Skip to main content
Pulpits and Platforms: The Role of the Church in Determining Protest among Black Americans
Faculty Publications of the Center on Children, Families, and the Law
  • Scott T. Fitzgerald, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Ryan Spohn, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Date of this Version

Social Forces (December 2005) 84(2).


Published by Fitzgerald & Spohn in Social Forces (December 2005) 84(2). Copyright 2005, University of North Carolina. Used by permission.

This article further specifies the relationship between church-based resources, group identification and political activism among black Americans. Previous research indicates that political communication within churches and activism within the church serve to motivate political participation. Our research suggests that, net of relevant controls, activism within the church does not significantly increase protest politics. A key determinant of protest participation is attending a church that exhibits a politicized church culture, and this effect is contingent upon educational attainment and membership in secular organizations. Hence, the church serves as a crucial context for the dissemination of political messages and exposure to opportunities for protest only for those black Americans with relatively low educational achievement and organizational involvement. Group identification has no effect on protest participation.
Citation Information
Scott T. Fitzgerald and Ryan Spohn. "Pulpits and Platforms: The Role of the Church in Determining Protest among Black Americans" (2005)
Available at: