Faith & Spirituality of Black Millennials Explored in Upcoming Documentary ‘gOD-Talk’

Young adults of the African-American community are distinct from others in their particular age group.

The results of Religious Landscape Survey by Pew Research Center in 2015 show that American millennials born any year from 1981 to 1996 have a lower propensity towards religion compared to older Americans. The study underlines the trend that millennials continue to be religious as per their own observance but reject any traditional variations of religious observance. Many millennials have even questioned the overall aims, relevance, and mission of organized religion during the 21st century.

According to Besheer Mohamed, a senior researcher at Pew, young adults of the African-American community are distinct from others in their particular age group. They are separate from their own racial cluster as well. He pointed out that African-American millennials on an average are much more religious and also much more spiritual compared to other millennials. When it comes to other blacks, they are less spiritual and much less religious.

To make sense of this puzzle, the National Museum of African American History of the Smithsonian and Pew Research Center have collaborated on a project named gOD-Talk: A Black Millenials and Faith Conversation. According to project participants, the "g" in the lower-case for "gOD" highlights the manner in which the project will leapfrog over orthodox boundaries. It will also brush away the literal designations of what can be regarded as sacred. The gOD-Talk project will be done in multiple cities. The effort will end in the production of a particular feature documentary film. There will be a release of corresponding oral histories. Anyone can dip into the research after it gets a place in the Smithsonian collection.

Teddy Reeves, the specialist, Center for Study of African-American Religious Life, hopes that the conversations will include Muslim African-Americans, blacks having Judeo-Christian perspectives, and African spirituality adherents. Atheists and humanists, he hopes, will also join the conversation. The aim is threefold. The first is to discover how millennials interact with their religion and also the transformative nature of space, community, and the internet. The second wish is to increase all leading millennial voices including politicians, activists, athletes, entrepreneurs, entertainers, and academicians by creating an experience space for them to be documented and subsequently shared. The third is to create the opportunity for leaders, religious organizations, and researchers to better comprehend the ever-changing manner black millennials interact with religion. Reeves believes the Pew findings mirror a historical connection of African-Americans to the divine from the slavery times and the rise of modern-day secularism in the community.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter