In this moving two-part series, the producer, writer, and host Henry Louis Gates Jr. traces the 400-year history of the Black church in America. Compared to other religious institutions, the Black church is unique. Its principles are based on Christianity, yet are cemented by faith traditions from both Africa and the New World. For generations it has stood for social justice, representing a redemptive force against the lingering evils of slavery. America without the Black church? Impossible to imagine. Among those speaking in the series are Oprah, John Legend, Jennifer Hudson, and the gospel greats Yolanda Adams, Pastor Shirley Caesar, and BeBe Winans. —E.C.