The role of religion in the history of the African American community will be explored during “Faith, Education and Activism: The Role of Religion in Black History” at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, in the Sara Landess room at the Urbana University Student Center. The free, public event includes music and praise and concludes 2017 Black History Month activities at the university, 579 College Way.
Vessels of Praise will perform two praise dances, one of which traces the history of African Americans in the United States. The group is from St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Springfield and is led by Nisa Blackwell. Terra Brown, Franklin University, will sing a selection of spirituals.
Colin Dube, librarian at Wilberforce University and a pastoral student, will speak about the role of religion in the African American community. He will describe the role of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in the founding of Wilberforce University. Wilberforce was founded in 1856, before the Civil War, with the intent to provide higher education for African Americans. Dube identifies the work of the AME church leaders as “defiant and revolutionary.” Wilberforce and the AME Church continued their activist roles in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Dube will review documents that show their actions, which “reflect current circumstances.”