Conclusion: Salience of Black Churches


Importance of Black Churches

This project sought to find the beauty in the ways that Black churches in the Northern Virginia region have nurtured and sustained Black existence. This research aimed to look at what is still present rather than only focusing on issues like gentrification. This initiative contributes to the continuing discussion about Black life in Northern Virginia. Many claims have been made surrounding the large influx of people who want to live close to the capital city has caused the Black population in Northern Virginia to leave or not survive. Thus, this research, however, asserts that contrary to popular belief there are still many Black people living here. Also, that not only are these Black people living in Northern Virginia they are thriving. My original question “Why are Black churches still salient?”  was addressed by my sub questions of “What role(s) does strong leadership play in sustaining the church community? How were these Black churches able to maintain a sense of community? How has the Black church been an integral part in the fight for Black equality in Northern Virginia?”. The understanding gathered within this research is that Black churches in the Northern Virginia area have continued to remain salient due to their ability to adapt as well as create community by supporting their local communities. They have also been able to remain because the leadership in place has created plans in which the church believes in and support. Lastly Black churches are important because of how they have supported and maintained the fight for equality within the Northern Virginia area. From holding meetings, to supporting activists, as well as having members be a part of civil rights work as well as social justice work has given them the ability to remain important. Although through the questions and answers the research has found there are still some unanswered questions. These unanswered questions that other research might explore include the following:

    1. Why do people still choose to go to a historically Black Churches beyond the community cultivated?
    2. Why is it that certain Black churches have remained in the Northern Virginia over others? I.E Methodist and Baptist churches

This project is important because it recognizes the importance of the religious community that has been cultivated by these Black churches. It also allows a radical archival process of the need for understanding black life in all aspects including religion. This project shows the Black community beyond traditional narratives of needing saving but instead showcases Black leadership, community, and strength. The experience of African Americans in the past are relevant to today because ones past influences the future. Without knowledge of the past how can one be able to celebrate and make known the accomplishments and feats that have been made and surpassed by African Americans today.  African Americans past brings understanding of the Black experience. The past also showcases why African Americans seek comfort in community. The past also illuminates what not to repeat or allow to happen again. It also allows for redress of the facts that have been placed into the archive to instead come from perspectives of African Americans.

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