbean, China, and Ghana, especially my alma maters, Spelman College and Duke University, among numerous others. On each occasion questions from the faculty and students pushed me closer to a final project.

Truly, the devil is in the details, and a small cadre of current and former graduate students have helped iron out these details either through transcribing interviews, finding citations, clarifying footnotes, and/or offering editorial advice. To Monique Callahan, Tyler Zoanni, Kera Street, Charrise Barron, and Helen Jin Kim belong countless hugs of gratitude. I look forward to one day reading your own published volumes!

Institutional sponsors funded the travel and research portion of this work and helped provide extended writing opportunities. I am grateful for support from the Louisville Institute, the Milton Fund, the Center for the Study of World Religions, and the Radcliffe Institute of Harvard University.

Life happens while writing a book, and my life is no exception. In my darkest hours, great friends stood beside me and encouraged me to continue. I am eternally grateful to my dinner crew, who supported me, ideally reading through various versions of earlier drafts as my soul healed. This circle of friends included Bill Banfield, Krystal Banfield, Atu White, Yolanda Lenzy White, Jeanette Callahan, and Melinda Weekes-Laidlow. You all are true blue! And to the one who really did the reading for all of our dinner discussions, Allen Callahan, words cannot express my sincerest gratitude. Your keen insights, editorial remarks, and poignant critiques have enhanced this project beyond measure.

Two of the world’s greatest pastors help me keep my heart, mind, and soul above the waters—Drs. Ray and Gloria White-Hammond, you are one of a kind and you pastor a special community of believers at Bethel AME Church.

I could not have completed this project without the faithful assistance of Alice Pink of the Jamaica Theological Seminary as she guided me through the many conditions of conducting research in Jamaica. Her friendship and thoughtful advice made my time in Jamaica both extremely productive and enjoyable. I am also thankful to the pastors, media industry leaders, and laypersons across Kingston who agreed to sit and talk with me for hours about their work, personal lives, and experiences of faith. I am tremendously indebted furthermore to the pioneering American televangelists Bishop Carlton Pearson and the late Rev. Frederick Eikerenkoetter for their willingness to speak with me and offer their unique insights into this world.

At long last, this book is in print because of the editors at Stanford University Press. Thanks especially to John L. Jackson and David Kim, who believed that this book would make a valuable contribution to their new series RaceReligion, and to Emily-Jane Cohen for signing off on the deal. Your insight and support are deeply treasured.

A final note of profound gratitude belongs to my family and friends—all the usual extraordinary cheerleaders as well as the new ones, Eric and Miles. Your love and support—a breath of life.

INTRODUCTION

We lowered our voices to a whisper as we dined in Island Grill, a local fast-food restaurant serving on-the-go jerk and curried chicken in the heart of Half Way Tree in Kingston, Jamaica. Bustling with strip malls offering clothing, electronics, and beauty supply stores along with bookstores, restaurants, and other retail establishments, Half Way Tree is marked by a constant flow of people and traffic. Small, white city buses—which look more like minivans—continuously passed along the road packed with people. I usually walked the roughly one-mile jaunt along the busy thoroughfare in the heat up to the plaza—past the one-armed, one-legged homeless man with mangled locks who was obviously undernourished. He seemed to make his living asking for food, money, or other items to sustain him under his cardboard shelter—his presence a nagging reminder of Jamaica’s dramatic needs. Today, however, my friend, Eva, joined me for lunch, so we called a cab to ensure her speedy return to work, where administrative responsibilities demanded her attention. There were only a few cab drivers in Eva’s address book whom she trusted. She always called one of these, never taking the risk of hailing an unknown driver.

As we talked in Island Grill, it became clear that Eva, whose assertive yet friendly Pentecostal affect seems to take over any room she enters, was always strangely cautious during certain public conversations.¹ We could talk out loud about the debts she owes for school and for other lickle things, she would say with her mixed Jamaican-English accent. We could talk about the concerns she had with her local church, even her failed marriage and the reasons for it. But there were certain other conversations she preferred to hold behind closed doors—such as those about politics in Jamaica and community violence.

She was concerned about patrons overhearing our discussion of the week’s events. Just nights before, on October 5, 2005, around 3:00 a.m., approximately forty gunmen had surrounded and firebombed the home of Gerald and Dorcas Brown, killing them, their granddaughter Sasha, and Sasha’s aunt Michelle Brown. The local paper reported that Sasha, the youngest victim at age ten, stood in the windows in the wee hours of the morning screaming out the names of neighbors she could see, begging them to save her.² The memory of her calling out for help left neighbors consumed with grief. Nobody came to her rescue. The gunmen had formed a circle around the perimeter of the house, shooting at anyone who dared to save her and anyone brazen enough to try to escape. For those inside theirs was a certain death.

