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PBS, WJAB to Air Series on Black Church

Black Church 2
February 17, 2021

"This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song"

Alabama A&M University’s WJAB-FM 90.9 and WJAB-TV will present a two-part series titled “The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song.”

“It is a moving, four-hour, two-part series hosted by executive producer and writer Henry Louis Gates, Jr.,” said Erica “Fox” Washington, program manager/acting music director, WJAB-FM, Electronic Media Communications.  Dr. Gates is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.

The series will trace the 400-year-old story of the Black church in America.  WJAB-FM (Erica “Fox” Washington) and WJAB-TV (Latoyia Clemons, program manager) produced two Zoom panel discussions that will coincide with the series.  Local personality David Person served as moderator. 

The first part of the series (“A View from The Pulpit”, Tuesday, February 16) focuses on the Black Church’s history, link to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and its continuing role in social and civic engagement.  First-part panelists include Rev. Dr. Julius R. Scruggs, pastor emeritus of First Missionary Baptist Church, Huntsville, Ala., and Dr. Carlton Byrd, pastor of Oakwood University Church.    This panel discussion will air on WJAB-FM, WJAB-TV Comcast Channel 78, and social media, on Tuesday, February 16, at 12 noon and again at 7 p.m., prior to “The Black Church - Part One” on APT-PBS, at 8 p.m. CST.

The second part of the series (“A View from the Music Stand,” Wednesday, February 17) will delve into the historical aspects of music within the Black Church.  A similar Huntsville-based panel will complement the nationally televised series.  The local guest list features Roberto Burton, two-time Stellar award winner, Grammy nominated composer, arranger, producer, lecturer and head organist at St. John AME Church, and composer-in-residence at First Baptist Church, Governors Drive; Carlton J. Wright, director of bands at Alabama A&M University, assistant orchestra director at historic 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala.; and Minister Fred Whitlow, CEO of No More Dirty Incorporated, Strictly Jesus Records, host of the “No More Dirty Christian Hip-Hop Radio and TV Show”; and Huntsville Housing Authority youth and family services coordinator.

This second part of the panel discussion will air on WJAB-FM 90.9, WJAB-TV Comcast Channel 78, and on social media, on Wednesday, February 17, at 12 noon and again at 7 p.m., prior to “The Black Church - Part Two” on APT-PBS at 8 p.m. CST.  For additional information about the series, visit the following link:   Also visit

Photo:  Reese Chapel AME Zion Church, Marvyn Community, Lee County, Ala.