1LOVE Media Celebrates Rev. Melva L. Sampson, PhD and The Pink Robe Chronicles Digital Hush Harbor for being accessioned into the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC)
Celebrating and Centering Black Women in Ministry Through Digital Black Religion, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship
Winston-Salem, NC –1Love Media celebrates the innovative ministry of Rev. Melva L. Sampson, PhD, and the Pink Robe Chronicles Digital Hush Harbor. The Smithsonian National Museum for African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) has acquired and accessioned artifacts from Pink Robe Chronicles into the museum collection. The digital files consist of four Pink Robe Chronicles (sermons) Go Back and Get It; Fight the Power; Press, Prune and Praise; and Wrestling with God. The collection also includes pictures of Rev. Dr. Sampson, the Pink Robe Chronicles logo and Facebook cover page. This collection is included in the museum’s archives which host more than 50k artifacts and will be used in its research and exhibitions.
Teddy Reeves, Curator of Religion at the Smithsonian’s NMAAHC is excited to have the collection and looks forward to talking more about digital Black religion and what Pink Robe Chronicles means to the larger conversation of this burgeoning field in Black religious studies.
“As a curator Pink Robe Chronicles shows the use of technology and innovation in the digital space where a digital community/digital hush harbor is created to process, engage, worship, call forth and conjure all without physical location. This is the beginning of something new. It was important for us to collect this oral history, collect Pink Robe Chronicles and collect around Melva Sampson because she is breaking new ground and doing work that Black women and queer individuals are tilling in the digital realm.”
Pink Robe Chronicles is a digital hush harbor that circumvents interlaced oppressive religious structures, doctrines, and theologies by utilizing womanist and Afrocentric/Afrofuturist values of resistance, recovery, and reflection to curate liberated and transformative faith-centered communities of practice. Since 2016 Dr. Melva has livestreamed over 300 digital sermons and engaged thousands across Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
Dr. Melva commented, “As a researcher of Black preaching women and as a Black preaching woman Pink Robe Chronicles reveals something very important which is that one’s ability to confront hegemony is not solely lodged in the traditional pulpit but also in unconventional pulpits online. It is an incredible honor for my heart work to be recognized by the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex. Pink Robe Chronicles is a haven for practitioners, scholars, and everyday citizens. To think that something which started organically on Sunday mornings while in my kitchen preparing breakfast and tea in response has become what one member identifies as a God-creation affirming, womanist infused, anti-Black and White supremacist attacking heterosexist demon slaying community is remarkable and points to how Black religious traditions often live without sanctuary but not without sanction.”
Fallon Wilson, Co-Founder of Black Tech Futures Research Institute is also excited to see Pink Robe Chronicles grow and scale.
“Digital hush harbors are the new counter publics where Black people are finding ways to curate family and community in a new network automated future. Digital hush harbors like Pink Robe Chronicles and others create spaces online for Black women to be able to speak their truths without oppression. They can embody their amazingness without surveillance and create futures amongst and for themselves. This work is pivotal and needed. It marks a type of new departure for the African American church when we think about what it means to go online; how do we build community in an automated space? What does church and communion look like in a metaverse? I think Pink Robe Chronicles is the beginning of that space.”
Dr. Melva and Pink Robe Chronicles is cited widely amongst scholars of religion and communication, clergy, and content creators. Her thoughts are featured in Essence.com, Religious New Service and has been the subject of scholarly journal articles, book chapters and practical resource guides for women in ministry. She is currently completing her forthcoming manuscript about Black women preaching in the digital age. Pink Robe Chronicles is live every Sunday at 8:00 am est. on Facebook and YouTube.
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