Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (Philadelphia, Pa.)
St. Thomas' Church (Philadelphia, Pa.)
St. George's United Methodist Church (Philadelphia, Pa.)
First African Baptist Church (Savannah, Ga.)
Sharp Street Memorial United Methodist Church (Baltimore, Md.)
Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church (Richmond, Va.)
First Bryan Baptist Church (Savannah, Ga.)
Johns Island Presbyterian Church (Johns Island, S.C.)
1 open reel 1 inch video recording
Title transcribed from open credits of video recording.
Climbing Jacob's Ladder was based on the Climbing Jacob's Ladder: The Rise of Black Churches in Eastern American Cities, 1740 - 1877 exhibition which explored the growth and central role of African American churches during the 18th- and 19th-centuries in the eastern United States: Boston, Savannah, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, and Richmond. The exhibition was organized by the Anacostia Museum and held there from October 1987 to October 1988.
The African American church provides the spiritual, educational, social, political, and economic center for the African American community. Because the history of the African American church tells the story of African Americans, the church is the largest repository of African American history.
Climbing Jacob's Ladder argues for the importance of documenting and preserving the history of the African American church as explained by church historians, archivists, and curators. The African American church tells the story of African Americans, provides direction and goals for the young, and is the center of African American life. Its history is illustrated through photographs and moving images, which are endangered of being lost and forgotten if preservation measures are not taken. The short documentary also provides an overview of the history of the black church and African American worship from slavery through present day, the role and style of black preachers, black church music and choirs, and clothing worn to religious services.
Short documentary. Part of Climbing Jacob's Ladder Audiovisual Records. Dated 19920324.
Climbing Jacob's Ladder, Exhibition Records AV03-036, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution
African American history
African American churches
African American choirs
Civil rights movements
Jacob's ladder (Biblical dream)
African American youth
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Some items are not accessible due to obsolete format and playback machinery restrictions. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu