The Dearth of Black Catholics in Catholic Media

Why aren’t there any blacks on EWTN that host a regular program?
Why aren’t there any blacks on Catholic Radio with regular programs?
Why don’t any of the major Catholic blogs have a Black Catholic blogger?
Why does the Catholic major speaker circuit have only one lay black
Catholic (Richard Lane)?
What is up with the complete dearth of male or female black catholic’s
in magazine, radio, tv, and the new evangelization all together?

Good questions all. Have you ever applied for such positions, or would you consider doing so? EWTN and Catholic Radio should be interested in broadening their audience base.

On your last question, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson has been an able spokesman for the Church in the world media, but I would guess you are probably focusing more on American Catholics and the laity.

EDIT: And having written the above, I looked on your linked blog and found you do have a radio show. Looks like some interesting topics, I’ll download it on iTunes and add to my podcast list, David.

I’ve noticed the same thing about Hispanic Catholics, Asian Catholics, Native-American Catholics, Eastern-Indian Catholics, Jewish-Catholics, Hawaiian Catholics, Samoan Catholics, Fillipino Catholics, Guamanian Catholics . . .

Sarcasm? Maybe. My point is race is not important to this Hispanic Catholic. Why is it so important to you? I don’t need the person on TV or the radio to look like me or sound like me or eat the same foods I eat. I’m OK with me. I’m good – thank you. I don’t turn on EWTN or tune into Sacred Heart Radio (my local Catholic radio station) to have my race justified in some way. Quite frankly, I don’t care about race when I’m tuned in. I want and expect to hear good Catholics who love Christ and present a faith that is loyal to the magistarium and our Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome.

But again, that’s just me.


Because, in America, most Blacks are Baptists, and most Catholics are Europeans, Latinos, and Hispanics.

As far as Latinos go, look in the Spanish-speaking mass media of South America; Univision and Telemundo always have the most-White possible presenters.

Oh brother… :confused:

What are you talking about? Haven’t you seen Deacon Harold’s “Made in His Image” program on Ewtn? Here’s a youtube excerpt of the program below…

There is another black gentleman named Damon Owens who hosts a program on EWTN concerning Natural Family Planning (NFP) called “NFP: Embracing the Natural Gift”. You can visit the webpage to the program below…

There is also the former Protestant minister who has been featured on the Journey Home and Catholic Roundtable programs whose names escapes me. You also have Dolores Grier who was often a guest on Mother Angelica’s programs and had her own program as well along side another black gentleman named Noah Lett entitled “Black and Roman Catholic”. Noah Lett has also been featured on EWTN’s Roundtable program and a “Crash Course in Catholicism”.

You can view a video promo featuring Mr. Noah Lett below…

And you can’t forget Alvita King whose presence in the pro-life movement is a great one. And I could go on and on…

There are others as well whose names I can’t remember… If you had done some research before going off on your rant you would see there is a Black Catholic presence on EWTN and in the New Evangelization.

God bless

Informed estimates place the number of Catholics of African descent in America at about 3% of the total Catholic population of the United States. Within the worldwide Church itself, recent data show that persons of African descent comprise nearly 25% of all Catholics.

With so few black American Catholics, it’s a wonder that there’s any significant national black Catholic history to celebrate. But there is; oh, there is!

I am a second generation African-American Catholic. Both of my parents were converts. On the other hand, my wife [who is Black] traces her Catholic roots at least to 1722 and an unbroken direct line of descent ever since.

At any rate, there is a lot of black Catholic history, and we’ll be bringing some of it to you here at The Catholic Gene during this month. Let’s start with a timeline of Catholic Africana.

Thanks for the replies so far!

Arizona Mike
Thanks for the reply. No, I’m exploring the questions at this point to see if it’s a lack of effort on the part of Black Catholics to be involved, or a lack of the mainstream Catholic Media to look more Catholic, or a combination of both. Can’t squeeze orange juice from an apple, right? But, correct, I’m looking at the USA and wondering if mainstream Catholic media is representative of the Catholic Population in the USA.

Being that 4% of the Catholics in the USA are Blacks - do popular Catholic media outlets and book publishers have a responsibility to provide that representation? That is the question I’m exploring.

