2023 Black History Month Resources updated weekly.

Celebrate Absalom Jones at Trinty Cathedral

In 1804, Absalom Jones became the first African American to be ordained a priest in The Episcopal Church. His witness to the way of Jesus included efforts to abolish slavery and to lift up all those cast down.

Trinity Cathedral is hosting a Eucharist in memory of Absolom Jones on February 16th at 6pm.  The address is: 2620 Capitol Ave, Sacramento, CA 95816 and the website: https://trinitycathedral.org/

Church Publishing

For Black History Month, Church Publishing celebrates books by or about people of African descent. Consider purchasing from a Black-owned bookstore in-person or online at Bookshop.org. or go to:


Available titles include:

This Band of Sisterhood: Black Women Bishops on Race, Faith, and the Church

Edited by Westina Matthews, Foreword by Catherine Meeks, Afterword by Paula Clark 

Get to know the first five Black women to be elected diocesan bishops within the Episcopal Church.

During this moment, with the #metoo movement, Black Lives Matter, and the increased feelings of division in our country, Black women clergy in the Episcopal Church have voiced a need to come together, believing that their experiences and concerns may be very different than those of other clergy. That need is answered here in This Band of Sisterhood.

The five Black women bishops featured in this book can provide a compass for how to journey along these new paths. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, Carlye J.

Hughes, Kimberly Lucas, Shannon MacVean-Brown, and Phoebe A. Roaf offer honest, vulnerable wisdom from their own lives that speaks to this time in American life.

Both women and men will find this book invaluable in discerning how God might be calling them to use their own leadership skills.

Absalom Jones: America’s First Black Priest

By Mark Francisco Bozzuti-Jones, Illustrated by Christopher M. Taylor

The story of a former slave and America’s first Black Episcopal priest is an inspiring model for living a full life of service and love.

This book, appropriate for children but engaging enough for adults, begins by describing the reality of slavery during Jones’s life. Absalom Jones purchased his wife’s freedom before his own and dedicated himself to living the Christian faith. Through the difficulties and challenges of his time, he answered the call to serve the church and was ordained a priest and deacon to serve the first Black Episcopal Church in the United States.

The first Black priest in the Anglican Communion continues to be one of the most important historical figures in the Episcopal Church. As the church pays attention to its own sins of racism, this book offers encouragement, guidance, hope, and inspiration. Jones’s life is an example of what it means to follow Jesus through faithful, courageous, and selfless living of the way of love.

Pauli Murray: Shouting for the Rights of All People

By Deborah Nelson Linck, Illustrated by Angela Corbin

The first introductory and illustrated biography of the civil rights icon.

The untold story of Pauli Murray, activist, lawyer, poet, and Episcopal priest, who broke records and barriers throughout her life. Friend to Eleanor Roosevelt, colleague to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and student of Thurgood Marshall, Pauli Murray’s life was nevertheless not always an easy one. Her commitment to fighting for the rights of women and all places her firmly in history. A celebration of her life and its significance, including the role of gender identity in her own journey. Deborah Nelson Linck’s book introduces Murray to children ages 6 to 12.

God’s Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse

God’s Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse is a 1927 book of poems by James Weldon Johnson patterned after traditional African-American religious oratory.  In 2022, the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri celebrated Black History Month with a special video series featuring sermons from God’s Trombones.

Drawing from the sights and sounds of his childhood, James Weldon Johnson sought to capture the passion and persuasive artistry of what he called African American folk sermons. He named this work God’s Trombones because he thought trombones represented the broad range of human emotions expressed through human voice.

Along with this beautiful work of literature, James Weldon Johnson also authored the hymn Lift Every Voice and Sing.

Throughout the month of February, several African American clergy persons performed a rendition of one of the sermons in God’s Trombones. Each video is introduced by the Rt. Rev. Deon K. Johnson, the first Black bishop of the Diocese of Missouri.


Black History Month Playlists

from Trinity Episcopal Church in New Orleans, LA

For Black History Month, Trinity Episcopal Church in New Orleans, Louisiana compiled an extensive “playlist” with dozens of links that will take you to articles, videos, podcasts and other resources.  The playlist is organized into the following sections:

  • Read
  • Watch
  • Listen
  • Pray & Reflect

Check it out at: https://trinitynola.com/black-history-playlist/

Also available are playlists for PK-5 and families:


and youth (grades 6-12):


Building Faith

Building Faith is a ministry of Virginia Theological Seminary, and the mission is to provide “Resources for Disciples of All Ages.”  Check out their Black History Month resources here.  There are recommended books for children, youth, and adults, as well as recommended podcasts, websites, and resources for reflection, liturgies, and prayer.