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The Subcommittee on African American Affairs e-newsletter is now available online. The January edition highlights what is going on at USCCB and beyond.

News Release - USCCB President Calls for Courage and Commitment on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

50th Anniversary Initiative - Rebuilding the Bridge: In the coming year, the country will celebrate several 50th anniversaries of civil rights milestones. Check out the 50th Anniversary Initiative page for more information about these events and the contribution of Catholics to this movement.

Plenty of Good Room:  This recent publication discusses the spirit and truth of African American Catholic Worship.

30th Anniversary of What We Have Seen and Heard: Take a look at the Black Bishops' Pastoral Letter on Evangelization to see what the bishops were saying and how it is still relevant today. Now available in Spanish!

PRAYERS AGAINST THE POWERS OF DARKNESS Faith Hope Love Book Collection Wisdom of Love Book Ad Welcoming the Refugee and Migrant

African American


The Subcommittee on African American Affairs (SCAAA) is the official voice of the African American Catholic community. The subcommittee attends to the needs and aspirations of African American Catholics regarding issues of pastoral ministry, evangelization, social justice, worship, development of leaders and other areas of concern. The subcommittee also seeks to be a resource for the all Bishops and the entire Catholic Church in the United States. It aims to articulate the socio-cultural dimension of the African American Catholic community and identify or create resources that would allow for an authentic integration of the richness of African American Catholic culture and the Catholic Church in the United States.


Most Reverend Shelton J. Fabre,

Bishop, Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux
Chairman of the Subcommittee on African American Affairs


Lord Have Mercy, I'm Taking Two Knees

Recently Stevie Wonder performed at the Global Citizen Festival. In authentic and prophetic Stevie fashion, my cultural hero took a knee for the U.S. then took another knee for the world. The problem of racism in the U.S. is conjoined to racial injustice around the globe. And, both persistent manifestations are entangled in the web of the daily struggles and oppression that trap poor and marginalized people everywhere. But first, a word about racism today in the U.S. context.

Some who question the gesture of taking a knee may open the door for conversation, dialog, mutual understanding. Yet, it is critical to avoid getting caught up in the subterfuge. Rather, expend that energy on redirecting the trajectory of the discussion. For me, the two most important questions on this subject today are: What can we do together as communities of faith, as neighbors, as members of associations and as individuals to stop the violence that law enforcement officials and the U.S. criminal justice system perpetrate against African American men, women and children? And, how can we stop the progression of racist ideas that many of us convey? To be clear, the many is not limited to White people. 

As Ibrahim X. Kendi laid out in his 2016 award winning book, Stamped from the Beginning, the only thing wrong with Black people is that people think there's something wrong with Black people. This thought is at the root of racist ideology.  For those of us serving in the Church, the tentacles of racism present many obstacles to evangelization that must dislodged. Let's marinate on that for a while…

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