As for me, I usually acquiesce to invitations, but no, I don’t apply - I’ll research and see if that is what non-Blacks have done to obtain those positions or whether they were asked. I will also research to see whether Catholic publishers receive manuscripts form black Catholics.

I don’t know the percentage of those races, but I would ask the same question as above. Should Catholic Media look Catholic in their respective market? Every people brings, from every culture, brings their unique experience to the table and that is the beauty of the Catholic - that it is Catholic and you see that when you visit a Hispanic Church, a predominately Black Church, and etc - clearly a different expression of the same faith. Perhaps your sarcasm is premature and immature to the big picture here? That’s a question not an indictment.

**Khalid **

As far as Latinos go, look in the Spanish-speaking mass media of South America; Univision and Telemundo always have the most-White possible presenters.

Are you saying that Spanish-speaking Cath Media in South Aust has a dearth of Latinos?

Temple of the Soul
Perhaps you didn’t read the question. EWTN has had PLENTY of series hosted by Blacks, lay and ordained alike - they have guests on their programs. The question was 'Why aren’t there any blacks on EWTN that host a regular program?" Please correct me if their is a ‘regular’ program such as Bookmark, Journey Home, World Over, etc. that has a Black Catholic as a host. Also I said, ‘dearth’ not complete absence, so thanks for naming a few Black Catholics - I already know that. Are you sure Alveda King is Catholic? Also hold the ‘oh brother’ please - this is a serious question that I was looking for serious insight to. And thanks for judging me, but this wasn’t a rant, as I said - it a serious question that you can either seriously contribute to or not. Thanks!


I found this website that you might be interested in. I just scanned through it but it looks very interesting. Josh Johnson, seminarian and black Catholic conducts some of the interviews. There is also an interview (Healing and Deliverance) of Fr. John Baptist Bashobora from Uganda who visited the Sisters of the Holy Family in New Orleans, LA and they showed clips of the order of nuns, most of which are African American.


Thanks for that zab :slight_smile:

No, I did read the question and found its sarcastic tone off-putting. That’s what the ‘oh brother’ was for. And the reason I named all the programs with black hosts is that I saw them regularly on EWTN… so their shows were regular to me… but not to you obviously.

Alveda King is a Christian and an honorary Catholic for me with all the pro-life work she does with Priests for Life.

I personally could care less what color a lay Catholic evangelist, deacon, tv host…etc happens to be. I don’t identify with them because of race, I identify with them because they are a brother/sister in Christ. I happen to be Hispanic and although its nice to see other Hispanic’s out there doing their work for the new evangelization, its not the focal point for me… the focal point is Christ.

God bless

You’re welcome.

No, I’m pointing out an example of much greater racial inequality in representation in the media, viz. in South America, predominately Catholic and Latino, the mass media (equivalent to Anglophone ABC and CBS), nearly always have very light-skinned presenters, which is not representative of the population as a whole, and, from my limited experience, South Americans (at least Brazilians) do have an arbitrary distinction into two races, lightskinned and darkskinned, even if both are Latino, which also often falls along economic lines.

The first point being that there are very few Black Catholics in America, and that’s why there are so few in the Catholic media; not of a racial inequality or misrepresentation per se, of the sort that takes place on Univision.

Yeah, I remember watching a program on PBS about that. Good contrast! Thanks!!!

EWTN airs all around the world, in 127 countries. It does not air just in America. When you see people that look like you, you identify more, it is natural, I don’t think it is racist. It can help with outreach and evangelization to have more Black, Hispanic and Asian people as regulars on EWTN.

Thanks for all of your wonder comments - I pulled my thoughts together on the subject and published them here: :thumbsup:

Simply because the Catholic Church in the United States is disproportionately white (and Hispanic). The Church in the U.S. has traditionally been the domain of later immigrant groups: first the Irish, then the Italians, then the Poles, now the Hispanics. Blacks (except recent immigrants from Africa, who are largely Catholic), who descended from slaves taken in the 17th and 18th centuries, do not fit this category. The percentage of Blacks that are Catholic is about 3%.

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