Explore Black Spirituality through Sermon and Song in GOSPEL and GOSPEL Live! Presented by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Explore Black Spirituality through Sermon and Song in GOSPEL and GOSPEL Live! Presented by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

From the blues to hip-hop, African Americans are a driving force of sonic innovation. While musical styles come and go, there is one sound that has been a constant source of strength, courage and wisdom from the pulpit to the choir lofts on any given Sunday: gospel.

Join acclaimed-scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. as he explores Black Spirituality in sermon and song in the four-hour docuseries GOSPEL, premiering Monday, February 12, and Tuesday, February 13, at 9pm on CET and ThinkTV16. The show will also be available on the station livestreams and on demand on the PBS App.

Dig deep into the origin story of Black gospel music, coming out of slavery, blending with the blues tradition and soaring to new heights during the Great Migration. From Mahalia to Kirk Franklin, in the last century, gospel music has become the dominant form of African American religious expression and provided a soundtrack of healing and uplift to those at the front lines of protest and change.

“From the Great Migration to today, the history of Black gospel music and preaching is one of constant movement, and it’s long been a dream of mine to bring it to public television,” Gates said in a press release. “We’re blessed to have such outstanding partners in delivering this series and concert at a time in our nation when the need for Gospel’s transcendent, healing powers is so great.”

Throughout its four hours, GOSPEL explores the history of Black religious music and preaching, showcasing the symbiotic relationship of words and song. Gospel music has served as an outlet for the anger and frustration of living as a Black person in America, and continues today to be the “beating heart and soul” of the African American experience, Gates added.

The series also explores the evolution of preaching styles over time and shows how the impact of class, gender, cultural innovations and consumer technologies have shaped the development of gospel since its conception. The series producers and directors, Stacey L. Holman and Shayla Harris, said in a press release that by weaving intimate interviews with dynamic live performances, they want viewers to fully experience the art form of prayer, praise and promise that is gospel.

GOSPEL is joined by a one-hour companion concert, GOSPEL Live!, which premieres Friday, February 9, at 9pm on CET Arts and Saturday, February 10, at 9pm on ThinkTV16 and the ThinkTV livestream. GOSPEL Live! is a one-of-a-kind musical celebration that honors the legacy and influence of Gospel music in America. Join contemporary secular artists and renowned gospel singers as they perform their favorite gospel classics in front of a live audience, recorded in Los Angeles. The event is co-hosted by Gates and Eric Campbell and features John Legend and others from the world of pop, R&B and beyond.

More information about the air dates for both programs can be found below:


Part 1: Monday, February 12, at 9pm on CET
Part 2: Tuesday, February 13, at 9pm on CET

Learn more: https://www.cetconnect.org/gospel-from-henry-louis-gates-jr/.

GOSPEL Live! Presented by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Friday, February 9, at 9pm on CET Arts

Watch a preview: https://watch.cetconnect.org/video/preview-cinjob/.