Anyone who has studied the role of religion in American history knows why the voice of clergy have always played such a crucial role in the story of African-Americans in this land.
During the darkest days in the generations after death of slavery, fierce racism continued to prevent all but a few brave blacks from pursuing degrees in law, medicine and other elite fields. The vast majority of those who earned elite degrees served others in black communities and that was pretty much that.
But in the historic African-American churches, men went to seminaries (and among Pentecostals, in particular, women as well) and returned to become the public voices of the people in the pews and on the streets. They were the faces that were turned outward, into society as a whole.
This brings us to #Ferguson, of course, and the coverage of the events after the grand jury report was made public.