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Coming to terms with the Black Church's changing role

African American churches have long been social, political, and educational centers for many Black communities. But that role is evolving amid what some historians and sociologists are calling the "Third Reconstruction." This period began with President Barack Obama's election in 2008 and encompasses the rise of social and racial justice movements shortly thereafter.

Valerie Crowder hosts and produces state and local newscasts during All Things Considered. Her reporting on local government and politics has received state and regional award recognition. She has also contributed stories to NPR newscasts.