Newspaper reports failed to capture the brutality of the murder. Eva and I pieced together what people in the community were saying. It was revenge for the indiscretion of Sasha’s mother reporting a crime to the police. Apparently the mother filed a complaint with local authorities, and before she could return home, someone inside the precinct had notified the gunmen. Community rumors painted a disturbing liaison between street thugs and local authorities. Even if false, the lurid narrative itself reflects the distrust bubbling beneath the surface of everyday life, preventing standard law and order. The local newspaper sketched a much less inflammatory narrative. Regardless of the details, a young girl, her grandparents, and aunt were all dead, victims of what locals consider a completely out-of-control system of crime and violence dominating Kingston’s inner city.

Dealing with the cloud of fear over Kingston has become the work and responsibility of faith communities. Addressing the problem of Jamaica’s social, political, and economic troubles falls to those who meet weekly for prayer meetings, Bible study, and worship services.³ In these houses of faith pastors, ministry leaders, and laypeople are expected to pray and fast, invoking God continuously about the troubles confronting contemporary Jamaica and its people.

I came to Jamaica after studying with a group of African American women in the US South. There the community seemed smaller, less harried, and more connected socially than in Jamaica’s urban center. Although there was less violence in Halifax’s small rural community, the need for social change was as palpable, and people called upon their faith to help find answers to social issues. Eva was no different. Repeatedly, while talking about violence in Jamaica, she insisted that God has a word for the country in the midst of its social crisis. Others, like Bishop Harold Blair, island pastor and government ombudsman, responded bluntly when asked about Jamaica’s greatest needs: Jamaica needs God! I was not taken aback by their insistence but instead related it more generally to a growing Pentecostal sentiment worldwide and more intimately to the convictions of the women with whom I had just spoken in the United States.⁴ While political intervention and economic strategy are viewed as important, the greatest and most crucial asset to effective change for many is God.

Yet, as Ruth Marshall in her study of Nigerian Pentecostalism so eloquently explains,

If we invoke situations of material crisis—poverty, social exclusion, failure of modernization and development, demise of forms of sociability and itineraries of social mobility, confusion engendered by processes of globalization, neoliberal capitalist relations—in order to explain the rise of religion, then we tacitly see these movements in terms of their functionality: as modes of accumulation, socialization, or political combat, or as languages that translate the real and help to understand it. While religious movements can indeed fulfill these functions, nevertheless, as an explanation for both the current religious effervescence and its political signification, they are both circular and inadequate.

In Jamaica the palpable faith expressed certainly meets certain social, political, and economic objectives, yet just as for the women in Halifax, faith cannot be reduced to its function. It speaks to ethereal concerns and passions that social scientists have yet to measure. Nevertheless, in the study of religion and media, or religion as mediated, religion is often performed, packaged, and distributed in its capacity to meet the materialist needs of viewers. While function alone cannot be used to explain the rise of religion, mediated faith often is reduced to its function—whether in the promotion of books, CDs, conferences, or a host of other commodities. Often in mediated faith, God (for numerous reasons) functions as benefactor of gifts, a celestial philanthropist. It is with this latter emphasis that I am most concerned here.

My earlier research in Between Sundays shows how faith informs the everyday lives of women that I came to know, their commitments to social engagement as well as their individual transformations. I learned quickly that twenty-first-century faith is not the same as twentieth-century faith. Women were not influenced only by the preacher to whom they listen every Sunday at church or by their weekly Bible study classes, but they were participants in a larger and seemingly limitless twenty-four-hour world of religious media. They were not registered members of these media churches, but many of them were faithful viewers. Some were also faithful financial contributors to this network of televangelists as they partnered with them in faith for answers to prayers. For these believers, God’s direct intervention into their daily lives is anticipated. This type of evangelical faith sees God not as a distant observer of the lives of individuals or a scornful spectator of the challenges facing nation-states, but as a dependably engaged actor in life’s circumstances. Little seemed to change as I traveled from the US South across the Caribbean Sea to Jamaica. People were invested in the work of faith as one means of transforming their circumstances, and some also trusted that particular televangelists could speak specifically to their situations.

Research over the past two decades into the transnational flows of religious broadcasting, and Pentecostalism specifically, has expanded, and this particular case in the Caribbean made me curious.⁶ Given the social relevance of African American religion—its penchant toward liberation, soulful theodicy, and complementary and contradictory sets of racial commitments—I began to wonder about the influence of African American religious broadcasting on the faith and religious sensibilities of people of color outside the United States. Because the study of white televangelists and accompanying missionary efforts has fueled a wealth of research on American evangelicalism, how might we come to understand the complicated meting out of messages by those who have experienced a different racialized American reality? Were black televangelists preaching a gospel capable of transforming the people and situations facing Jamaica, as viewers hoped? What type of liberating gospel were they preaching? Given the much-maligned preaching of the gospel of prosperity, what effect might such a message have on the people of Jamaica? And beyond the consumers and producers of religious broadcasting, how are the loyalties and expectations of media network owners informing the types of messages that penetrate the airwaves? In other words, what is at stake for everyone involved—those who consume, those who produce, and those who distribute religious media? Is the black church itself undergoing a particular type of metamorphosis given the demands inherent in the business of broadcasting? This book offers a sort of contemporary history that allows us to explore not only the relevance of religious broadcasting but also the hopes and intentions of its global theater. What made a host of televangelists, including T. D. Jakes, Juanita Bynum, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer, and Paula White, so wildly popular at the beginning of the twenty-first century?

