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A Heathen’s Guide to Black Church on Easter Sunday


Easter—or, as the “woke” Christians call it, Resurrection Sunday—is one of my favorite holidays. Not because of the deep, symbolic weight of the day, but because of the fashion.


Black folks are aesthetically creative on a regular day—yet, on Easter, everyone is a black dandy.

There will be pastel suits, white hats and reflective sunglasses, but my favorite part of Easter, without question, are the little kids in ill-fitting suits and pouffy dresses.


... But let’s be honest.

Some of y’all who will be in church Sunday ain’t been there in a solid year—and that’s me being generous.

There is a chance a few of you went in November because Donald Trump was elected and you needed someone to pray you out of drinking a fifth of 151 and risking it all by trying to run up on 45, but the vast majority of those who will be in attendance will be there for the first time in 52 Sundays.

Since that is the case, let me give you a quick rundown of what to expect this Sunday.


1. An Offering Every 65 Seconds 

Bring singles like you’re going to a strip club because churches require money to run, and Easter is one of the biggest Sundays of the year.


2. A Marathon Worship Service

Drink a double espresso or smoke some crack before you leave the house because the choir is about to stunt, and there will be no less than three minutes of “praise dancing” after each song. Church ’bout to be lit AF this Sunday.


3. Shade

Passah is probably going to get on the mic and take not-very-subtle shots at the folks who don’t come to service regularly. You might hear something like, “I don’t see y’all often, so I’m going to take my time with this word” or “Don’t let it be a whole year before I see you again.”


4. Horrific Parking

Like you, there will be a number of people who usually don’t go to church in attendance; therefore, parking will be at a premium. Unless you want to walk over the mountains and through the woods because you had to park in Zamunda, I suggest you get there early.


5. The Opposite of Black Girl or Boy Joy

This does not always happen in the North, but down South, Easter Sunday means there will almost certainly be a black child in brightly colored clothing crying at the mic because his or her parents forced him or her to do an Easter speech. If the child is not crying, then he or she will certainly stand there looking like someone drank the last of the Hennessy White and put the bottle back without telling anyone.


6. Rain

It almost always seems to rain on Easter. This means that the “chirren” are going to end up dirty by the end of the day. Take pictures early.


7. A Dumb Political Statement 

You may need to listen to Anita Baker or Sade while smoking a blunt before church this Sunday because I am willing to bet money that some punch-bucket-shoe-wearing crumb cake will go on the mic and talk about how the Bible says we need to pray for our political leaders, and, therefore, we need to pray for Trump. You need to have your mind right for when that happens. Black church folk love to be political contrarians with the Bible, while ignoring the fact that the prophetic homies Jeremiah and Isaiah were outchea on that speaks-truth-to-power tip.


8. A Dumb Theological Statement

Hopefully it does not come from the pulpit, but someone will put forth a theologically asinine assertion. You might hear “When the praises go up, the blessings come down” or “Make the devil mad” or “Favor ain’t fair.” All these statements are illogical theologically. The first turns the Divine into an ATM machine; the second makes no damn sense, given our finitude; and the last one is similar to how some may get on social media and say, “Let me brag on God,” and then just brag on themselves.


Yet you will hear one or all three of these statements on Sunday—mark my words. I suggest bringing a flask so you can take a shot each time you hear one. Turn it into a drinking game. Why not? After all, Jesus did turn water into wine. Just call it communion.

9. WWE Easter Egg Hunt 

Kids take hunting Easter eggs mad seriously. I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw a little girl in a white dress drop-kick a little boy in a pink suit because he had his hand in her Easter basket. It’s real out in these egg-hunting streets.


10. Black Love

For all the antics that accompany Easter, I am reminded that part of the reason this day packs such a cultural punch is that it was one of the few days on which slaves were able to be with family. After we were freed from that evil institution, we took to celebrating the day by showcasing black sartorial creativity. When we dress to the nines and go to church on Easter Sunday, we join those of our ancestors who were Christians (many were not) in an activity that refuses to give white supremacy the final word. That’s why I love this day—and why I continue to love the black church.

Lawrence is a philosopher of race at his day job and a curator of dopeness when time allows. Words in The New York Times, Slate Magazine, and others. Email him at

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ktfright | Kinja Neighborhood Black Guy

This whole article is so accurate haha. Happy Easter y’all!