Uncovering the Untold History of Black Nuns in the US

Learn about the untold history of black nuns in the US through America Magazine's podcast.
An undated photo of the Sisters of the Holy Family in New Orleans was taken at the National Museum of African American in Washington Jan. 5, 2017. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

When we reflect on history, we stand to gain insight and knowledge from the past, especially past mistakes.

What do you know about the history of black religious life in America?

On the latest episode of Jesuitical, a podcast from America Magazine, Dr. Shannen Dee Williams shares some hard-to-swallow information: slavery impacted the Church just as it did in the south, racism caused some sisters to leave their communities, and segregation was common.

“One cannot tell the story of black Catholic sisters in the United States without confronting the Church’s largely unrecognized history of slavery, segregation, and colonialism,” she says.

Yet, through these struggles, Dr. Williams offers stories of black sisters from the 19th century and civil rights movement who refused to let racism affect their faithful service to God.

Today, knowing this history of Catholicism in America, these women can inspire us to love each and every one of our neighbors as we continue to build up the kingdom of God here in earth.

To hear these stories, listen to the full podcast episode on America Magazine.

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