Cheryl Townsend Gilkes

Distinguished Professor, Community Liaison, and Research Consultant for the Howard Thurman Center

Picture of Dr. Cheryl Gilkes

Dr. Gilkes is the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor Emerita of African-American Studies and Sociology at Colby College in Waterville, ME. An ordained Baptist minister, she is an assistant pastor for special projects at the Union Baptist Church in Cambridge, MA. She has served as visiting faculty at several seminaries and schools of divinity, most recently Chicago Theological Seminary.

Dr. Gilkes holds degrees in sociology from Northeastern University (B.A., M.A., Ph.D.), has pursued graduate theological studies at Boston University's School of Theology, and has received an honorary Doctor of Divinity (D. D.) from Ursinus College. In addition to her book, If It Wasn't for the Women: Black Women's Experience and Womanist Culture in Church and Community, she has published articles in scholarly journals and edited volumes on race and ethnicity, the work of W.E.B. Du Bois, and African American religion. She has also published sermons in several journals and edited volumes. Until the pandemic, she was "Dr. Dr. Cheryl" on Colby College's radio station where she hosted a gospel music radio show, "The Uncloudy Day," for 19 years. Since the pandemic she has contributed several opinion pieces to Religion News Service and has written the introduction to the fiftieth anniversary publication of James Cone’s book, The Spirituals and the Blues: An Interpretation.

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