In-person For Alumni For Students General Audience

Premiered at the Smithsonian’s 2023 Folklife Festival, “Faith in Blackness: An Exploration of Afro-Latine Spirituality” explores the spirituality of Afro-Latines across different religions and faith practices. The film seeks to explore the relationship between the racial identity of Black Latines and their religious practice.

There will be a screening of the film followed by a 45-minute panel comprised of faculty members and other experts, including the executive producer of the film. After a Q&A session at the end of the discussion, there will be a short reception outside of the room.

For more information on the film, please visit the film's website


Josue is smiling in the picture. He is wearing glasses, a white button up shirt and a black and white suit jacket.
Guesnerth Josué Perea
Executive Director of the Afrolatin@ Forum and Executive Producer of "Faith in Blackness: An Exploration of Afro-Latine Spirituality"

Guesnerth Josué Perea serves as Executive Director of the Afrolatin@ Forum. He also serves as co-curator of the AfroLatine Theology Project, executive producer of the documentary film "Faith in Blackness: An Exploration of Afro-Latine Spirituality," co-host of Majestad Prieta: A Podcast on Blackness in Latin America, the Caribbean y la Diáspora, and associate pastor at Metro Hope Church. His perspectives on AfroLatinidad have been part of various publications including the New York Times, the New Yorker, and Sojourners. He has also written for Let Spirit Speak! Cultural Journeys through the African Diaspora, the Revista de Estudios Colombianos, and Engaging Religion among others.

Eduardo is sitting in a table and looking into the distance with his finger interlaced.
Dr. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Sociology

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva is the James B. Duke Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Duke University. He received his BA in sociology with a minor in economics in 1984 from the Universidad de Puerto Rico-Río Piedras. He received his MA (1988) and Ph.D. (1993) from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He worked at the University of Michigan (1993-1998) and Texas A&M University (1998-2005) before joining Duke in 2005. He also served as President of the Southern Sociological Society and the American Sociological Association from 2017 to 2018.

He gained visibility in the social sciences with his 1997 American Sociological Review article, “Rethinking Racism: Toward a Structural Interpretation,” where he challenged analysts to study racial matters structurally rather than from the sterile prejudice perspective. His book, Racism Without Racists (6th edition, 2022), has become a classic in the field and influenced scholars in education, religious studies, political science, rhetoric, psychology, political science, legal studies, Africana Studies, and sociology.

Among the many awards Bonilla-Silva has received are the 2007 Lewis Coser Award given by the Theory Section of the American Sociological Association for Theoretical-Agenda Setting and, in 2011, the Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award given by the American Sociological Association “to an individual or individuals for their work in the intellectual traditions of the work of these three African American scholars.” In 2021, he received the W.E.B. Du Bois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award, given by the American Sociological Association, and the Latinx History Maker, given by the Illinois Latinos Judges Association. 

Valerie Cooper poses outdoors in a suit and pearls
Dr. Valerie Cooper
Associate Professor of Religion and Society and Black Church Studies

Professor Cooper, the first African American woman to earn tenure at Duke Divinity School, joined the faculty in 2014. Using historical and theological methodologies, her wide-ranging scholarship examines issues of religion, race, politics, and popular culture. She has published essays on African American evangelicals (particularly in Pentecostalism and the Holiness Movement), on African Americans’ use of the Bible, and with political scientist Corwin Smidt, co-authored an essay on the roles of religion and race in the 2008 election of President Barack Obama. Her article on “Black Theology” is forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook of Political Theology.

Her book, Word, Like Fire: Maria Stewart, the Bible, and the Rights of African Americans, (The University of Virginia Press, 2012), analyzes the role of biblical hermeneutics in the thought of Maria Stewart, a pioneering 19th-century African American woman theologian and political speaker.

Cooper is working on Segregated Sundays, a book evaluating the successes and failures of the racial reconciliation efforts of Christian congregations and ministries from the 1990s to the present. In addition to examining why such efforts frequently fall short of their stated goals, she also hopes to propose methods for achieving meaningful cross-racial relationships in America’s still very segregated churches and religious organizations. In this research, she is particularly interested in recovering and recording the stories of ordinary men and women of faith.

quinton dixie headshot in suit taken outdoors
Dr. Quinton Dixie
Associate Research Professor of the History of Christianity in the United States and Black Church Studies

A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Dr. Dixie specializes in American religious history and has written on a wide range of topics—from the African American Civil Rights Movement to the history of Black Baptists in the United States. Among his publications is an edited volume, The Courage to Hope, co-edited with Cornel West, as well as a companion to a PBS documentary, This Far By Faith, co-authored with Juan Williams. Dr. Dixie developed an interest in documentary editing early in his career and worked on two projects with James M. Washington while still a graduate student: I Have a Dream, a collection of Martin Luther King Jr.’s writings and speeches for young adult readers; and Conversations With God, an edited volume of African American prayers ranging from early America to the close of the twentieth century.

He received a certificate from the Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents, and for fifteen years was on the editorial team of the Howard Thurman Papers Project. Dr. Dixie is co-author of Witness: Two Hundred Years of Faith and Practice at the Abyssinian Baptist Church of Harlem, New York, with Genna Rae McNeil, Houston Roberson, and Kevin McGruder. Along with Peter Eisenstadt, he co-authored Visions of a Better World: Howard Thurman’s Pilgrimage to India and the Origins of African American Nonviolence.

Yolanda is smiling and standing in front of plants. She is wearing a blue dress and gold earrings.
Yolanda M. Santiago-Correa
Program Coordinator of the Hispanic House of Studies

Yolanda M. Santiago-Correa was born and raised in the archipelago of Puerto Rico as the only child of Miguel and Yolanda. She holds a B.A. in psychology from the Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico - Recinto Metro, an M.Div. from Duke Divinity School, and is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Religion & Culture at Southern Methodist University. Her academic work and interests focus on Puerto Rico, Afro-Latinidad, race, ethnicity, music, performance, and the relationship between racial and religious identity and imagination. 

In addition to her role as program coordinator for the Hispanic House of Studies at Duke Divinity School, Yolanda is a creator and co-host of Majestad Prieta: A Podcast on Blackness in Latin America, the Caribbean, y la Diáspora and a team member of the AfroLatine Theology Project. Yolanda is also a scholar of the Hispanic Theological Initiative and a 2023-2024 doctoral fellow of the Forum for Theological Exploration.