In contemplating these questions, I must articulate clearly what I mean by an American religion that has gone global. American religion has been global since the earliest days of US missionary work to foreign lands. Missionaries carried with them various forms of media—printed Bibles, leaflets, and eventually utilized electronic means for spreading the gospel through phonograph and radio. However, drawing attention to American religion invites us to engage in the ongoing work of reconfiguring the category. As historian Charles Long has noted, A great many of the writings and discussions on the topic of American religion have been consciously or unconsciously ideological, serving to enhance, justify and render sacred the history of European immigrants in this land.⁷ Too often white religious practice by default has been categorized as American religion, while the study of African American religious practitioners sits solely under the category black religious studies. Furthermore, scholars writing about white religious subjects often express little concern about needing to specify that they are referencing white American religion when speaking of the Quakers, Puritans, Protestants, or Catholics in US history. Whiteness in the study of American religion has operated as a normative category. However, edited works by scholars such as Harry S. Stout, D. G. Hart, Catherine Brekus, W. Clark Gilpin, and Stephen J. Stein, as well as several single-authored texts, have worked to disrupt this long-standing history by indexing black religion.⁸ American religion gone global is thus ironic because American religion is already global. Going global is new in regard to religion’s hypermediated capacities and novel in its focus on the global distribution and appeal of black and female televangelists.

A deeper irony is that while the American religious subjects in this context are Black, the religion that travels with them is as much American as it is black, if not more so. The most popular mediated versions of black American religion often draw more theologically on the presuppositions of traditional American Christian ideals than on the long history of critique and protest often central to the work of canonical black religion and black theology. Black religion, after all, from the days of Gayraud Wilmore’s Black Religion and Black Radicalism and James Cone’s A Black Theology of Liberation has been most prominently categorized as protest religion. Yet black televangelism as defined in Jonathan Walton’s Watch This! is far from the practice of protest. Affirming the Americanness of this study is thus an epistemological pronouncement. Black religion in its multiple forms—from protest to accommodation and every point in between—is central to any and all understandings of American religion.

Furthermore, in discussing this form of black American religion as central to the making of American religion rather than as a subcategory, I recognize the criticism of scholars who point out that the phrase black religion has been assumed to be the province of black Christian faith. In light of this critique there is increasing attention paid to how black religionists have entreated the Divine across multiple religious landscapes, including Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and African traditional religions like Vodou, Santeria, Candomblé, and Yoruba.⁹ In this text I affirm that I am reflecting on merely one aspect of black religion, Christianity. Furthermore, when referring to black religious practices in black churches, it is important to fully appreciate and then push past the operational definition of the black church rendered by Lincoln and Mamiya: those independent, historic, and totally black controlled denominations, which were founded after the free African Society of 1787 and which constituted the core of black Christians. They acknowledge that such a framework for the sake of their study largely excludes predominantly black local churches in white denominations such as the United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church, and the Roman Catholic Church, among others.¹⁰

As this study notes, such a framework largely leaves unanswered the question of whether black religion is being practiced when the primary adherents are Black and the leader/evangelist is White or of another race. Anthony Pinn begs precisely this question in his work on Peoples Temple, the story of Jim Jones and his followers: "What and where is the black in black religion?"¹¹ Criticism by scholars such as Charles Long and Victor Anderson push further by challenging even the very essentialist notions of race in affirming a black religious practice or way of being in the world.¹² When white female televangelist Paula White addresses a gathering of black South Africans upon the invitation of Bishop T. D. Jakes for his MegaFest International conference, is that black religion? If so, what are the parameters of such a designation: the preacher, the theology, the history, the aesthetics of the service, or the constitution of the congregation?

As several scholars have noted, within the larger corpus of black church studies, we researchers often operate with a bias toward black progressive religion, the tradition of sit-ins, boycotts, and struggles for justice. Recognizing this, historian Barbara Savage explains that the presumptions of a monolithic black church are misleading at best: [The black church] is an illusion and a metaphor that has taken on a life of its own . . . a political, intellectual, and theological construction that symbolizes unity and homogeneity while masking the enormous diversity and independence among African American religious institutions and believers.¹³ Ethicist Jonathan Walton explains that while scholars in the twentieth century have had a tendency to portray black liberal Protestantism and progressive political action as embodying ‘true’ black religion, other religious forms such as Pentecostal and Holiness traditions, which have disproportionately embraced the mass media, have not been given the same breadth of coverage.¹⁴ Walton thus offers one of the first monographs focused on black religious broadcasting, providing insight into the history and ethical considerations latent in the genre.

It is this version of black American religion with which

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