This essay examines the genesis and implications of the oft-cited phrase, "authentically black and truly Catholic." Tracing its origins as descriptive of the aspirations of Black Catholics in the United States following the Second Vatican Council, the author relates both the contributions and the significant limitations of this ecclesial project. He concludes by offering a new phrasing that he argues is more adequate to the current aspirations and needs of the Black Catholic faith community, namely, "radically Black and authentically Catholic."


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