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Gospel explores the history and profound cultural impact of gospel music within African American culture. For over a century, African Americans have pioneered countless music styles that have shaped American culture - from the blues to hip hop. While genres come and go, gospel music has endured as a source of strength, courage, and wisdom for the Black community - both in churches and beyond. 

Renowned scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. traces the origins of this powerful art form inextricably tied to the Black spiritual tradition. More than just songs of worship, gospel gave voice to the hardship and resilience of slaves, blended with blues into a unique sound during the Great Migration, and provided a soundtrack of hope during pivotal moments of change and progress.

From pioneers like Mahalia Jackson to today's artists like Kirk Franklin who continue to expand gospel's reach, Gospel examines how the dominance of gospel music as the main form of African American religious expression has paralleled the struggle for civil rights and social justice over the past century.

Join West TN PBS as we celebrate African American history. Check the broadcast schedule below and tune in for the premiere of Gospel or watch Gospel early with streaming beginning February 4th for all Passport members.


Watch all episodes with West TN PBS Passport beginning Sunday, February 4. West TN PBS Passport is a member benefit that provides you with extended access to an on-demand library of quality public television programming. Learn more about the benefits of becoming a West TN PBS member.