Churches in the black community historically have been a vital institution — a central force of social change. From Martin Luther King Jr. , to the Reverends Fred Shuttlesworth, Richard Boone and Pauli Murray – myriad church leaders helped birth the modern civil rights movements.
Fast forward to 2015 in Baltimore: On the day of Freddie Gray’s funeral and the night of the unrest, scores of black clergy walked down North Avenue to quell the unrest. And it raises the question: as the Black Lives Matter movement has grown –a decentralized group of community leaders, activists, authors, journalists and students using digital tools like Twitter–how has the black faith community in Baltimore engaged with this growing group?
Joining us by phone, on his way back to Baltimore from a national Black Lives Matter conference in Cleveland, Ohio, is Jamye Wooten. He works on digital strategies, particularly for faith groups and is a Fellow at Boston University School of Theology’s Social Justice Institute. Welcome to the show.
With me in the studio is Rev. Todd Yeary, senior pastor of the Douglas Memorial Community Church. He’s also an adjunct professor in the College of Public Affairs at the University of Baltimore, and past Political Action Chair for the Maryland State Conference NAACP. Welcome.